Photography – A Beginners Guide to Manual Mode

My passion has been photography for a very long time. When I first picked up the camera I had seriously injured myself and was ordered to take it easy for 3months and had A LOT of time on my hands as I was not working during this time either. The camera became my creative outlet and my passion has only grown since then! I was initially fascinated with capturing the images and understanding the physics behind taking photographs. Todays post will break down the basic components of taking a picture in manual mode.


In the easiest terms aperture is the hole in the lens and is responsible for the amount of light that can enter the camera. Many texts or guides use our eyes as an example. If you close your eyes for a very long time then open them in front of a mirror your pupil will be VERY large and then shrink back to a normal size as it adjusts to the light. This is like the lens of a camera, if it is low lighting then you would need a wider hole to let in more light. A large aperture means you have a lot of light entering in and a small aperture means not much light is entering in.


This is the light sensitivity and the effect it has on your images is quite obvious. If you have a very high ISO number your image will appear very grainy or noisy I think is the technical term. This is directly related to the image sensor which is a very sensitive part of the camera. My rule of thumb is to never go higher than 800 as the image quality is compromised too much. Some photographers like the grainy look and prefer it to using a flash but I personally think clear, crisp images look better!

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed refers to the length of time a camera shutter is open which again comes back to the amount of light exposed to the camera. If you are taking a picture of someone running for example in the middle of the day then you would have a very fast shutter speed to catch them in action and still have a clear image. The faster the shutter speed the less time the shutter is open and the less light enters. If you have seen pictures of waterfalls looking like a silk then this is done by using a slow shutter speed and allowing a lot of light to come in which gives it this effect.

Personally I have my camera set to aperture priority which means the shutter speed is calculated by the camera almost automatically.

Basically what it comes down to is balancing the amount of light coming into the lens and into the camera. Once you have this balanced or understood you can shoot in manual and get really creative with your shots.

If you can understand the physics behind a camera lens then it is applicable for all recording devices including home security systems. If you are interested in learning more about different times of home security, the lens they have and how best to position them around the home then I highly recommend Supreme Security Cameras. Rex is a wealth of knowledge and has put a lot of effort into researching and trialing all the different cameras and products.

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