Day 13 | Setting and Using Your Camera on Manual Exposure
control to get a creatively correct exposure every time, that setting is Manual Exposure. Wow, imagine getting a correct exposure every time! In my mind, I was sure that my Nikon camera would know what to do, I mean all of this talk about correct exposure stuff, my camera already knows what to do, right? Ummmm, NO! I was devastated to say the least, but I was also relieved at the fact that it now explains why the majority of my pictures look too dark, too light and some completely unrecognizable. But it still never explained the ones that came out decent, how did that happen, what did I do and how do I get that same result again? It was so frustrating! I know you are frustrated too because this is the most common question I get on so many occasions.
Now I am smart enough to know that if others are getting great results, then I must be missing something. Years ago, I read a book called, “Questions are the answers” by Allan Pease. This is a sales marketing book, but the same principles will apply here. If I ask myself enough questions and seek out the information, I will figure out the answers. It wasn’t till after many months of trying to figure out why my images seemed to never be as good as what I had seen others in the photography arena could do, that I stumbled onto the how to’s of shooting in Manual. There was my answer to all of the images that had failed. I was so excited to say the least.
I know of no other way to consistently get correct exposures than to learn how to shoot in manual exposure mode. It really is so simple. You’ll better understand the outcome of your exposures when you choose to shoot in semi or full autoexposure modes. With your camera and lens in front of you, set your camera dial to M for manual. (if you’re unsure how to set your camera to the M or manual, read the manual!)
Get someone to be a subject for you that you can photograph, now go out to a shady part of the yard or a park, or if it is an overcast day, anywhere in the yard or park will do. Regardless of your camera, and regardless to what lens you are using, set your lens opening to the number 5.6 (f/5.6), this is your aperture or f/stop. Place your subject up against the house or some six to eight foot shrubbery. Now look through the viewfinder and focus on your subject. Adjust your shutter speed until the camera’s light meter indicates a “correct” exposure in your viewfinder and take the picture. You have just made a manual correct exposure!
Now that you are operating in manual exposure mode, you can never go back! Make note of this memorable day, it is sure to be one you will never forget!
Today’s Takeaway and To Do’s:
You own a Do-It-All Camera that often falls short of its promise, yielding disappointing results, now you know!
No more shooting in auto for you! You now know how to shoot in Manual exposure, make note of this memorable day!
1. Try this for comparison. Take one picture outside anywhere on Auto setting
2. Get out there and shoot with your camera (Leaving your camera in the setting f/5.6).
3. Each time you want to take a picture, keep your manual exposure to M, f/5.6 and dial in the correct exposure and shoot!
4. Now compare the Auto exposure image to the images you took in M exposure and on f/5.6
Eye opening isn’t it? Like I said, no more auto exposure for you! Oh, happy day!
See you tomorrow!