No longer a newbie, moving up!
- Jun 28, 2012
- Reaction score
- New Zealand
- Can others edit my Photos
- Photos NOT OK to edit
There's so many amateur photographers who are scared to take their skills to the next level.
I say scared, because it's not about the individual lacking the skills necessary- Skills are something you develop naturally as you practise.
FEAR is what stops you from trying, fear stops you from practising something new.
These types of enthusiasts tend to hover between AUTO mode, NO FLASH mode, and APERTURE-PRIORITY mode. They stay in these "safe zones", too afraid of failure to practise using manual mode. They either tried manual mode once, got disappointed with "how much they needed to learn" and quit forever, or sometimes hover back expecting to be much, much better (but having not practised manual mode in a year!) and feel inadequate so don't go back to manual for quite some time.
However, as an amateur, an enthusiast and especially as a professional- you MUST KNOW that your pictures are much, much worse due to staying in the safety of these "easy modes".
I'm going to be extremely honest with you. Experienced photographers make manual mode sound much more difficult than it is. I've often wondered why they do this (potentially to lower the amount of photographers in the industry with real technical knowledge, or they just don't fully understand the mode themselves). Here's some things you DON'T need to know that they will claim you do need to know:
- You DON'T need to know every single mathematical equation for ISO, APERTURE, SHUTTER SPEEDS, AND EXPOSURE.
- You DON'T even need to know 3 of these things off the back of your hand
- You DON'T have to buy flash equipment to assist you with manual mode
- You DON'T need to take courses or pay 4k for that new photography weekend away with your favourite photographer (and they likely won't even properly teach you manual mode anyway!)
Yes I know!....But hear me out...There's a reason why you haven't learned manual yet. THEY don't WANT you to learn manual mode.
It's the professional photographers secret saving grace. It changes EVERY SINGLE PICTURE to a drastically better quality. And also, Fear, as we mentioned earlier.
Here's what you DO NEED TO KNOW:
-How to read and understand your metering (that's the little funny dial on the inside of your camera when your looking through your eye piece)
-How to correctly change the settings in reflection to the metering.
The end. That's it. That's how you get started.
If the image is correctly exposed, it will be centred in the middle. If not, you adjust your aperture (if you don't mind it affecting your bokeh & focus), or more often than not, you adjust your shutter speed. How simple is that?
Seriously, go pick up your camera right now and try it. This blog is for amateurs, or enthusiasts only because obviously once you understand these basic changes there is a whole bigger world out there on what else you need to learn while using manual. But this is going to be a great jump start for you!
Here's some examples of the difference between AUTO MODE and MANUAL MODE (some of the auto mode images were actually aperture priority...so yes, APERTURE MODE is also not exceptional- but hands down better than AUTO.)
DON'T USE AUTO MODE!
Please note all the images below are RAW and unedited (we'll tackle raw another day, if you're not already using that!)
AUTO (Bit underexposed, dull and slightly more noise) ^
MANUAL (Exposed nicely, bright and sharp)^
APERTURE MODE (Dull, too dark, Noisy)^
MANUAL (Much more light and much sharper. Easy to edit) ^
AUTO (flash, harsh shadows, not very sharp or detailed) ^
MANUAL (smooth exposure, no harsh shadows, more accurate aperture, smooth for editing)^
Hopefully you can now see how important this is. Start practising manual mode and watch your photography get drastically better.
The main issue is not practising, so get out- flick that dial around to manual mode and instantly be a better more knowledgeable photographer from it! Don't forget to share this with someone you know doesn't use manual mode regularly, share the love!
Best of luck and don't be shy to leave questions!