These are the basic steps to learn how to use the manual mode on your camera, I use two Canons so if you use a Nikon or something else these steps might be a little different for you, your manual should have step by step instructions. However, I will always suggest you read your manual regardless of what camera you have. So let’s get started!
Step 1 : You should have your camera with you. It is way easier to understand and walk through the steps while you are following along.
Step 2: Is of course turn your dial to the M, this of course stands for manual mode. If you would like to know what the rest of the icons mean, let me know and I will create a guide.
Step 3: Point the camera where you have good light. If you would like to learn how to shoot in dark situations that is a whole other post, this is just the basics to get you started.
Step 4: Turn your screen display on so you can see the camera settings. Now if you have never used Manual mode before these can look pretty foreign to you. I have created a blog post called Know your Terms! This blog will teach you all of the settings by name and what they do. I have also created an infographic that will teach you what happens when you change the settings.
Below from left to right, we see the letter M which lets us know that you are on Manual Mode. Next box over, we see a blue square with the numbers 0″3 this is you Shutter Speed. Third box we see f5.6 which is the aperture. And the last box says ISO100 which is your ISO setting.
Now these is a section that shows you -3 – +3 This is called your Metering Indicator. And how you use it is super simple. You see in the image there is a little box below the number 0. This shows that the image that you take should come out perfect. If the little box was moved over to the right under the +3 the image would be over exposed, and if the little box was under the -3 the image would be under exposed. To fix this you need to change your shutter speed, aperture, or ISO. Depending on what you are shooting is going to depend on what you are going to want to change. A faster shutter speed is going to let in less light, a wide open aperture is going to let in more light, and a higher iso is going to add some noise/grain. Again refer to the infographic link above and use the pdf that I have provided for you.
Step 5: Go take your first picture in manual mode! I would love to see them so please shoot on over to facebook and leave me a comment!
I hope this was helpful, and if you have any tips or suggestions please leave a comment below!