Today’s Blog is called RTFM, so if you don’t know what RTFM stands for then pay attention. Read The Fricken Manual or in some cases Fricken can be replace with another word So why would I write a Blog called RTFM? Well I have many people that come to my workshops that decide their camera can take pictures for them. Well in a sense a camera can take the picture but you still have to tell it what to do. So today I’m going to tell you what parts of the manual to read and what parts you can skip over. So are you ready???? The first part you can skip over in your manual is …… none of it!! If you don’t know how your camera works how do you expect to use it?
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So let’s go over some important part’s of the manual that you should know and these are the very basics for photography. First will be the mode dials so Shutter speed ISO and Aperture these are very important to understand. If you don’t understand how to use them you will never be able to understand the exposure triangle. If you don’t know what the exposure triangle is that’s a discussion or blog for another day. But these key dials or buttons are very important so please understand how they work.
White balance is a good one to understand as well. Sure you can shoot in Auto white balance and expect that you can adjust it later in photoshop or lightroom. But you should still make an attempt to adjust it before you shoot as it will bring the tones of the proper colours. Or another one to know is how to manually set your white balance with a grey or white card this will ensure your colour balance will be correct under different lights.
Metering seems to be a big one people struggle with, even people who shoot for a long time. Understanding what metering mode is the right one for you to use in a particular scene can be the difference of coming home with a picture that’s a keeper or one that’s no good because its under or over exposed.
AF modes are a very important piece of the puzzle that people struggle with. Each brand of camera has a different name for the AF modes so understand what one is the best for your situation, weather it’s a moving subject or a stationary subject these modes will be different.
AF points are something that people always have trouble with, using the proper amount of AF points can make a big difference between shooting landscape and shooting a fast moving bird in flight.
I really can’t stress enough about how important it is to know your camera and how it works. There are so many hidden tools in your camera to help you in your journey to photography. For example most cameras have a histogram to allow you to view how much your exposure is under or over exposed. Or a virtual horizon tool to help make sure your camera is almost level when you take your picture. Or a live view grid to make sure you have a scene set up in proper composition. Take a look in your menus for all these hidden functions to help Aid in your photography.
So I hope after reading this Blog nobody looks at you and says RTFM! Cause the difference between a ok photographer and a good photographer is one that knows every little function and how it works. The rest of it all comes with experience in the field so don’t get to perplexed.