BEGINNERS Guide to MANUAL Mode: It’s Easy! (VIDEO)

If you’re tired of hearing photo purists claim that, “you’re not a real photographer unless you shoot in Manual,” join the club. That’s simply a lot of bunk, as numerous pros of all genres regularly shoot very effectively in Aperture or Shutter Priority modes.

Even more to the point is the fact that Manual mode photography is a lot easier than you’ve been lead to believe—as you’ll see in the beginners guide below. In fact, after watching this 10-minute episode you’ll be ready to give it a try.

Simon d’Entremont is a professional landscape/wildlife photographer based in Eastern Canada, and he provides a straightforward explanation that’s easy to follow—even if you don’t have a ton of experience behind the camera. While semi-automatic modes usually work fine, shooting in manual may unlock some of your dormant creative potential.

Simon’s promise is simple: “I’ll show you how to get the exposure right, as well as controlling depth of field, and freezing the action.” He includes plenty of sample photos and a live demonstration of changing camera settings to make getting everything right as simple as possible.

While Simon doesn’t consider himself a “photo snob” he admits that, “shooting in Manual gives you ultimate control of the camera. In other words, not allowing the camera to make decisions, but rather putting them in your hands so you can take more creative photos.”

The lesson begins by reviewing the three key settings to consider when making exposure decisions yourself: Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO. Simon offers plenty of great advice, while explaining how these variables interact to yield a well-exposed image with exactly the look you want. Be sure to watch until the end, where he reveals a trick for when the action is moving fast and you don’t have time to fiddle with settings.

After watching the video head over to d’Entremont’s popular YouTube channel where he posts helpful weekly lessons just like this one.

On a related topic, be sure to watch the tutorial we posted from another expert, explaining how to avoid common shutter speed mistakes in landscape photography.