Infographic: Basics of Shooting in DSLR Manual Mode

The manual mode of DSLR cameras is something that scares the shit out of most beginner photographers. But if you remember a few basics you will realize that it is nothing to be scared of. In fact, this is the mode that one should be shooting in since it gives you more control over exposure and the camera, which no other mode in your DSLR would give you. You will be controlling the shutter speed, aperture, ISO and many other things. Through the infographic below it is our aim to put it out as simply as we can the very basics of shooting in DSLR manual mode that you need to remember to master the ‘scary’ manual mode. So let’s get started. 

basics of shooting in DSLR manual mode

As you can see in the infographic that we have taken both Canon and Nikon as the two standard DSLR companies and have tried to explain manual mode in both. The manual mode in both Canon and Nikon cameras are symbolized by the letter ‘M’ on the dial on top of the camera. As a photographer, most of the time it should be your aim to keep the exposure scale at 0 (Zero). That is when the image is properly exposed to the light in which it is being shot at. If the scale moves towards the + sign, it means the image is overexposed, which will result in brighter images and if the scale moves towards the – (minus) sign it means the image is underexposed, which will give a darker image. There are, of course exceptions to this rule, but we will talk about them in a separate article. 

Shutter Speed, ISO and aperture are the three main things which control exposure. That is why together these three are known as exposure triangle. You would need to adjust them in respect of one another as well as individually depending on the condition you are shooting in. For instance, if you are shooting a flying bird and you want to freeze the bird in flight then you would need use a higher shutter speed of above 1/2000 seconds. But if the shutter speed is high, less light would go through to the sensor and the image will appear as underexposed (darker). To compensate for that you would have to use a large aperture and bump up the ISO. This arrangement would be different in different conditions. 

So this is basically what is there in the basics of shooting in DSLR manual mode. If you have any queries regarding this article, please post your comment in the comment section below and we will try our best to have them answered. 

One Comment

  • Sanjai Reply

    The cheat sheet will be handy.

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