Back to Basics: How to Use Manual Mode on Your Camera

On this short video photographer Tony Northrup and his wife Chelsea take a quick  look at using the manual mode on your camera and using the shutter, aperture and ISO correctly.

When you are starting with photography you would usually begin by using the automatic modes on your camera and gradually move to using semi automatic modes such as A/S/P. However, mastering the manual mode can help you be more creative, more flexible and allow you to reach results which are hard and in some cases even impossible with semi automatic modes.

Manual mode can be intimidating at first but what you need to understand is that in manual mode you are playing a delicate game of balance between 3 different, but connected parameters:

  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO


Each of those can help you increase or decrease the exposure and while in semi automatic mode the camera controls 2 of these parameters, in fully manual mode you control all of them – this means that you can get an image which is competently white or compactly dark (something that typically will not happen when using semi automatic modes.

You can check out many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid. If you liked Tony and Chelsea Northrup you can check out more of their videos here on LensVid

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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