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welcome

to the loosearrow & co blog

a place for me to write + gab about all the things i love in life!

read all

home + lifestyle

lc made

photo + film

oily life

travels

wishlists

photo 101

creative business

3 Tips On Getting Started In Manual Mode

Are you stuck on where to begin with your camera? Maybe you got a fancy camera for Christmas and it has more buttons than a spaceship. Don’t worry… I got you. Here are 3 tips on getting started in manual mode today!

1. You Don’t NEED to learn ALL the buttons to get started!

Okay there are a TON of buttons on your camera… However, there is no need to worry. To get started you don’t need to know all the buttons to get started in manual mode today! These cheatsheets here will help you get started with what you need to know to get started but here are what you should know to start:

  • Where and how to adjust your aperture
  • How to adjust ISO
  • Shutter Speed adjustment
  • Determining your exposure reading
  • How to focus

2. Get comfortable adjusting your settings

When I first began taking photos, I wandered the house, in different rooms and settings, with varying light sources, etc. This will help you get into a rhythm of adjusting your settings. Although, it may seem redundant, but sometimes this is the most daunting task of learning manual. Take a photo, look at it on the LCD screen, how does it look? The Cheatsheet’s last page, Troubleshooting, will help you learn what to adjust to correct your image (if needed). Repeat the process.

3. Isolation Practice

When I first began learning manual mode, I would isolate only adjusting a single setting to learn how it varied my photo by itself. This really helped me learn the capability and limits of each setting and how I can use it to achieve my creative vision. So how do you do this?

Isolation practice method;

  1. First you will want to set your settings in your enviornment so you have an evenly expose image.
  2. Second, I would start with aperture or your F-Stops. I like starting with this isolating this setting first because in my opinion it’s the most fun to play with. I recommend dropping your aperture to the lowest possible setting. Some of my lenses go down to 1.4, others only, 2.8. Regardless of how low it goes, drop it down to the lowest possible aperture setting. Take a photo of your subject with some background objects behind it. Observe how much of your image is in focus. Next, bump your aperture up 3 stops, check the image and reflect on how much of your image is in focus now. In between these aperture adjustments you may need to adjust your ISO or shutter speed to make sure you still have an evenly exposed photo. Continue this till you can no longer bump your aperture up.
  3. Next, you will reset your camera settings to allow for an evenly exposed image. This time isolate adjusting your ISO. Fluctuate your ISO up or down, take a photo and see how it changes your photo.
  4. Lastly, the shutter speed. This is a fun one to practice with a helper. Set your shutter speed to 1/500 and have a friend, kid or significant other walk across the space in front of you. Take a photo and look at what you captured. Drop your shutter speed down to 1/125 and repeat. Continue this process till you reach your lowest shutter speed setting. Reflect on how motion captured change the lower your shutter speed dropped.

Have you checked out my blog post, 5 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Kiddos? I hope you found 3 Tips on Getting Started in Manual Mode helpful in your journey to learn manual mode!

Better Yet… Have you joined my ladies only FB group for learning how to work your DSLR, Phone camera and photography? Join Here!

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