Do you have a DSLR camera and always wondered about using manual mode? Well, it’s time to stop wondering and make it happen! When it comes to manual mode, there are four main things that are important to understand: shutter speed, aperture or f stop, ISO and the light meter.
First, let’s discuss the location of each of these on the camera screen. This is the screen from my Canon 70D. The shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are all found on the top row to the right of the M in that order. The light meter is located on the second line and is also important when using manual mode. When the shutter button is held down halfway, there will be a dash under the light meter. Generally the dash should be in the middle at zero.
When the shutter button is held down halfway, there will be a dash under the light meter. That dash, most of the time, should be in the middle at zero. More information on the light meter and unique lighting situations can be found here.
The higher the denominator in the fraction is, the faster the shutter speed will be. To stop the action when shooting sports, the shutter speed should not be any slower than 1/250. If you want to stop a baseball, your shutter speed will need to be faster. For example, the photo below was taken at 1/3200 of a second.
Aperture (f stop)
The smaller the number, the smaller part of your photo will be in focus. This is known as having a shallow depth of field. The bigger number is known as having a deep depth of field. More light is let in with the smaller number for aperture.
High ISOs are used in low lighting situations. Pictures may appear grainy at high ISOs. This is what happens when trying to compensate for low lighting. More information on ISO can be found here.
The best way to learn manual mode is through practice, so go out and start shooting!