Beyond the Settings - Manual Mode & Auto ISO beyond the settings and focus on the image, the key point to a recent article we had on the weekly live show. As photographers when we go to shoot we're balancing the camera settings, composition, timing, not tripping on something, and possibly handling a model. When you're starting out you usually cram learning the camera settings, but what's the next step?

As you move beyond the basic settings and focus more on composition your photography is going to improve immensely.

How we approach a scene usually goes aperture, shutter speed, then ISO. A shallow setting like f/2.8 is perfect for a portrait but a landscape needs something a bit slower at f/8 (btw, video on aperture coming soon!). Next shutter speed comes into play, you need to make sure the shutter speed is 2x the focal length to be safe, the reciprocal rule. You can find out more about shutter speed settings here and here. Once we get that down as a start, then we need to move past it to improve.

 What about AV mode? We've all been at the mercy of a wrong camera setting at some point. The thing is the camera is smart, but it's not you, it just sees pixels and can't interpret a scene. Especially if my subject is moving, dancing, running and even walking - the camera doesn’t know this on AV mode and you'll end up with a blurry subject. Manual puts you in control letting you tell the camera what you need.But AUTO ISO can be good - Compared to aperture or shutter speed, ISO means the least to a shot technically. That it affects exposure and noise only, compared to aperture and shutter speed that drastically alter the look of a shot. With modern cameras, a high ISO setting can mean a bit of noise and has to be extremely high before it is a detriment to a photo. Having AUTO ISO on takes away part of the exposure triangle I have to focus on and lets me concentrate more on composition and timing.If you are starting out get those camera settings down. That way it's secondhand, so you don't need to be chimping (checking the screen) when it counts. Once you understand that then you can let the camera take over, a little bit, giving you room to be creative and focus on more important issues.