Intimidated by MANUAL Mode? Use These Settings for PERFECT Photos (VIDEO)

Admit it: You typically shoot in Aperture or Shutter Priority mode, and are pleased with your images. Yet you’re nagged by the nonsense that, you’re not a “real” photographer unless you use Manual Mode.

We say “nonsense” because plenty of acclaimed pros routinely use one of the semi-automatic modes to capture stunning imagery—and you may want to continue doing that too. But today we’ll get the Manual mode monkey off your back, by explaining exactly how it works so you can give it a try.

Professional portrait photographer Vanessa Joy demystifies the process of shooting in Manual mode in barely seven minutes—proving that it’s far less complicated than you think. She provides a straightforward demonstration of how to choose the proper camera settings, and offers a basic explanation of how they interact to achieve perfect exposures.

Joy uses her Canon M50 Mark II mirrorless camera to illustrate her preferred settings for different situations, but her guidance is equally applicable with any camera you own. She discusses f/stops, shutter speeds, and ISO settings, how they combine to achieve accurate exposures, and why the options you choose determine the look of your images.

Obviously, the camera settings you select depend upon a variety of variables, including light levels, the lens you’re using, whether or not there’s movement in a scene, and the depth-of-field you wish to achieve. The task at hand is also important; namely whether you’re shooting a portrait, landscape image, or action photo.

After watching this quick tutorial you’ll be confident about your understanding of how Manual mode works—even if you decide to continue shooting in the semi-automatic mode you’ve used in the past.

You can find many more tips and tricks on Joy’s instructional YouTube channel, so be sure and pay a visit.

And speaking of portraiture, check out the tutorial we posted from another pro explaining how to use backlight for sensuous available-light photos outdoors.