On Shooting in Manual

I seem to have friends asking me for tips on using their cameras and I usually look at them dumbfounded. Probably because  it took me almost 10 years to FINALLY shoot in manual. Or maybe because I realize it is a learning process that a manual or class can't fully teach you…only using your camera can do that one. But now that I have full control of my camera, I love the results {most of the time}.

Ian was actually the reason we bought our first dslr. And he was the reason we bought our second one too. A little over a year after we bought our second dslr, we had Connor. I preferred my ole point and shoot camera to the dlsr. It was smaller and in general I ended up with much better pictures using the point and shoot than the dslr. Of course, that's because I didn't know how to use it!!! Well, my point and shoot eventually died, so I started using the dslr. I really didn't like it. It was big and it was hard to use.

SLOWLY, I started learning things. My first life changer was taking it out of auto and shooting in program mode. Then I learned about focal points. This actually was probably the biggest game changer for me in terms of picture quality. Next I learned about white balance. And, well, that really helped out the bath pictures I took of the kids. All along I would toy with manual mode, then get overwhelmed and switch it back to program. More and more I would play. Sometimes I would completely ruin pictures and it would totally and completely bum me out. This was mostly due to me not checking my settings and just taking pictures, then later realizing the settings were all wrong and I ruined all my pictures. Now days I am programed to look at the first couple pictures I take to make sure they are ok. In fact, I do that far more often than when I first pull my camera out…especially at times like when I took these pictures, when we were chasing the sun.

Honestly, years ago I couldn't have imagined taking pictures in low light without a flash would even work. Sure, part of it was the camera, our first dslr was like one of the originals…no joke. But also a lot of it was just not having the knowledge. I enjoy taking pictures now. I love my camera. It's like my third child. I don't mind carting it around. I love picking it up and playing with it and seeing how it will respond. Every day we get to know each other better and better and I love that.

Also, I would like to say, if you get overwhelmed with tutorials, know you are not alone. I did so much better reading about photography from other bloggers than I did about watching videos or reading tips from pros. It was always too much information and over my head. So, don't give up. Keep searching and trying and eventually you will master it.

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  1. I'm a 100% manual shooter myself and find myself learning more and more about my camera each time I pick it up.

    My husband was also the one who got me into photography...and well, look what it did. I'm obsessed!

  2. I also shoot only in manual and find it just makes the world of difference. I am still learning, with every click but I am enjoying teaching myself! :) Keep up the good work!


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