Going to manual camera mode – Day 1

Having left the Auto mode some time ago, using either Aperture or Shutter Priority modes, it is time to take more control of my camera. To do so I will do this in some logic order to ensure I get a full understanding of the many options, their impact and errors I may encounter.

Since practice makes perfect, the first round will be about experimenting with the basic exposure settings:

  • ISO
    • 100 – bright daylight
    • 200 – sunny day
    • 400 – day lit room or overcast day
    • 800 – dimly lit room
    • 1600 – darker scene
  • Aperture
    • f/2.8 to f/5.6 – portraits
    • f/8 to f/16 – landscapes
  • Shutter Speed
    • 1/30 to 1/250 – subject not moving
    • 1/250 and above – subject moving

To help me with reviewing the result for each photo take, I will be using auto exposure bracketing (+/- 0.7EV, 3 frames). This will point me in the right direction for any correction that may be needed.

To start easy, I selected two locations in my backyard. The first was a corner on the East side. I started with setting at ISO 200, f/8 and 1/60 sec, (1/100 and 1/40 for the brackets). The result I got were:


Shutter @ 1/60


Shutter @ 1/100


Shutter @ 1/40

It seems I was off a bit, the photo @ 1/100 sec seems to be it, but to make sure I took another set, using ISO 200, f/8 and 1/100 sec, (1/160 and 1/60 for the brackets). It confirmed that the best speed was 1/100 sec:


Shutter @ 1/100


Shutter @ 1/160


Shutter @ 1/60

Next up, the West corner of my backyard. This time I started with setting at ISO 200, f/8 and 1/100 sec, (1/160 and 1/60 for the brackets). The result were:


Shutter @ 1/100


Shutter @ 1/160


Shutter @ 1/60

The differences between the 1/100 and 1/160 made me think that 1/125 sec might just do the trick, so I went for it:


Shutter @ 1/125


Shutter @ 1/200


Shutter @ 1/80

Judging by the results, 1/125 sec seemed to be the best setting.

This concluded my first day of shooting in manual mode. I even stayed away from cheating by first selecting the “Program” mode to see what setting I would get. Next up will be more shutter speed testing using varying light conditions, and trying to shoot moving objects.

Note: Original size photos are available via My Flickr Album!