Full manual mode means full control. When you shoot in manual, you’re essentially telling the camera what aperture and shutter speed to use. You’re dictating what kind of depth of field your photos will exhibit as well as how much motion blur they will include. You can either set your ISO to automatic or you can control that as well. The question is, when would you want to use manual mode on your DSLR? You need to remember, when dealing with manual mode, it’s your responsibility to obtain a proper exposure. If your ISO setting is set to auto, the camera can help out some, but it may not be able to offer a proper exposure every single time you take a picture. To do that (and not even then), you’ll need to set your camera to Auto mode.
For my Canon T7i, I flip into manual mode by turning the top dial to the “M” setting. It’s that simple. It’s the same setting for most cameras (Sony, Nikon), with the exception of Fuji. This company is a bit different when it comes to camera settings. If you own one of these, you’ll need to set each aspect of the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed, ISO) to manual individually.
Shooting in full manual mode is a whole ball of wax unto itself. You’ll really need to learn how to go about this for good results. What I want to discuss here is when you may want to use this mode.
Let’s say you have a lower or higher light situation and you’re going for a particular look. It’s always better to get most of the appearance you’re going for right out of the camera, so you won’t have to change things too much in post-processing. Your camera wants to properly expose your images. If you’d like to darken a scene or brighten a scene on purpose, you can force your camera to under or over expose a shot using this mode.
Studio photographers almost always use full manual mode. When using strobe lights, the camera can’t predict what the lighting will be a second from now, so you’ll need to tell it. This is why you see photographers using light meters and other tools. Think about it this way; if you were taking a photo in a studio and you meter the camera in Auto mode, the camera is taking in the information for what the scene lighting is at that moment. When the strobe goes off and the scene gets much brighter, the camera isn’t prepared for all that light. It’s then you’ll find that your exposure isn’t correct. Most likely over exposed – by a lot.
Here’s a question for you. When do you use manual mode on your camera? What are your reasons for doing so? Please let me know down below. Thanks!