Quickest Path to Understand Manual Mode for Beginners in Seven Days - Day 1

October 01, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Welcome to day one of seven toward your easy journey to understanding manual mode on your digital camera.

Day 1:   Low Aperture Low Depth of Field

The assignment for day 1 is to use aperture priority mode and practice taking photos with a low aperture setting.  Try the lowest setting you have for your aperture.  It may be as low as 1.8, 2.0, or 2.8, 4, or 5.6.  When you are taking photos, document what the camera chose for ISO and shutter speed.  Also, make notes as to what the background looked like.

Your camera should be in AV (on Canon cameras) or "A" for most others like Nikon, Sony, Olympus, etc.  The settings for ISO may have its own control as well, so for this task make sure ISO is set to Automatic.

If you need some help deciding what to photograph, this aperture setting is great for portraits, flowers, or low light conditions.

Something I often do is try to guess what the shutter or ISO might need to be for that aperture setting.   Realize that the camera is actually still in an automatic mode.  We are just controlling the aperture and the camera will adjust both the ISO and shutter speed to attempt to provide for the best exposure.  Don't worry if your guess is way off because you will get better with practice.

I have created a practice sheet that I encourage you to use so you can reflect back on what you have done and also make you pay closer attention to how the camera responds to your choices.  Click here for the pdf.  In the notes column, you may want to indicate the light conditions because that will have an impact on the settings the camera chooses.

Come back for tomorrow's assignment.  And above all have fun.

Youtube message:  https://youtu.be/apMgXUUKUvc


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