Manual Exposure Mode – Explained

Manual Exposure Mode

In the manual exposure mode the whole camera settings are under your control. Manual mode gives you freedom to customise every single setting at the time of shooting – shutter speed, Aperture, ISO, White balance, Colour Temperature(Tint), Exposure bracketing, In-built Flash-light compensation, External Flash-light compensation, Image Size & Formats, Metering modes, Focus points – Single, Multiple or particular area on screen/viewfinder and many more.

If you want to become a pro or a serious hobbyist or just want to learn the creative photography techniques, you are to master all these above settings in order to get the desired photograph. So you need to shoot on Manual Exposure Mode Only.

There are some modules specially designed for you in order to practice and master the manual mode. Hope this will definitely work and give you wonderful results as you practice more…

Module 1 – Mastering Shutter Speed

Set your dial on Shutter Priority Mode (Tv/S). Stand at your favourite place at your home, most probably the window is the best place to experiment where you see people, vehicles moving around and kids playing in the street. Now you switch on your camera and start shooting with a shutter speed of 1/1000 then with 1/500 and so on…(1/250 – 1/125 – 1/50 – 1/25 – 1/8 – 1/4 – 1/2 – 1sec – 2 sec) upto shutter speed of 4 seconds. You can decrease no. of shots as you can take 5 shots only with the same shutter speed range (from 1/1000 to 4 seconds). In the Shutter priority mode only Shutter Speed of the Camera will remain under your control, rest all other settings will be on auto mode. So After capturing you will get an idea that “Why & Where to use faster shutter speeds(e.g 1/200 or as less as 1/8000 of a second) and Slower shutter speeds(e.g more than 1 second).

You will find Slower the shutter speed will result in less static subjects in photo as you can see the things which are static, and could not see the things in motion(blurry lines).

Second practical you can do with water streams.

You can shoot water stream, outside if possible or just start with a water tap at your home.

While shooting at faster shutter speeds you will see the crystal clear image of the even water droplets coming out of tap. And while shooting at slower shutter speed you will see some milky white shades of water and all other subjects very much clear in the photograph.

Module 2 – Mastering Aperture

For Understanding the work of aperture in a photograph you need to know whether you want Shallow Depth of Field(blur background) or Narrow Depth of Field(sharp background).

Or in simple words we can say the depth of the area in sharp focus is depth of field.

Example – Take the lens with the widest available aperture either it’s a kit lens with 3.5 or a 50mm with 1.8. Take one photo with the widest available aperture and compare the same frame with an aperture of atleast 22 or 16. In the photo with higher f-stop no. you will observe more area in sharp focus, and in the photo with the lower f-stop no. you will observe more blurred or defocused area.

You can practice these photos at any place whether it’s crowded or at table with different set of cups or at garden with flowers or landscapes. You can clearly see the difference in sharp focused area with changing the aperture value.

You can also use the aperture to control the amount of light coming into the camera.

For any questions please comment.

Controlling Light and Exposing Right

In the last post we came to know about What is right exposure and the factors affecting the exposure of a picture. To register a perfect tone image on your digital camera sensor, one must allow the correct amount of light to reach the digital sensor. The three factors that control the path of light are sensor sensitivity (ISO), shutter speed(SS), and aperture(f-stop).

When the film photography was dominant, exposure was an really important subject. The digital era has brought us light-years forward because we can now see the result instantly. Just as with film cameras, the DSLR takes into account the brightness of the frame, the contrast, the color of the picture and the area in focused. When automatic exposure is set, the camera calculates all the settings accordingly and much more instantly.

You can now review your pictures immediately after exposing, on the LCD screen on the back of your digital camera. If you are a beginner to photography, there are many other different aspects that have to be considered before you take each picture. How do I compose the picture? Is it in focus or not? What should be the background? Until all these elements start to become second nature, it’s good to keep your camera on auto-exposure. This will give you one less thing to worry about while you concentrate on all the others parameters. Then gradually, as you become more technically strong and have learned to hold the camera the right way, you’ll start to adjusting the small adjustments that are possible on your camera to get a perfect exposure as per your learning and experience.

