How To Quickly Learn Manual Mode

I get asked a lot of photography related questions so I decided it would be fun to start a blog that is all about answering them.  One of the most frequent questions I get is from people asking me what camera I recommend they buy.  And I always give the same answer, that the camera does not matter as much as learning how to use a camera does.  You could put my camera (which at the time cost me $3,500) and put it on auto mode and it will take terrible photos.  But if you understand manual mode and how to control the settings, you can grab an entry level camera and make stunning photos. 

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I know being told to learn manual mode seems overwhelming - there are so many buttons and options and was is ISO anyways?!  But I promise you, it is not nearly as daunting as you think it is!  The answer is in this amazing book called Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.   I read the entire book over the course of one weekend, practicing along the way with each chapter, and sure enough all the technical jargon started making sense to me.  I remember the chapter about ISO and how a lightbulb just went off in my head.  He explains everything in such an easy to understand way.  The book talks about putting your camera in aperture mode as well, but I never did that.  I put my camera in manual mode and I NEVER changed it.  NEVER.  That meant I was a very slow photographer for a few weeks.  But by never giving myself the crutch of using any of the semi-auto modes, I forced myself to learn quickly and my brain and my fingers started working my camera faster and faster.   After two weeks, I even did a newborn session (although I probably wouldn't recommend that - but I was just so excited!)

The reviews on amazon speak for themselves - this is an amazing and extremely affordable way to teach yourself how to take control of your camera.  If you are tired of getting blurry or underexposed photos then it is time for you to take the leap and teach yourself manual mode!  Taking a photo exactly the way you want is so rewarding.