Pictures are one of the best ways to capture a beautiful scene; they keep memories alive. A DSLR camera is most efficient when you take control and operate it manually.
Your pictures can get the right exposure and lighting that matches your scene. This infographic emphasizes on how to do manual mode DSLR photography like a pro.
It eases the transition from using auto mode to taking full control of your DSLR camera.
How to Use DSLR Camera Manually Beginners Guide:
Important Steps for Learning How to Use DSLR Camera Manually are:
- Mastering the shooting modes
- Understanding what ISO to use
- Learning the exposure triangle
- Understanding metering and exposure compensation
- Learning about focusing
- Understanding the file types and sizes
- Learning about white balance
1. Mastering The Shooting Modes
The various shooting modes are found on a dial with the labels Auto, AV, TV, P, M’ and more. Aperture Priority (AV/A) – this influences the depth of the field captured. The depth is measured in f-stops’.
A small f-number i.e. f/2.0 indicates a larger aperture and a big f-number i.e. f/20 indicates a small aperture. To shoot a large depth of field, use a small aperture and for a shallow depth, use a large aperture.
Shutter Priority (TV/S) – shutter speed is defined as the amount of time the shutter stays open when shooting an image. More light is captured through the sensor, the longer the shutter remains open.
You need a short shutter speed to freeze a fast moving subject and a long shutter speed to blur a moving subject.
Program (P) – this mode allows you to change either the aperture or the shutter speed. The camera is able to maintain the correct exposure by adjusting the other one accordingly. If you change the AV, the camera automatically adjusts the TV for correct exposure.
Manual (M) – this mode dictates that you adjust the AV and TV yourself. If you change the aperture, you also have to adjust the shutter speed for the right exposure.
2. Understanding What ISO to Use
This is the measure of the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light. The measure of sensitivity is represented numerically i.e. ISO 100 (low sensitivity) up to ISO 6400 (high sensitivity) and beyond.
When shooting in bright light it is ideal to use low ISO numbers. Higher ISO numbers are better for low light situations.
3. Learning The Exposure Triangle
The shutter speed, aperture and ISO are all linked to influence your camera’s exposure. You have to balance them accordingly.
4. Metering and Exposure Compensation
Using the auto exposure feature the camera will assess the scene and try to calculate an average exposure. All tones within the image have an average of 18% grey (middle grey).
This is referred to as metering and it explains why an image shot in bright light appears darker and an image shot in low light appears brighter.
Metering Modes: Average- the camera will assess the entire image, corner to corner, and expose the scene to 18% grey from the assessment. Centre-weighted- camera focuses on the center that comprises of approximately 80% of the scene. Spot Metering– the camera will assess a very small area of the scene, approximately 5% of the total scene and expose it to 18% grey.
Exposure Compensation: This is found on +/- button near the shutter and allows you to increase or decrease the default meter reading to account for actual brightness of the scene.
5. Learning about Focusing
In every field, there is a subject of your image that you want to focus on. A number of squares/dots can be seen across the viewfinder screen. When you half press the shutter one of the squares is highlighted in red; that is the active focus point.
6. Understanding The File Types and Sizes
Your camera offers you the option to store images in RAW or JPEG file types. RAW file type is uncompressed and has a lot of image data.
This offers flexibility during post-processing of photographs. JPEG file type is compressed and automatically processed by the camera. It is the most ideal type to use when you are starting out.
7. Learning about White Balance
The auto WB/ AWB feature tries to predict the color of light by detecting the predominant color of the scene and countering it. This feature may lead to images with inaccurate colors.
There are a variety of preset modes in the camera to overcome light colors in different situations. It is best to set white balance manually.