Automatic Versus Manual Mode

When receiving my camera I only shot in automatic mode because that was the only one that I knew how to use. It automatically set the elements to what they need to be to take a great photo. Most of the time the photos turned out exactly how I wanted them to but, going into photography I couldn’t always shoot in automatic mode and needed to become more sophisticated. Therefore I started to turn to use manual mode when taking photos. Manual mode refers to the settings on your camera that allows you to manually control aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Together, these three elements combine to affect the exposure of your photographs, which in turn impacts the general appearance—and sometimes quality—of your photos.

The difference between shooting your photographs in automatic vs. manual means that when you shoot in automatic mode, you are letting your camera have control over these aforementioned settings as opposed to you having direct control over them. Shooting in manual mode is scary though because you get more creative control with the camera than you usually do with automatic mode. With manual mode, if something goes wrong than it is on you for not having the settings the correct way. That is one of the main reasons that inexperienced photographers tend to stay away from shooting in such a daunting mode. For me, that is why I steered clear of it until I started to get a little bit more serious about my photography.

Shooting in manual mode lets you mess with two major things in photography: aperture and shutter speed. By manually controlling aperture you’ll have more control over the depth of field in your image- how much of the image is in focus. A large aperture (smaller f/number) will help you create shallower depths of field, which can help your subject to stand out from the background. On the other hand, you might want to select a smaller aperture (bigger f/number) if you want more of your photo in focus. As for shutter speed, being able to control it can help you capture motion in many ways. By selecting slower shutter speeds you can capture shots where your subject shows some motion blur. Or by using a fast shutter speed will help you freeze that instant in time. By using manual mode you are the creator of how exactly the photo will turn out.


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