This blog captures my journey to take a break from jewelry designing to learn something new. Join me as I learn the art of photography and Photoshop Elements and watch me create through my lens. ~ Dee

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Letting Go of the Training Wheels in Manual Mode

Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike without training wheels?  If you're anything like me, it was a scary moment.  The crutch of having those extra wheels meant I didn't have to think about falling, balancing or how fast I could go...I just went with only one worry of making sure I didn't run into a tree!  In a sense, learning photography is very similar, especially with digital photography.  With today's camera's one can quickly turn to the automatic dial and snap away all day, with only the worry of a battery running low or running out of memory. 

Most digital camera's have several shooting options to make things easy.  First there are several scene modes, that include auto, portrait, landscape, close up, sports, food and the list goes on.  In auto mode, the camera selects the best settings," thought free", mode as some call it.  Here the camera chooses the best possible settings according to your focus.  In the other modes, the camera has fixed settings based on the type of subject you are shooting at the time.  Again, not a lot of thought goes into these modes, but the camera does allow limited setting changes depending on lighting.  

Then there are the "dreaded" professional modes to the beginner of P (program), S (shutter), A (aperture) and M (manual).  In the professional modes, you can begin to get creative with your photography, depending on what you want to do. Some allow limited changes to setting, and one in particular, puts you in the drivers seat with no training wheels. assignment was to let go of the training wheels and begin exploring in manual mode. In manual mode, I had to evaluate the subject, determine what I wanted to capture as a final image, then set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO and shoot!   Manual mode made me think through what I was doing, very similar to camera's from way back when.  While I shot the original photos in color, I converted to black and while when I got home. I was shooting in an industrial area of town and wanted to capture some history. With some post processing to the black and white,  I'm going to say it was a great first ride without the training wheels.

Next, I'll post some photos from my walk and describe to you what I was thinking before I released the shutter button. 



  1. Yeah, I haven't really gotten into photography that much, so when researching the new camera I got, those professional photography words came up and I was like, "Huh!?" Honestly, I had never heard of them before!

    I am quite curious to learn more about them though, but in the mean time, I'm just enjoying my camera for what it is :)

    What beautiful colors in that picture you took! I especially love the sky ^.^

  2. Thanks Kayla, all those professional words can be intimidating, but just take one setting at a time and you'll soon get the hang of it!



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