On most of the DSLRs and high-end compact digital cameras, you have the option of setting the exposure manually(M-mode). This is time where we begin to play with the camera’s settings to get perfect exposure. Moreover we now start overexposing and underexposing the photograph as per our need.

  1. Camera Sensor Sensitivity(ISO)

In Film photography you need to change films if you want to change the ISO. Eg. If you are shooting at ISO100 film and suddenly the weather changed now you need ISO400 to get your desired image, So you need to change the other film of ISO400.

On the other hand in Digital photography, DSLR allows you to shoot a group of pictures, or even a single picture, at one ISO setting, then change the ISO setting on the same memory card and keep shooting. You can change the ISO as many times as you need.

  • Shutter speeds(SS)

Here are some basics about shutter speeds to begin with:

• If the light is really bad, try not to go below 1/60 second. If you must, hold your camera very still and don’t expect to freeze any action.

• For everyday pictures such as portraits and views, use speeds of 1/60 second to 1/250 second.

• To stop a racing car, or someone riding a bicycle, start with 1/1000 second.

NOTE: To avoid the camera shake, your shutter speed should not be less than the focal length of the lens you are shooting with.

  • Aperture (f-stop)

Here are some basics about Aperture/f-stops to begin with:

• As a general rule, f/5.6 gives a little bit of depth of field, provided the lens focal length isn’t too long, and is still wide enough to enable high shutter speeds.

• If it gets really dark, don’t be afraid to open your aperture to its maximum available aperture, for example, f/1.2 or f/1.8.

• If you need loads of depth of field, or you want a slow shutter speed, stop down to f/11 (when using a short lens) or f/16.

If your picture looks a little bit lighter or darker than it should, take another parameter to adjust the exposure. You can make your image lighter by increasing your exposure, or darker by decreasing the same. NOTE: f/8 can be used as a universal aperture perfect for any genre of photography.

Note: Your most of the lens usually gives the best sharpness at one stop down to the widest aperture available at your lens. eg. Lens with f/1.8 will give its best sharpness at f/2.8 not at f/1.8. anyone can experiment this and visualize the difference.

DSLR – Choose your camera & Lens

The very first thing we came to know from the Master’s of Photography is that “The Camera is just a device, the image is in the mind behind the camera”.

So, the vision of a photographer is the most important thing. No matter which camera you own, you just need to work and master the basics of photography. Now we will give you an insight that what camera specifications you should keep in mind while choosing your camera.

The first thing you are clear about is what kind photography do you do? Are you more than a amateur or just starting off. So, we will discuss this in detail so that one can choose his or her camera to shoot stunning images.

If you are just starting off or an amateur you can pick any basic version of DLSR from your favourite brand along with one normal lens i.e. 50mm with widest possible aperture under your budget. Don’t be misguided by company’s megapixel or their lens combo offers. Purchase the things which suits your budget and fulfilling your requirement or need.

The crop sensor cameras work fine for any genre or if you are not sure what type of photography will you do in future. After known to your style and genre of your photography you can change or upgrade your camera and lens as per your need. Even then if you sure then some focal length are fit for the following genre.

14mm to 24mm – Ultra wide angle coverage, suitable for shooting venues, landscapes, skyscapes or seascapes.

24mm to 35mm – Wide angle coverage, perfect for shooting streets or some landscapes also with showing less area than ultra wide angle lens.

50mm – Normal lens equivalent to human eye. suitable for any work you want or just say the perfect prime lens to start with.

85mm to 100mm – Narrow angle of view and this focal length is perfect for capturing Portraits.

100mm to 200mm – Very Narrow viewing angle and is now in trend for Candid Photography, Portrait Photography, Event Photography and by journalists as well.

More than 200mm – The focal length is usually useful for wildlife photographer or astronomical photographers only.

