How To Use Manual Camera Mode Effectively

Digital Camera with manual camera mode
DSLR Camera with Manual Camera Mode

If you want to use your camera most efficiently, you need to learn how adjusting the aperture and shutter speed through a manual camera mode or alternatives is essential. This blog will discuss how to effectively use manual, aperture priority, or shutter speed priority on your camera. 

Manual Camera mode

If you want the most control over your camera, go with Manual camera mode (M on the camera’s mode dial). In manual mode, you must adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on your camera before taking a photo. The camera settings you select are your camera will use for the shot, so make sure your settings fit the situation.  

Manual mode is the camera mode to tweak every setting available on your camera. Manual mode is the best camera mode for shooting at night, such as extended exposure photography or a photography studio setting. 

Aperture priority Camera Mode 

Aperture priority mode (A or Av on the camera’s mode dial) is the most crucial mode to control what you shoot while avoiding tweaking the settings for each shot you take. Your camera chooses the shutter speed and selects the aperture and exposure compensation with aperture priority.  

Exposure composition is crucial as it determines the shutter speed you want compared to your camera’s choice. Adjusting the composition on your camera allows you to dial in the aperture, take a test photo, and correct your settings quickly if things aren’t to your liking. 

In most situations, the aperture will have more impact on the look of an image than shutter speed would. Professional Photographers will often use a small range of apertures for their photography. However, photographers will usually be happy with any shutter speed that works for their needs. The shutter speed difference between 1/50th of a second and 1/5,000th of a second is vastly different, but the effects on images will be minimal. 

Most professional photographers will have their camera set to aperture priority mode in most situations. Photographers use aperture priority because aperture priority provides the most balance between total control and ease of use for the photographer. 

Shutter speed priority Camera Mode 

The shutter speed priority Mode (S or Tv on the camera’s mode dial) is similar to aperture priority mode. However, you choose your camera’s shutter speed, and the camera will select the aperture. However, professional photographers rarely use this setting, but film cameras regularly use it.

The Case for Program Mode 

Understanding how optics work when taking good photos would help you understand how changing aperture and shutter speed combinations that provide equivalent exposure will change how the photo looks.

The program mode allows your camera to choose a shutter speed and aperture for correct exposure of your subject. Then, the camera lets you select a pair of values that will provide the same exposure you need. The choice of exposure depends on several circumstances. For example, you may want all the elements in your frame to stay in focus. This is typical for a landscape shot, or if you want to create more depth with a blurry background ideal for portraits. 

The camera will do most of the work for you, but what the camera does is it up to you. For example, you can correct your camera’s choices by compensating for your exposure. If you’re a beginner to creative shots, program mode is a great way to get started. It teaches you how aperture & shutter speed works together. In addition, using program mode can make it easy to progress to advanced photography techniques

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