A Beginner's Guide to Using Manual Mode

Manual mode can be a bit intimidating to a lot of new photographers, but learning how and when to use it will make you a better shooter and give you far more creative control over your images. This helpful video tutorial will show you the ins and outs of manual mode and how to use it to create technically correct and creatively inspired photos. 

Coming to you from Pye Jirsa with Adorama TV, this fantastic video tutorial will show you the ins and outs of using manual mode. The reason manual mode is so powerful is because it gives you total control over balancing the technical and creative aspects of an exposure. Even cameras with the best metering systems can only work to make a technically correct exposure; they do not know how you want to specifically combine shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for the desired creative effect. That being said, you don't always have to use manual mode; semi-auto modes are quite often just as good (or even better) a choice in certain situations. Nonetheless, it pays to be comfortable with manual mode. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Jirsa. 

If you would like to continue your photography learning journey, be sure to check out our range of tutorials in the Fstoppers store.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I always tell people who are just getting into photography to try manual mode first. Sure, it can be intimidating and there is a lot to juggle but if you just set 2 of the three options in stone (usually aperture and ISO) and play with the remaining one, you can quickly learn what each setting does in the span of a day or so.