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Move to Manual: Wrapping it Up

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  1. Leslie Wassmuth says:

    Hi! Courtney,
    I’ve been learning how to shoot in manual the problem I’m having is when I set my shutter speed to 1/250 in a natural lit room with my iso at 200 apeture at 7 my pictures are almost black. I would like to be able to shoot at 1/250 when photographing babies & small children. I have a Cannon Rebel t3i.

    • Courtney says:

      You need to open up your aperture a bit. When I shoot just one person, I generally shoot with an Aperture of 2.5 or 2.8. I would only shoot at 7 if I was shooting a landscape or a very, very large group of people. Try that and see if it helps!

  2. iona says:

    Hi Courtney, nice series on using manual camera mode. Thanks for sharing. You say you always shoot in manual mode, by setting the aperture, shutter speed, iso. Then you meter, recompose, and finally click the shutter. Can you explain why you need to perform the metering step after you’ve already set the aperture, shutter, and iso? If I understand correctly, in full manual mode, you’re not relying on the camera meter anymore to determine the exposure, as you’ve already decided on what settings you want. The metering step should only be required if you are using aperture priority, or shutter priority, or program mode,

    • Courtney says:

      When I meter, I want to meter so that my subjects face and skin is properly exposed. That’s why I use Spot Metering. By Spot Metering or Partial Metering and setting my metering point on the subjects skin, it tells the camera that that is what I want to be properly exposed. You can not meter and you’d still be relying on your camera to guess what area of the photo you are trying to illuminate and properly expose. I shared two different images on the metering post (https://creativelycourtney.com/move-to-manual-understanding-metering/) that can help you see what I’m referring to. The first photo, I didn’t meter off of my sons face and you can see the poor lighting on his face whereas in the second photo I did meter off of his cheek and got a more properly exposed area on just his skin.

  3. I love how simply you explain everything. 🙂 And would LOVE to read about some blog design. I want to start designing my header, signature, buttons, etc. in Photoshop and have no idea where to start.

  4. Amy Willa says:

    I had good luck shooting in manual indoors yesterday, and then today, I tried using the same settings, and all my pictures were too dark. I’m wondering, when you get dark images indoors, if there is a usual culprit? Like, is my aperture off, or is it the ISO? I’m pretty sure it’s not the shutter speed. As soon as I start to think I’ve got the hang of taking pictures indoors in our house, then I go back to feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing.

  5. Ophelia says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this series! I’ve seen my photos improve so much especially once I learned about metering and changing focal points. I practice as often as I can and always have my camera with me. Thanks! 🙂

    • Courtney says:

      You’re so welcome! I’m so happy that you’ve learned from this series and taken something away from it. Practice is key and I love carrying my camera with me because I never know what kind of shot I might stumble onto. 🙂

  6. Amy Willa says:

    This series has been phenomenal, Courtney! Thank you SO MUCH for doing it! I’ve always wanted t shoot in manual, but had no idea where to start. Now, I’m getting better and better each day and getting some great shots, thanks to you! Thank you so much!

    • Courtney says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂 That’s exactly what I was hoping for when I started this series and I’m SO happy that you’ve seen a difference in your photos!

      • Amy Willa says:

        I saw even more of a difference shooting inside today and thinking of this post. I had your starting numbers for the different settings in my head, and I went from there. I *think* I may be starting to get the hang of the basics. It’s a fun new hobby, to shoot in manual!

        • Courtney says:

          So happy to hear that! 🙂 It definitely gets easier. And I think having those starting numbers in your head makes the jumping off point a little less intimidating. 🙂

  7. Amy G. says:

    I loved this series! Sad to see it end, for sure. But I definitely learned from it! And I liked how you wrote it in common English, as if you were just talked to us. It’s so much easier for me to learn and retain information that way. Thank you for doing this series!

    • Courtney says:

      Thank you, Amy! I’m so happy that it was easy to understand. I tried to make sure that I used a language that anyone could “get.” When I first started learning the big words totally threw me. 🙂

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Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2011,, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.