Taking Photos in Manual Mode
I have grown to love taking my photos in Manual mode over the past few years. I love having complete control of my camera. If I’m out taking photos, there is a 90% chance that I have my camera set to Manual. If I’m not using manual than I am using AV mode. Only rarely will I put the camera on auto (little green box on Canon cameras). To me AUTO is the worst mode to use. That would be only to see what settings the camera thinks they should be as a guide. Manual mode can be quite confusing at first. Once you figure out all the settings and The Exposure Triangle you’ll love it.
The Exposure Triangle consists of Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO
Shutter speed is how long the shutter is open. Shutter speed is measured from 30 seconds to 1/4000 of a second on my camera. More expensive models go to 1/8000. The lower the number the more light gets in and the higher the number the less light gets in. If you were taking an action shot, you’d want to stay close to 1/4000 of a second as you can (or 1/8000 depending on your camera).
Aperture is how much the lens opens up when a photo is taken. Aperture is measured in F stops. Which a 50mm 1.8 lens you can choose f1.8 and up to f22. The lower the number the bigger it opens and more light gets in. The higher the number the less it opens and less light gets in. With aperture you have to pay attention to depth of field. The lower the number the less will be focused on.
ISO is the cameras sensitivity to light. The higher the number the brighter your image will be. You have to be careful with ISO, because the higher the number, the more grainier it will make your photos.
As you set each of these you can watch your exposure meter to help you. I usually make sure mine is on 0 (which is the center) or -1 (to the left, darker) or +1 (to the right, brighter).
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.