You’re probably on this site now because (1) you have a new fancy camera and don’t know just what to do with it, (2) just stumbled on this website by mistake. We really hope it’s the former, because we’ve got some things to teach you about how to work your new gizmo.
You probably got intimidated by all the buttons that you see in the camera and went straight through the automatic mode. Well, I’m here to tell you that that shouldn’t be the case. The manual mode is where the party really is at. It’s easier to man than you may think.
There are three things to consider when going into manual mode: (1) The shutter speed, (2) The aperture, and (3) The ISO. There are two main categories at which you can adjust these settings. There is the science side which has to deal with light, and the art side which has to deal with blur.
The faster the shutter speed is, the less amount of time, so less light. The longer the shutter speed is, the more time, and the more light. It also means controlling the motion blur. Do you want to stop time in the moment, or blur the moment. Do you want to capture a hummingbird frozen in mid-air? Or do you want those wings blurred?
Aperture is the way you let light in. When you go outside, your pupil becomes smaller to allow less light in, and when you’re in a dark place, your pupil expands to let more light in. This is how aperture works.
Aperture controls the distance blur. How much is in focus before and after your subject? When the background is ugly, you should blur the background. When your aperture is small, it can focus on the subject. When it is big, then it can capture every detail of the picture.
ISO is the sensitivity of the camera to let more or less light in. When your camera is more sensitive to light, you’re going to get more grain in the image. While less sensitive ISO means a clearer image. This is best in landscape photos.