Skip to content
How to Shoot in Manual Mode

How to Shoot in Manual Mode

Don’t we all want to know how to take good pictures? The best way to improve your photography is learning how to shoot in manual mode. When shooting in manual mode you need to know and understand the “exposure triangle”.  This consists of your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.  You use these three components to get your light meter to zero. Your light meter is that little line graph at the bottom of the viewfinder of your manual mode camera.  

Setting Your Aperture for Manual Mode Shooting
The aperture, also referred to as the “f number”, pertains to the depth of field and how wide open your lens is when it is letting light into the camera. Quite simply, this is the thing that affects how much of your photo is in focus and how much is blurred. Aperture is also the setting on your manual mode camera from that gives that bokeh affect that is so popular in photos these days. A wide aperture, a lower f number such as f/1.8, means that your background/ foreground will be out of focus. With a wide aperture, more light is able to get into the lens which results in a brighter photo. A small aperture, a higher f number such as f/ 14, means that your photo will have a wider depth of field. More of the background will be in focus and it also results in a darker photo.

Change the ISO on Your Manual Mode Camera
The ISO is the level of sensitivity your manual mode camera from has to available light. A low ISO has a lower sensitivity to the light and vice versa. Raising your ISO means that your pictures will have more light in them. This also means that you will have more grain in your photo. Adjusting your ISO is a quick and easy way to take photos in low light situations. It should be your first go to setting when you need to bump up the light in your manual mode photography.


Set Your Shutter Speed for Manual Mode Photography
This is the amount of time that your shutter is open. When shooting people in manual mode, and especially children, try not to go any slower than 1/125.  This will help to prevent a blurry picture. Sometimes 1/125 is not fast enough and you still get some movement in your photo. If your shutter speed gets too slow, such as 1/40, then camera shake may affect the sharpness of your photo. The lower the bottom number, means more light will come in because your shutter is open longer.  The higher the bottom number means less light will be coming in because it is open for less time.  If you’re in a low lighting situation and you’re taking a picture of something stationary, you can lower your shutter speed to something crazy like 1/20 but just make sure you use a tripod!

manual mode

By adjusting these three things you will be moving the “ticker” back and forth in your light meter.  Ideally, you want to adjust them so that the ticker is on the zero.  It’s considered a properly exposed picture if the ticker is on the zero.  Play around with it and see what you like. Before long, you’ll be an expert at manual mode photography!
Previous article DJI Mini 4 Pro Specs

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields