Digital Photography: Manual Mode

Hi, I’m about to share a beginners guide to digital photography. Hope you’ll like it. Being a newbie at photography makes us wander at pictures, even looking at pictures from the net put our jaws down and stare at it with an awe.

But perhaps, I’m guessing that the best way to create stunning pictures is by mastering your DSLR, the round-about and the whole idea of what a DSLR camera can do for you, me also (the most).

I realize how lowly I am when it comes to digital photography when my younger brother and sister went out of town, that in order to masterize, maximize and for me also to leave being just a beginner is by jumping up to a higher level. What I mean is, our DSLR camera has several modes, lots and lots of shooting modes, but if we rely on those modes, when will we ever learn? You might be asking, what made me realize?

When my Uncle Paolo (my Father’s Cousin), my younger sister Imee and I went a visit to Manila Ocean Park, even though it’s my 2nd time visiting there, it still gives me the excitement, specially when I realize there’s a challenge on taking pictures there.

At Manila Ocean Park (MOP), taking pictures are allowed, but flash is not allowed, I already knew about the regulations of MOP, that made me took it like a challenge, how do I take a picture in such a dark room, where only the aquariums for the fishes are lightened?

I like this picture above but my sister is darkened, so I tried with flash although I’m watching around while taking the picture below in case a crew might take my camera into their custody (tsk3), but it resulted to this one below.

I thought placing flash would solve the problem but it even damaged the shot, YES, my sister was caught clearly but the jellies? They are like no where to be seen. So I thought, this is the problem, and I wanted to take good shots. So what I did is that, I experimented, by switching to Manual Mode, adjusting Shutter, Aperture and ISO.

I’m not so sure of this, but I guess, switching the camera mode into Manual, where we can fully have control of Aperture, Flash compensation,  Exposure, Shutter Speed and ISO Settings would help us to truly understand the capabilities, parameters and edges of Digital Photography.

Using the photography principle “shoot first, ask later”, I tried different shots, not long when I came to a better setting, better since my pictures turned out like this….

These shots we’re taken at a shutter speed of 1/40 – 1/60; aperture is f 4.6 and ISO is around 1600 to 3200.

The Shutter speed was set at a bit slower since flash is not allowed and could ruin the entire picture, using 1/40 – 1/60 helped in obtaining these shots.

Low Aperture helps in focusing on the subject, like taking a portrait picture, with the effect of blurring the background but keeping the Shutter speed slow to let a certain amount of light to enter the lens.

Since there is no flash and to compensate the picture due to the dark room, ISO is set to a higher setting, if I had used a ISO of 100 to 800, it will be darker, but when I tried 1600 and 3200, it helped on lightening the picture, but if when I tried using 6400 ISO, film like grains would appear, and too bright, I guess no one would like to see at that.

It’s so nice when I shot these dancing jellies with their vibrant and elegant colors. But my favorite shots we’re these strange looking sea creatures, but looks so awesome!

A resting Stonefish (above) and a shy Lion Fish (below).

I did learn a lot with these shots, Manual Mode helps me understand Digital Photography and I guess I’ll be using it more from now on. Thanks for viewing!

8 thoughts on “Digital Photography: Manual Mode

  1. Short but well written. I think new cameras have an enhanced system that regulates light for dark environments, they do not have infrared lights yet but a more sensible image sensor to light. By the way, great pictures.
    Daniel´s last blog post ..White ankle socks

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