We often hear stories of new photographers missing the shot because they’re not comfortable with manual mode yet. Honestly, this happens to seasoned photographers too. While it may seem like a good idea to do a quick switch into Auto mode during stressful or high-stakes shoots, that doesn’t set you up for success in the long run.
The best remedy is practice, practice, practice (which we’re sure you’ve heard time and time again)! What you may not have realized is that you don’t necessarily need to be behind the camera to practice the key components of manual mode. Canon has devised this great tool called Canon Outside of Auto – an interactive website that clearly explains shutter speed, aperture and ISO by visually showing you the effects, as you change the settings.
Diagrams are easy to understand and don’t bombard us with numbers, cryptic symbols, and arrows pointing every which way. What sets this website apart from all other manual mode tutorials, is that it lets you experiment and play with different settings and shows the result in real time!
The challenging bit for practiced photographers – complete these 6 tests as quickly as you can – the timer will help you to record your personal best time. The faster you get at piecing together your settings for a good exposure, shallow depth of field or blurring of motion in Canon out of Auto, the faster it will come to you when the shot really matters!
Users can choose which mode to shoot in, either Manual or semi-automatic. Then they can change the various settings and see a representation of the depth of field, movement, grain and exposure of their shot. The light meter is a great addition because it can be a source of frustration and confusion for new shooters, but this tool makes it clear just how we can use it to get great exposures, with the help of great tips like these:
Feel like you’ve already got your manual mode knowledge down? We promise you that the Challenge tool will be exactly that – a challenge – whether you’re a new photographer or practiced. You’ll be given 6 different exposure and technical scenarios to replicate one at a time using your camera settings. The first of the 6 tests ask you simply to get a good exposure using shutter speed, aperture and ISO.