When you are shooting in manual mode and you look through your viewfinder, you will see something like this at the bottom:
This is your meter. Your camera tells you how it thinks your image will be exposed based on your current settings, the zero being correctly exposed.
For me, I usually keep my ISO around 200 unless I find myself needing to raise it (which you may need to do more often if you don't have a lens with the ability of a wide aperture setting like 2.8 or lower). When I'm going to compose an image I choose what I want my aperture setting to be based on what depth of field I'm looking for. I usually shoot between 1.4 and 2.8 unless I'm doing groups of people who aren't on the same plane.
Once I've got my aperture setting where I want it I look through my viewfinder and see what my camera tells me. I adjust my shutter speed however I need to get my meter (as seen in the picture above) at the zero. If my shutter speed falls too low I will raise my ISO or open my aperture more so I don't risk blur. If the shutter speed is acceptable I go ahead and take a shot.
The next, very important step, is to look at the image and see what you think. Your camera can very often be fooled by lighting and backgrounds so you may need to adjust your shutter speed (or one of the other settings if you would like) and try the shot again.
And that's pretty much it. Sounds so easy now, huh? Well give it a try and start playing around. It's all about practice. And of course comment here with any questions.
Things to remember:
- Always set your white balance. So important!
- Use spot metering when shooting people. I talked more about that in one of the previous posts so look back if you don't remember.
Thanks for reading, I hope to see some pictures and hear some success stories!!!