Tuesday, March 23, 2010
MANUAL EXPOSURE MODE
I have no idea why other photographers love manual so much. It doesn't make sense to me. It's a very slow way of shooting, and it's too easy to miss the action if you are shooting moving subjects like wildlife, sports, children playing, etc. Had I been fiddling with manual exposure in shooting the giraffe drinking at the waterhole, I would have missed the shot.
In the end, when shooting on manual you are still relying on the camera's meter and you must physically turn the dials to use the shutter speed/lens aperture combination dictated by the camera. What's the point of doing this when the camera can do it for you? If you want to over- or underexpose a scene based on what the meter is giving you, then use the exposure compensation feature in the camera.
I use Program mode for 85% of my picture taking. I know this surprises many of you, but listen to my rationale. This mode assumes you are hand-holding the camera, thus it gives you almost the fastest shutter speed possible. If I am shooting landscapes, architecture, and other subjects that aren’t moving and I want complete depth of field, then I use aperture priority along with a tripod (because the shutter will be slow). For specific shutter speeds, such as when I am shooting flying birds, dancers, motorcycles in motion, etc., and I want to freeze the subjects or blur them, I then use shutter priority.
I only use manual exposure mode for certain situations such as lightning, when doing macro photography with flash, and night photography when I know the meter will not be accurate.