For the coming week, here’s a challenge for you: Abandon the safety of Program (P) mode. Shy away from Aperture priority (Av) or Shutter priority (Tv) modes, and reach for the holy grail of photography: The M of Miracles, Magic and other alliterative phrases. Yes, kids, it’s time to stop letting the machine do the thinking for you, and do all the hard work yourself.
I admit it; I’m as bad as the next man. “Hell, I’ve earned this”, I tell myself. “I paid a lot of money for a camera that has a good light meter, who am I to second-guess it”? And I’m right of course – Programme mode is great for snapshots. I use Aperture priority mode frequently when I want the fastest possible shutter time. And I override the light meter too, by setting a -2/3 Exposure value, because I’m petrified of over-exposures.
But here’s how the boys are separated from the men, and the girls from the women: Unless you have an instinctive feeling for how shutter times and apertures work in perfect harmony, you’ll be struggling to really realise your visions as a photographer. Opinion? Fact? Who knows, but what have you got to lose? Go on, go manual, and add your photos to the Manual group on Flickr while you are at it. (Or you could, y’know, start the manual mondays challenge!)
For one week only, set your camera to Manual, and take photos only like that. Don’t cheat even once. At the end of the week, if you still don’t like it, then you’re welcome to switch back.
But I bet a good few of you would benefit greatly from making the switch, if but temporarily. I know I will.
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