We’ve decided to start a How to Shoot Manually (with a Canon) series. For years, I shot in Aperture Priority and I scratched my head on why my pictures were always underexposed. I had a basic understanding with what ISO, shutter speed and aperture meant but I really didn’t “get” how they all complimented each other. It took a ton of bad photos to realize what I was doing was completely wrong, and I was tired of fixing all of my mistakes in Photoshop.
As a wedding photographer, it is SO important to know how your camera works and how to use in every situation imaginable. You have no control over where you’re shooting, what the weather is and the entire lighting situation. All you can do is adapt – and quickly. With that said, here are some basic tips in shooting manually. I’m going to get deeper into the subject with each segment in a 4 part series.
When I take a picture I think in the order of:
1. Aperture: What do I want in focus? What do I want out of focus? Am I shooting a single individual or a large group?
2. ISO: Are we in full sun? Shade? Indoors?
3. Shutter Speed: Are my subjects moving? Is there ambient light I want to capture? Are my subjects backlit?
From there I will make minor adjustments to my settings to get a proper exposure. Here’s a photo with the EXIF data at the bottom.
I used a pretty shallow depth of field at f/2.2 to give the photo a softer look. It was also sunny out but I used ISO 200 since the sun was directly behind them and I wanted to brighten up their faces just a little. I also over exposed the image by a stop with my shutter speed so they were properly exposed with the strong sunlight behind them. I will get into this more later on.
I myself, truly can’t believe I know all of this because in the real world I don’t know how to work anything. I barely know how to get Netflix to work on our Playstation. How I figured out a Canon 5D Mark II can only be an act of a photography god. Basically what I’m telling you is, anyone can do this with a little determination and a lot of heart.
Questions? Concerns? Think I’m awesome? Leave a comment!