Note: For the Crop Sensor cameras there is a Crop Factor provided in the instruction manual for every camera, Is we are using a full frame camera lens on a crop frame camera body, then we are to multiply the focal length with the crop factor to get the working focal length of that particular lens.

Example – Body Canon 3000D and Lens is Canon EF 24-105, F/4

crop factor = 1.6x so, the 24-105mm EF lens will work as 38-170mm lens of Canon 3000D or Canon 1100D, 1200D, 1300D, 200D, 750D etc.

You need High resolution image producing camera or a full frame camera when you require details more than the usual work. eg. in product photography you need more details so you need very fine lens and a high resolution camera body. Same applies to the Fashion photography & Commercial Advertising Projects.


Looking for your queries.

Image Credits : Featured Photo by Lilly Rum on Unsplash

Transition from Analogue to Digital Era

A way long, the whole concept of photography has changed drastically. The whole system of negative roll has been taken over by the digital era. Here we will discuss about what has changed and what not.

Starting with the concept of photography, the basics are still the same. The whole photography techniques moved around the Aperture, Shutter and ISO. The things which changed from analogue to digital is the medium at which the photo is being captured i.e Negative rolls or Glass Plates to Electronic Sensors.

Earlier the Negatives of different size were available so as CMOS sensor now. Very common size of negative used and familiar to the general public is 35mm(24x36mm) negative film and the maximum size available known to professionals only were “20inches x 24 inches”, In between there were many different size of negatives available in past – 4x4cm, 4x6cm also called 120mm film, 5x7inches glass plates.

Now, for the same work DSLR Camera or any electronic camera have CCD/CMOS Sensors on which the image is captured. These sensors are also of different sizes and consists of a smaller unit called pixels, the more the pixels the more will be the details in the photograph. Each Pixel is made up of 3 color bars – Red, Green, Blue.

The Camera which have a sensor size equivalent to 35mm is categorised as a Full Frame Camera, and the camera those have a sensor size less than a full frame is known as Crop Frame Camera. There are 100s of camera models available from different brands with Crop Frame Sensor. There are limited no. of Full Frame Cameras which are now ruling the market from different brands. The Full frame camera comes under the Professional camera from each brand and are most used for photography purpose. There are now hybrid camera available in the market which offer both the operations of making video and capturing photos with professional settings and output.

The Electronic sensor available of maximum size in some commercial camera is 8×10 inch in LargeSense LS911 Camera.

Focussing System

The Focussing system has also been changed from manual to very fast & automatic. Earlier the focus and aperture settings were manually set from the different rings present on lens. Now the whole focussing system is converted to electronic and automatic system which gave a revolution in photography by giving birth to so many categories of photography specially where fast focus was necessary eg. sports photography, Wildlife photography. With Fast and Automatic focus system we are now able to capture any subject with more precise focus results in more sharp and detailed images.

Although the 35mm negative film was having a resolution equivalent to approx 40 megapixels of electronic image. So the details we also good in the analogue photography also, the only thing changed is lens are now more precise and fast.

Image stabilization

With the electronic era one more concept came into trend i.e. Image Stabilization/Vibration Reduction. This is the method through which the camera shake can be adjusted upto an extent. Now some lens are able to handle that upto 5stops Image Stablilization which means with this option if you are are to shoot a picture at a SS-1/2000 then you are now able to click the same with image stabilization ON at SS-1/60 also, the image will not have a shake in the final result. The Image Stabilization works for the Camera shake reduction not for the subject movement blurs or shakes. Most of the Zoom Lens coming into the market are generally having at least 1 or 2 stop of image stabilization.


Earlier in analogue photography cameras the widest available aperture was 2.5 or nearby, but now a days in the electronic era, there are lens available in the market with an aperture of 1.1 as well.

Speed of Camera

The image taking capability of the cameras has drastically changed as of now the DSLR camera can shoot photos at upto 20 frames per second or more on continuously shooting the images.

So, this was all about the differences came in the equipments from Analogue to Digital Era. There is a lot more in detail.

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