MANUAL Mode is NOT the “Holy Grail” of Photography: Here’s Why & How to Use it (VIDEO)

Let’s get this out of the way up front: The old adage that, “you’re not a real photographer unless you shoot in Manual mode” is sheer and utter nonsense. Plenty of pros use Aperture or Shutter Priority depending upon the situation at hand. Feel better?

That said, shooting in Manual does have benefits under certain conditions, as you’ll see in the quick video below. In less than nine minutes, Finnish pro Peter Forsgard explains when and why he recommends making camera settings yourself, and when another exposure mode may be a better choice.

Forsgard admits that experimenting with manual photography can be beneficial to understanding how a camera’s light meter works. At the same time, he’s adamant that for everyday photography with today’s sophisticated cameras, “You simply don’t need to use Manual mode and there are usually better ways to get exposure right.”

We expect this episode to generate bit of blowback from the purists, but see what you think. Forsgard begins by correcting several misconceptions about Manual mode. He then provides an overview of different exposure techniques, and what  “correct exposure” really means.

It all boils down to prevailing light levels, which don’t change regardless of the exposure mode in use. To bolster his case Forsgard demonstrates how you’ll often arrive at the same exposure settings—whether you’re shooting in Manual or one of the semi-automatic modes (that enable you to work faster).

Forsgard wraps up this lesson by revealing which exposure mode he uses most, followed by a quick discussion of the editing techniques he employs to tweak his results.

You can find more tips and tricks on Forsgard’s YouTube channel, so pay a visit and subscribe after watching this video

And be sure to check out the thought-provoking tutorial we posted recently, explaining why another expert says JPEG photos do not reduce print quality.