Sometimes I think people hear the word “manual” in terms of photography and they shudder and think it’s a dirty word. A lot of cameras have a variety of options that are just automatic, such as shutter or aperture priority. While these are, in my opinion, a step up from shooting in automatic, they don’t give you 100% control over a photo.
In a world where everyone has access to the same cameras and the same editing programs, the way we stand out among others is through our style of photography. One of the ways you can really shine is by knowing every aspect of your camera and how it impacts the photos you take.
Ultimately, I’m not saying that you have to shoot in manual. If you don’t want to, or one of the priority modes suits you better, that’s totally fine. But I do think that you should at least have a working knowledge of how to shoot in manual.
The main reason I think you should know how to shoot in manual is so that you can truly understand what variables impact a photo. You’ll know how changing your ISO, your shutter speed, or your aperture will affect the way your photo looks! Shooting in manual just really elevates what you know about photography, helps to define your style, and can make you feel confident going into ANY situation.
The four main things that I focus on when I shoot in manual are the ISO, shutter speed, f-stop, and the white balance. If you need a place to start, choose one of those four and start playing around!