This quick tip is about using manual mode on your camera. Your camera has a lot of really great settings like program and aperture priority and shutter priority. But those are all automatic settings where the camera is making decisions for you on how bright or dark the image should be.
The automatic settings on your camera are actually pretty smart. What does it do? It looks at the entire scene, the entire frame and tries to average out the bright and the dark areas so that you get a good even exposure.
Problems of Auto Settings
The problem is, for example, I only want to lit the face of my model properly when I take a portrait photo. I don’t care if the area behind my model is dark. But the auto settings try to lit the dark areas to show what I don’t really care about.
The other challenge with auto settings is as I move around whether I zoom out or the light changes a little bit or the camera angle changes, the exposure is going to be all over the place because the camera is consistently reading the exposure and trying to do the right thing but it is just not smart enough to know exactly what I want.
Benefits of Manual Mode
If I switch to the full manual I can dial in my exposure exactly where I want. My shutter speed and my aperture and get the right exposure perfect every time whether I zoom all the way in or all the way out.
That’s really the benefit of shooting manual. It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting tight or wide. It doesn’t matter if the subject sitting in the front row or the tenth row. My exposure is going to be exactly the same every single time, properly exposed for the subject that I want.
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