Monday, 27 January 2014

Experimenting with Manual Mode

"Oh I'd love a DSLR camera," I said, so Andy bought me one for our wedding anniversary. 

"I'll work out how to use it," I said. But I didn't. For the last 6 months I've been using the camera on 'Auto' mode. That's cheating, I know. It's also easy. I kept thinking about turning the dial to 'Manual' but deciding what aperture, shutter speed etc to use seemed beyond me. 

"I haven't got time to work it all out," I kept telling myself... until the other day. The other day I turned on the camera, found some children willing to be photographed and started experimenting. I watched a few Youtube videos and skimmed a couple of books, and I think I might actually be getting somewhere. Oh, I know I've still got lots to learn. But I'm beginning to understand how everything works. 

Here are a few of my successful photos...





Andy being silly



Casey and Callum

I'd love to have some better photos to share with my blog posts, so I'll keep on experimenting and learning.

Do you have a DSLR camera? Do you have any photography tips for me? Please share!


  1. Wow! What treasures you have. Seems you're doing pretty well with that thing. Have a blessed day.

    1. Michelle,

      I was pleased with these photos. I just grabbed the camera while everyone was still sitting at the table after dinner, and snapped a few pictures. Somehow I chose the right settings!

      God bless you!

  2. Ooh, you have inspired me again! I decided to experiment with non-auto mode last year but I tried to start with photographing nature, and I didn't actually get round to doing any research, so I didn't get very far! Your photos are gorgeous and very inspiring. Can you recommend a particular website or video to start with?

    1. Lucinda,

      It has taken me so long to start experimenting with my camera. I'm not very good when it comes to learning new things that require lots of reading. I'm more of a hands-on person. Once I started taking photos and looking at the results, then adjusting the settings and trying again, I started to see some progress.

      I've been watching the videos by PhotographersOnUTube. They've been very helpful.

      Jared Polin has some good ones too, but I don't like his style so much.

      I started with a video that introduced my particular camera and how to set it up. It's a Nikon D3100. That was a great start. I then watched videos on aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

      Thank you for your encouragement. Please share your own manual mode photos!

    2. Thank you so much, Sue. I know what you mean, I'm not an instructions-reader at all!
      That's a good idea to find a video related to your camera, I will try that and also take a look at the other videos. How exciting!

    3. Lucinda,

      I never read instructions properly. I'm always too impatient. I plunge straight in and think I'll work it out as I go. Sometimes I do but other times I get in a mess! I've discovered I learn well from videos. If you find any other interesting and helpful photography channels on Youtube I hope you'll share!

  3. You've inspired me!!!! My son keeps telling me that I should use manual mode because I'd love it. I keep thinking it would be, well... work. But your photos are so wonderful that maybe I'll give it a go...? I'll be looking back in here to see if you've recommended a website or video to Lucinda :) ... :) ;)

    1. Nancy,

      I didn't think there would be so much difference between auto mode and manual mode, but there is! So much more detail in the manual ones. Should you give manual mode a go? Of course! If I can do it, so can you. I have to tell you, I took lots of dud photos before I began to understand what I should be doing. That didn't matter though. Just think if I'd been using real film like we had in the 'olden days'. All my mistakes would have been very expensive. But I just kept trying and I ended up with these photos. I felt so satisfied with them, even though I know they are not perfect!!

      So when are you going to get out your camera, Nancy?

  4. Those are lovely! What a beautiful family!

    1. Mary,

      Thank you for your kind words!

  5. Sue, I knew your daughters were beautiful, but wow! Callum sure is handsome :) Your entire family is gorgeous. Better master that camera because you have awesome people around to photograph...and so many beautiful smiles. BTW, all the pictures are excellent in quality too. Maybe you'll have a photography blog one day....xo

    1. Patricia,

      I read your comment to Callum and I could see he was so pleased. Thank you very much for your kind words which brought joy into our day.

      A photography blog? Would you believe I already have one of those? I have a blog for everything! Actually I haven't posted on that blog for a long time. I made it into a private blog because it was just sitting idle but I didn't want to delete it. I hope to keep improving my photography skills and share my photos on my other blogs.

      God bless!