Shooting manual mode photography starts with a great camera
Before I bought my first digital camera, I had been using a point-and-shoot camera for a while. For basic picture taking, the point-and-shoot was just fine for capturing vacation or general family moments. But when I started my website, I really wanted to buy a camera that took professional grade images.
I did a lot of research before I settled on the Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera with the full accessory bundle on Amazon.
I also bought a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens for shooting food and other close up images. (See gallery below.) My photographer friend stated that this size lens would capture some really great food images.
So, I gave it a try and I think I shot some really nice pictures. (For a newbie.)
Camera Manual – Wow, so technical!
The camera manual was useful but it was also somewhat technical. As I read through it, I got some good tips that explained things like ~
- Basic Shooting and playback
- Creative Shooting tips
- Advanced Shooting tips
- Shooting at night
- Shooting portraits
- Setting the manual exposure features
But what does it all mean?
Those tips are fine but in manual mode photography, I wanted to understand what the manual settings meant. So, I needed someone to explain these things ~
- What is shutter speed?
- What is aperture?
- What is ISO
- What is white balance
My photographer friend to the rescue!
So, I asked my photographer friend to just explain manual photography settings in layman terms. Here is what she said ~
Shooting manual mode photography is best when you want to produce pictures with greater ~
- Photo Color
Auto-mode is nice but sometimes when you have situations where you need to tweak lighting, color or brightness, auto-mode may not elicit the outcome of what you want for the picture.
Shooting stars at night is one example where manual mode is very important. My friend explained the settings very simply and it helped me to understand why the following four settings should be used frequently.
The 4 manual mode settings explained
- The higher the number, the faster the photo is taken
- The slower the shutter, the more light can enter the camera (great for dark places or stars)
F-Stop aka Aperture (This controls how much light can go through the lens)
- The lower the number, the brighter the picture
- The higher the number, the darker the picture
ISO aka “Fake light”
- Use ISO if it is very dark and nothing else makes the photo brighter (low shutter speed & low F-Stop)
- Use a high ISO to shoot stars.
- If using high ISO in normal light, it can make photos grainy. (Grainy photos = bad)
- Using the right white balance in your surrounding can make a huge difference in how your photo looks
- Using Kelvin to control your white balance is the best way to make it accurate
- “Kelvin” is what temperature is measured in when referring to color
- The lower the Kelvin number, the colder or more blue in photo color
- The higher the Kelvin number, the warmer of more red in photo color
The fun part ~ taking lots of pictures!
After I started to understand the settings, I decided to experiment and take a lot of pictures. I experimented with night shots and day shots. Some turned out great, some didn’t.
I also did some jewelry pictures to possibly sell on Ebay. I had read jewelry pics were one of the most difficult pictures to shoot. But I’m always up for a challenge so I used my Canon EOS Rebel T6 and took pictures using the 18-55 mm lens (included) and the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 lens which I had bought separately.
Here are the results~
My friend also stressed that natural light should be used when ever possible. So, the best natural light, occurs between 10 am and 2 pm. I shot all the above jewelry pictures, by a window that had a Southern exposure.
I played with the ISO to adjust with the natural light. I also adjusted the F-Stop for more contrast control. I took a ton of pictures and of course, deleted a lot as well. It took some time, but I liked the results.
Note: I regret not writing down all the settings for future reference but if I do take more jewelry pictures later, I will update this post with all the manual settings that was used for the pics. (Sorry!)
Newbie photographer is having a blast!
I’m a newbie photographer learning a lot! At first, I thought shooting manual mode photography would be intimidating but it really wasn’t.
Once I understood why certain settings were used, and by taking pictures in all kinds of situation, I’m having a blast! It’s just so cool to see the final results!
Plus, my Canon EOS Rebel T6 is the best camera I have owned so far! I love the clarity, the sharpness and the colors that the camera captures.
I plan to take many more pictures for both personal and professional purposes from now on. (I can’t wait to use it to post more pictures for my website!)
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Again, thanks for visiting Liberation 2035. Even though I am so far from being a professional photographer, I hope this post had some helpful tips to help you along.
Hey, if you have any tips to offer, please feel free to leave a comment below. If you also have some great pictures to brag about, I’d love to have you share it here!
Much success and blessings to all!
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