This week is geared towards my friends that are still timid about the leap into Manual mode on their DSLR. So, to help ease you in, we’re going to go over a little about how to use the manual mode to fix your shots that are too dark or too light in Aperture Priority (Av mode for Canon).
Let’s say you’ve taken the shot in Av and its just too dark. Here’s the easy fix:
1. Click on your “Display” feature to see the settings that the camera used to take the shot and write that info down.
2. Switch to Manual mode.
3. Set your aperture and ISO to match the settings you wrote down.
4. Your image was too dark, so that means you need to let in more light, so you need a slower shutter speed. Because the longer your shutter is open, the more light gets in, the lighter your shot (more info on shutter speed HERE). So, for example, the camera used 1/200, so try using 1/125. (if the shot was too light, you’d adjust the other direction).
5. Take the shot. If its still too dark, keep moving your shutter speed to a small denominator (slower speed, more light, try it and it will make sense).
6. “Now my shot is blurry!” if you just said that, its from hand motion because your shutter speed has dropped too low. SO, move it back up a bit and this time raise your ISO. The higher ISO will compensate for the bump to a faster shutter speed.
DON’T read this and freak out – it sounds more complicated than it is, you can do it!
The important thing to remember here, is that you’re PRACTICING, experimenting, and USING your camera in Manual mode.
I don’t use Av mode but here is my thought process when adjusting my shutter speed for the shot below –
I rolled my 12 hour old baby’s hospital bassinet over to the window. Opened the curtains. I’m in Manual, my camera’s evaluation meter sees a lot of white in this frame so it tells me my exposure is at 1/250 (because it averages the white blanket with his skin and sees “bright!”) so I start there 1/250, ISO 200 (because I’m indoors), and f/1.4. My shot is too dark, so I adjust the shutter speed to 1/60, ahhh, now its too light! Okay, adjust to 1/125 – there … that’s what I’m looking for! Natural light, pretty shadows, and creaminess in the blanket…a shot deserving of a gift from God.
If you need more info on manual mode, you can find it HERE.
Hope that helps! And as always, comment or email me with any questions…thanks!