How to use manual mode camera settings like a pro.

Take full control of your camera’s aperture, ISO, and shutter speed for smart exposure and brilliant photographs.

When photographers take the leap from automatic to manual mode, it’s like discovering an entirely new world — but it takes a little practice. Take stronger photographs by getting to know your camera better and trying out a few of these manual mode tips.

Control focus with aperture.

Manual mode means you’re in charge of adjusting aperture — one of photography’s most important elements. It’s the hole in the back of your lens that controls light and depth of field via f-numbers.

If you want more exposure, you’ll need a low f-number for a wide aperture. This gets your foreground or subject in focus, but allows your background to stay fuzzy and blurry.

If you want less exposure, use high f-numbers for narrow aperture. This way you get to keep both the foreground and the background in focus for an incredibly sharp image.

Use ISO to play with light.

Use ISO in manual mode to keep light sensitivity in check. The higher your ISO value, the more exposed your photo will be and vice versa. Although really high ISO can come in handy in low-light conditions, try to stick to lower ISO values for less graininess and noise — especially if you’re outside.

Master shutter speed for creative effect.

Manipulate shutter speed via your manual mode camera settings to speed up or slow down how fast you take a photo. Slow shutter speeds hold your shutter’s door open for longer and let in more light than faster ones.

If you manually slow your shutter speed down, you’ll get lots of motion blurs and even light trails if you shoot at night. On the other hand, you can speed up your shutter to keep things clean and crisp. Discover great photo tips about how to master the ins and outs of your camera’s manual mode.

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