When and how to use manual camera settings.

Learn how to overcome some of the challenges with manual camera settings to unleash your inner creativity.

Photoshoots in manual mode can be a challenge — but they can also be creative and fun. Set your camera to manual and use these tips to achieve different effects.

Capture subjects with motion blur.

When you study a subject that’s moving — a deer, a child, a busy highway — you can achieve a gorgeous motion blur effect that dials up your photo’s excitement. To capture movement and weave in visible streaks, try out this technique:

If there’s plenty of natural light, manually slow down your shutter speed. This technique keeps your shutter open for longer, which will give you the blurs you want. If there’s too much light, dial down your ISO values to around 100 or even lower to manage noise and graininess.

Enrich backgrounds with bokeh.

If you want to make your subject really stand out, you can go for the bokeh effect, which keeps the foreground sharp and blurs everything else. What’s unique about broken is that you’ll get neat orbs of light in the background instead of vaguely defined shapes.

Adjust your manual camera settings so that your aperture is wide open — something in the f/1 to f/2 range is a solid start, but it’ll largely depend on your lens. Then aim for a slow shutter speed to let in plenty of light and blurriness.

You’re free to experiment.

The beauty of manual camera settings is that you’re entirely in charge of how your photos look in the end. Revisit your photos in an editing app later to see how they turned out and make little tweaks here and there for a brilliant final version. Plus, you can always learn more about photography to really make your photos stand out.

Explore everything you can do with Adobe Lightroom to up your photo editing skills today.