For some photographers, shooting photos in manual mode can seem overwhelming. The whole process can seem like there is just too much that you have to decide on. However, this is not the case, and The Nerdy Photographer is here to show you how taking pictures in manual mode does not need to be as difficult as many make it out to be.

Only Three Things You Need to Adjust

There are only three settings you need to adjust when you are shooting photos in manual mode: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

That’s right! It is all about the exposure triangle. So here is your starter kit for shooting in manual mode

shooting photos taking pictures in manual mode infographic part one

Adjusting Your Settings

While this infographic mentions white balance, color temperature settings are something you need to make a decision on whether you are shooting in manual mode or not. However, when taking pictures in manual, you will need to adjust the other three to get the right exposure.

shooting photos taking pictures in manual mode infographic part two

Why Shoot Photos in Manual Mode?

I have seen a lot of younger photographers make comments online, saying things like, “Why shoot in manual? My camera has a light meter in it!”

Here is my answer to that:

Your camera is dumb!

No, seriously, I wrote an entire article about the different metering modes and how you have to out think your camera because it doesn’t always make the best decisions. Click here to read that article.

Also, once you learn to shoot in manual mode, you will get far more consistency from your exposures than if you shoot in other exposure modes. And that means less time in post-production. We all want to spend less time editing, right?

Should You Memorize Specific Settings?

I see a lot of TikTok and Instagram posts with captions that read “Here are my settings” and I just cannot with most of these posts.

While it is helpful to see what another photographer’s settings are sometimes. It can give you an idea of where to start in a particular situation, there are no ‘golden settings’ that are perfect for every situation.

I see too many “Here are the best settings for super crisp photos!” type of follow bait posts. And then the responses that read, “I used these settings and my photos didn’t come out like yours. You suck!”

You have to be aware of how to change up the settings yourself to get the picture that you want to take.

Get Creative!

Being able to adjust your settings manually will give you so much more flexibility and creativity in your photo taking. I highly recommend you learn this valuable skill. All it takes is practice and you’ll be taking pictures in manual mode in no time!

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