“Go Manual or Go Home” – Debunking Photography Myths, #1

“Go Manual or Go Home” – Debunking Photography Myths, #1

Hello, everyone! This is the first video of a series that I’m calling “Photography is Easy” where I’ll try to debunk 10 common myths about photography This series is based on my latest ebook of the same name, that you can download for free from my website, I’m gonna leave the link down
below in the description The first myth we’re gonna talk about today is “Go Manual or Go Home” Somehow, there’s this belief out there among many photographers that real pros, real photographers, photographers who know what they are doing, they use manual mode and that beginners should aim to master that mode You see, when I got started in photography a few years ago, it was with a camera just like this one a compact point and shoot My first images sucked big-time, so I started to do some research online, and looking at what other people were saying about how to improve your photography, how to improve your images and a big part of it was that you needed to be in control of the settings of your camera I followed that advice, and it was a big mistake: I jumped from that point and shoot to this one to the a6000, that came with a ton of buttons and dials that I could customize and control all the settings, I could finally bend the camera to my will I was able to tell it exactly what I wanted it to do The thing is that I had no idea what I was doing, and for several months, my images were very lacking they were a disaster, technically speaking, they were underexposed, overexposed, they were out of focus because of course I was using a manual lens as well, I was doing everything manually Over time, I got really good at pressing a lot of buttons and turning a lot of dials every time I was going to take a photo, I am sure I looked very professional but my images were still very lacking and that’s when I realized that camera settings don’t matter Of course, there are situations where they do matter where we must use a specific shutter speed or specific aperture to create some kind of effect, for sure But at least in my case, for 99% of my images, using an aperture of f/2.8 or f/5.6 a shutter speed of 1/60th or 1/200th wouldn’t change the image at all after several months of using manual mode and my photography not improving at all I started using what Sony calls “P mode” stands for “program mode”, this is a mode where the camera is in charge of every setting shutter speed, aperture, ISO, you can still customize it a little bit I have a minimum shutter speed of 1/60th, so the camera doesn’t go slower than that I can limit the ISO range, for example, in APS-C cameras like this one I have set between 100-3200 for the smaller compact cameras I have it set up to 1600, so there is not a lot of noise but it is the camera the one that decides which aperture and which shutter speed to use in every scene and I find it perfect for 99% of my images because those settings do not really matter You can still change those settings if you really need to, using the dial you can change the shutter speed and the aperture at the same time, just in case you want to use a specific shutter speed or aperture or you can simply switch to aperture or shutter speed priority modes where you can tell the camera which aperture or which shutter speed to use Once the camera is in control of every setting, I’m free to focus on what
matters that is framing and composing my image I’m still in control of one very important thing, the most important thing in my black and white photography that is the exposure compensation I use this dial to tell the camera how dark or how bright I want the image to be This is once again my experience and I’m sure that your experience will be different but 99% of my images that I make nowadays are made in P mode if I need something more specific I can always switch to the other two modes Of course, there is still a place and a time for me to use manual mode that’s when I make my long exposure images because these cameras can only go up to 30 seconds shutter speed, so if you want to take a long exposure of 2 minutes that has to be done in manual mode My advice here is to take manual mode for what it is, just another tool in your belt and use it wisely no, you are not more professional because you use manual mode instead of aperture priority mode or even P mode Even though camera settings matter sometimes, what matters the most is where you point your camera at and if you’re distracted with the settings on your camera, you’re not going to be paying attention to that to your subject, to the location, and that is the only way to improve your images, to pay attention This being said, use whatever works best for you Just don’t do something because you are supposed to, because someone else tells you that you are supposed to do it that way There is no right or wrong way in photography As always, this is just my opinion, this is my truth, it doesn’t mean that everyone’s truth should be like this so if you disagree with this or with any video in this channel, please leave a comment down below we can have a debate this is going to be all for today Thank you so much for watching and see you in the next one!

14 thoughts on ““Go Manual or Go Home” – Debunking Photography Myths, #1

  1. I agree 100%. The "You're not a real photographer unless you manual mode" crowd are silly. The end result is what matters, not how you got there. Personally, I shoot 99% of the time in Aperture priority, and use exposure compensation to make incremental adjustments to the exposure. Ultimately, the same as a person who uses manual and adjusts either aperture or shutter speed to tweak their exposure. The resulting image will be the same, regardless of how you landed on your chosen settings.

  2. İ learnt a lot from you my friend i am a doctor cardiologyst its though time we are figjting with corona your video is sedate me 😊 best regards from turkey…

  3. Hello Adrian. Thank you for sharing all your tips and experience with the world. You're an inspiration to me. I was curious in regards to exposure compensation. For me, I generally drop to -1 as I find zero to be too bright for my eye.

    I understand different situations for every shot but what number do you stick too?

    Thanks again!

  4. I’m a street shooter and I use manual mode. Reason being is that I want to lock the exposure at the speed and aperture I want (125/160 for shadow area, 500-1000 for bright area to freeze motion, f8-f11 for more DOF, iso100). At the end of the day, using manual mode fits my needs but I’m moving towards spot meter with auto iso. I’m a jpeg shooter and I found that lower the in camera sharpness while shooting in high iso seems help reduce the noise / grain looks more organic. So I’m letting the camera to decide on iso since I’m not concern too much on the noise level.

  5. pues tengo una cámara digital que por azares del destino,está algo estropeada ,la única función que funciona correctamente es la manual ,sigo la indicación de más o menos exposición,como a la antigua usanza,como se veía en las cámaras analógicas ,y aún así hago bracketing ,por si acaso,pero así y todo acierto .

  6. Agree fully. I learned in manual because when I started in photography in a high school BW film class, that's all there was! But I shoot 90% of the time now in Aperture Priority mode and use the exposure compensation wheel to fine tune. I benefit from understanding all of the exposure controls on my camera, and I'd hope new photographers take the time to master exposure control as well, but once they do, why waste the time? I shoot reactively/opportunistically a lot of the time, and having the camera take control of certain exposure functions makes that kind of shooting so much easier and more enjoyable. I don't feel like I'm missing anything in my work as a result and feel a little bad for newer photographers who get the same advice you did. Do what works best for you. If you like the images you are taking, don't look back!

  7. For a long time, my guilty secret was that I would often use program mode. I know how to shoot in manual – my profile photo is my view camera – but modern digital cameras do program mode pretty well. So, I use each of the modes, selecting the one that is best for what I'm doing at that moment.

  8. I also have a Sony a6000 that I use as a "walk around" camera, hand held shots, street shots, etc. I have found that beyond ISO 1200, too much noise creeps in. I shoot in aperture priority and pay attention to the shutter speed it gives me. Sometimes, I make exceptions and compromises. Overall, I like the camera, but it really needs IBIS so we can keep the ISO low. I also regret the lens choices available so that I have to use primes. I use the 16mm, 30mm, and 60mm from Sigma. They are not very convenient when walking around and you find you need to change lenses often, but that's the price I have to pay. Thank you for putting up good content, I really enjoy your work.

  9. Well said! Thanks for reminding us to look first, then figure out if particular settings are needed or not. I am usually in aperture mode for shooting urban landscapes, because there are foreground and background subjects, and I may want one or the other only in focus. That's just one other thing to worry about. And with film the ISO is set!

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