Guide to Manual Shooting Modes

Learn tips and tricks to using manual shooting modes on digital cameras.

Video Transcript

Cameras have pretty good automatic modes these days but you can only unleash the true potential of your photography skills when you break out of it. I'm Jon Rettinger ready to guide you through the manual shooting modes of digital cameras.Photography is all about light and you have three controls over it: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Basically, it's how long a lens stays open, how big the lens opening is, and how sensitive the digital sensor is to light. Let's take a look at how you can get the best exposure control and create results you want in semi automatic modes. Shutter speed determines how long the lens stays open when you take a picture. In shutter priority mode you decide the duration of the exposure and the camera adjusts aperture automatically. Shutter speeds can range from many seconds down to a tiny fraction of a second. Adjustments here are often used to control action. For example, if you select a really fast shutter speed you can freeze action with extreme sharpness. But sometimes you don't want the extreme sharpness so dial back the shutter speed a little bit to get that motion blur effect that provides some of the context to the action you see. Shutter priority is also often used at the other extreme to set long exposures keeping the shutter open for longer durations to create interesting effects. Aperture determines how wide or narrow the lens opening is when the picture is taken.

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