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.

Making the Transition from Auto Mode to Manual Mode

Transitioning From Auto Mode to Manual Mode | http://photorec.tvMaking the transition from auto mode to manual mode is a tough process for most amateur photographers. You're familiar with the terms ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. But you don't really understand any of these terms, let alone how they work together. Typically, beginner photographers leave their cameras in auto mode because they think their cameras will select better settings than they will. However, as soon as you start learning the camera settings, you'll start making better selections, consequently, creating higher quality images. The process of making the transition from auto mode to manual mode isn't easy. But it's well worth the effort.Shooting in manual mode is a lot like riding a bicycle or learning to drive a stick shift. Even with great teaching, at some point, you just have to jump in and attempt it on your own, knowing you'll make a lot of mistakes. I've spent years shooting in manual made. While I do feel comfortable with it, I still make plenty of mistakes. Until I started keeping my camera in manual mode the majority of the time I was shooting, I didn't fully appreciate how much power and freedom it would offer. I promise that when you give it a try, you'll quickly experience this same power and freedom, and you won't want to go back.In making the transition from auto mode to manual mode, I cover the following tips.

  • Learn everything that you can about manual camera settings
  • Start paying attention to your settings while shooting in auto mode
  • Start using your auto settings as a guide for shooting in manual mode
  • Attempt shots that require you to use a manual mode
  • Shoot in manual mode in controlled light settings
  • Seek out opportunities to practice manual mode on your own or with fellow photographers

Read the full post over on Making the Transition from Auto Mode to Manual Mode

Do you have any additional tips for making the transition from auto mode to manual mode?

Leave your insight in the comments!