The #1 Photographer Tip! | How to shoot better photos with your DSLR!

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YoungPhotoGirl

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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.

974a5a_f7267b8638bb4a72a8578a398b04912c~mv2.webp

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!)
974a5a_d721199d6b65426d9fb84d636e73a2b6~mv2_d_4608_3072_s_4_2.webp

AUTO (Bit underexposed, dull and slightly more noise) ^
974a5a_f531b7a44542421d9a5c6aa00b5b505d~mv2_d_4608_3072_s_4_2.webp

MANUAL (Exposed nicely, bright and sharp)^
974a5a_dc5aed5e80d94231a4de4b60cc6bc4cd~mv2_d_4608_3072_s_4_2.webp

APERTURE MODE (Dull, too dark, Noisy)^
974a5a_9304010dabd0422a938845b9420c43c4~mv2_d_4608_3072_s_4_2.webp

MANUAL (Much more light and much sharper. Easy to edit) ^
974a5a_43e0d8cbc2ad4e9f85e2ed96aa7a2399~mv2_d_4608_3072_s_4_2.webp

AUTO (flash, harsh shadows, not very sharp or detailed) ^
974a5a_d91506740c6647b989a752e086a10347~mv2_d_4608_3072_s_4_2.webp

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!
Karissa Best

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Ysarex

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"...so get out- flick that dial around to manual mode and instantly be a better more knowledgeable photographer from it!"

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Joe

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"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."

I've been a professional photographer for over 30 years and the real truth is: the whole "manual mode" shtick is a reverse psych ploy we Pros have used for decades. We drop hints and make snide remarks all the time to get amatuers thinking they're inadequate and need to use manual. What we want is to confuse them and have them screw up trying to use manual so fewer and fewer of them will pose a threat to us. Like most Pros I use my cameras in semi-auto and Program modes almost exclusively -- only exception would be off camera flash. The semi-auto and Program modes let me work faster and more accurately.
 
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tirediron

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So... that's all there is to it then? Huh... apparently I've wasted a LOT of time learning useless information! :(
 
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YoungPhotoGirl

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Are you a noob? A beginner? If not.... then I blatantly said I wasn't talking to you. I'm talking to those who are too scared to use manual.
 
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YoungPhotoGirl

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"...The semi-auto and Program modes let me work faster and more accurately.
Fair enough... but you also lose a lot of control over the result. Kind of like driving an automatic car vs a manual. Sure....its easier, faster... but if you understand the equipment fully then manual will always be better.
 
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YoungPhotoGirl

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Pretty much wondering why people even comment on here if they aren't going to actively help others.
 

snowbear

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You're on a public forum, so you are talking to all of us.

I have a question . . . how can those be unedited raw photos when the raw format is not an image? Oh, wait; so looking at the page source, these are actually JPEGs, which means the camera edited them for you, automatically.
 
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YoungPhotoGirl

YoungPhotoGirl

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You're on a public forum, so you are talking to all of us.

I have a question . . . how can those be unedited raw photos when the raw format is not an image? Oh, wait; so looking at the page source, these are actually JPEGs, which means the camera edited them for you, automatically.
Converting to JPEG from RAW only affects the quality. last i checked i can't upload RAW to this forum.
 

dxqcanada

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I would be interested to hear from our nooby members that do not use manual exposure if it is because they fear using it.
 

480sparky

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Um............ not everyone even NEEDS to learn to use manual.
Ok... I'm trying to establish the purpose of your comment....

You disagree with my comment, but don't understand it.

Well, I'd explain it to you. But since you're in Auto-Disagree Mode with every response posted here, I'll move on.
 
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YoungPhotoGirl

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I would be interest to hear from our nooby members that do not use manual exposure if it is because they fear using it.
Most, if not all, newbies that I've ever talked to say they have no idea how to use it. The purpose of this thread was to give them a head start on practising it.
The negative feedback from supposed "professionals" has me more amused than anything. But yes... im interested to know why people don't think manual is important to learn. It most certainly is.
 
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YoungPhotoGirl

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Um............ not everyone even NEEDS to learn to use manual.
Ok... I'm trying to establish the purpose of your comment....

You disagree with my comment, but don't understand it.

Well, I'd explain it to you. But since you're in Auto-Disagree Mode with every response posted here, I'll move on.
I think it's rather the other way around lol.
I wrote an entire explanation and you basically said NO and didn't explain yourself....YOU, were the one with automatic disagreement lol #gaslighting
 
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YoungPhotoGirl

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Not to mention the negative feedback is from supposed "professionals" who don't even use manual. Hence my humour ...a lot of trolls on this site.... hopefully a decent person reads this and is happy for my free advice
 
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