This is my fourth week experimenting with my DSLR camera — I am learning how to actually use it beyond the point and click setting!

If you’re new to this photography, it is a great idea to start with Aperture! Then once you’ve mastered that step, try your hand at Shutter Speed, and then ISO!

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the three elements of the exposure triangle: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, then it’s time to turn your camera into Manual mode!!

In Manual mode, you’re in control of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and you can adjust them to work together to get the perfect photograph!

How to set your camera to Manual:

Turn your mode dial to “M”.  Now you’re shooting in manual mode!!

When you’re shooting in Manual mode, the Main Command Dial will adjust your shutter speed.  To adjust ISO, hold the button labeled “ISO” while turning the Main Command Dial.  To adjust your aperture in Manual mode, locate the AV+- button and hold that down while turning the Main Command Dial.

Canon Rebel t2i

Exposure Level Indicator:

The Exposure Level Indicator is a scale that can help you find the right exposure for your photograph.  When you adjust Aperture, Shutter Speed, or ISO, you will see your ticker move left or right on the indicator.  In most cases, you want to the ticker to be in the center, at zero.  If it’s on the negative end of the scale, your photo will turn out under exposed.  If it’s on the positive end of the scale, your photo will be over exposed.

There are some situations where you may want your ticker to be off.  When shooting dark scenes, you may want to adjust your exposure to be a little over exposed to compensate.  In bright scenes, like a snowy landscapes, you may want to under expose your photo a little.


So get out your camera and play around!! It doesn’t take long to get used to adjusting the three elements of the exposure simultaneously, and the effort pays off! Keep practicing and you’ll be taking professional-quality photos before long!

If you want to learn even more, check out the next post on White Balance!

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2 Responses to Shooting in Manual

  1. […] A Few Things I Learned Posted on November 30, 2012 by avaughan I have been practicing my metering for the past two weeks, and I have been having so much fun! I am happy to say the overall quality of […]

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