Homework Assignment No. 4 — Manual Mode, Fill The Frame
The fourth homework assignment I give students in my digital photography class at the Delaware Art Museum is to explore shooting in Manual Mode and to Fill The Frame.
Many, perhaps most, professional photographers shoot in Manual Mode. While the image-deciphering abilities of digital cameras get better all the time, the camera can seldom guess what you want. If you want to control the exposure, shoot in Manual Mode.
In three other posts, I discuss shooting in Program, Shutter-Priority, and Aperture-Priority Modes. Those are good, but it still leaves it to the camera to decide at least one variable and to decide how light and dark the image will be.
Usually, shooting in Manual Mode means you will use the camera’s built-in light meter. That meter can be set to meter the light coming from a point, from the entire scene, or from several key points. You can get the light meter just right by changing the camera’s sensitivity to light (ISO), the shutter speed, and the aperture. If you can get the meter to zero, that is a good starting point. But maybe you want it darker or lighter.
To make the image lighter, make the camera more sensitive to light by dialing in a higher ISO setting. Or, make the shutter speed longer. Or, use a lower aperture number.
To make the image darker, make the camera less sensitive to light by choosing a lower ISO setting. Or, make the shutter speed shorter. Or, use a higher aperture number.
Manual Mode Links
Fill The Frame
Filling the frame is often at odds with the Rule of Third and Lines to Corners. The idea is to leave no wasted space in the image area. When cropping an image, this composition rule often comes into play. This rule is a first cousin to the advice often given to photographers: get closer to your subject!
To get a quick idea of this rule, perform an Internet search for “photography fill the frame” and look at images.