SHOOTING IN MANUAL MODE
by Kyle Jenkins
Welcome to the second installment in our Essential Tips to Great Outdoor Photography. This three-part series is meant to help anyone wanting to become a better outdoor photographer. Last time we talked about timing, composition and inspiration. In this article we explore using a D-SLR or pro-level mirrorless camera on manual mode to fully control your creative expression.
When I was first learning about photography, it helped to think of the camera as a mechanical eye, which is essentially what the technology is trying to mimic. Relating the features of our eyes to the controls on the camera can make the concepts less foreign. In this comparison, a camera’s aperture is like a pupil that dilates and contracts depending on light levels, and the shutter is like an eyelid that opens and closes to control the light that reaches the pupil. Just as your pupils will contract and your eyelids will instinctively shut when you look toward the sun, so you will have to use a quick shutter speed and a small aperture when shooting in bright conditions. In low light, on the other hand, keeping your shutter open longer and using a dilated aperture will allow as much light as possible to reach the sensor. Once you learn to control these two variables and gain an understanding of ISO, you can take just about any photo you like.