Automatic to Manual Mode: The 3 Things You Need to Know | Indeana Underhill | Skillshare

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Automatic to Manual Mode: The 3 Things You Need to Know

teacher avatar Indeana Underhill, Cinematographer & Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. What to Expect

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. What is Exposure?

    • 4. Shutter Speed

    • 5. Aperture & The F Word

    • 6. ISO

    • 7. Shooting Order & Wrap Up

    • 8. Bonus Tips & Additional Kit

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About This Class

Get out of Automatic Mode: The 3 Things You Need to Know

This class is designed to help you get the most of your camera by switching to Manual mode. From the start of the class I am going to ask you to set the dial to "M" and follow me as we challenge ourselves to shoot photos we want to share.

It will focus on the 3 Photography Fundamentals- ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture (also know as Depth of Field). The class will have you understanding photos in a new light (no pun intended), applying the skills you learn here directly to the camera in front of you. In turn you will take fun, vibrant photos and understand how and why they came out that way. From portrait to landscape, this class is aimed at those who own a camera and never dared to turn the dial. Until now.

Be creative, daring and take great photos!

For more of my photography classes ranging from beginner principles to intermediate development: 


Amateur to Freelance: How to Develop a Portfolio

The Travelling Photographer: Choosing the Right Gear for Your Journey


Lens Choice: A Beginner's Guide

Lenses 101: Shooting with Primes

Lenses 101: Creativity with Vintage Lenses & DIY Filters


Lens Filters: Pushing Your Still Images

Advanced Lens Choice: Editing In-Camera

For more of my work, you can check out my instagram or website.


Meet Your Teacher

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Indeana Underhill

Cinematographer & Photographer


Indeana is a Canadian cinematographer based in Los Angeles. She is an Associate Member of the CSC, a member of the ASC MITC Lens Committee and a graduate of American Film Institute's Cinematography Conservatory Class of 2020. 

With over 35 credits, she has worked professionally in South Korea, Greece, Spain, Scotland, Argentina, Qatar, Egypt, Canada & the US. Her background in photography has enabled her to continue to tell diverse stories through her lens.



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1. What to Expect: Hi, My name's Indiana and in the life silent travel I love taking photos of people, places and their food. I try and capture the culture off where I travel to. Never in the past few months have had the privilege of traveling to various countries visited Colombia, Iceland, Poland, Germany and Austria, testing my skills not only as a photographer but also as a creative. I love being a photographer because it allows you express your viewpoint on the world in a way that is only controlled by you in this class. I'll teach you how to take any camera and switch it out about amount of mood going straight into manual, you'll discover how your favorite photographs were taken, but breaking down the settings of manual but three tools you need to know or I s O shutter speed and aperture. These three tools will help you express any idea you have into your photographs. I want to capture moving car standing so or captured a light trails on the highway at night , feeling only focusing on a flower in the foreground or face amongst the crowd. Switch toe m and follow me as you were finally able to capture the world around you in the way you see it 2. Class Project: the aim of the classes to explore the three things that will allow you to shoot Emmanuel. No shutter speed. I s o an aperture. So what better way to do that? Then apply these three skills to the photographs that you're capturing. The class project will be taking a photo with the subject of your choosing, whether it be a person, place or thing. But the catch is that the photo should somehow capture movement. And like this is meant to be an assignment where you can freely explore what you capture without many limitations, so in summary. But at the end of this course, Miss capture movement have have a subject of your choosing and think about the way you're exposing the phone. How bright, How dark and why This could be a friend jumping off the pier in bright light, a field of flowers blowing in the wind on an overcast day or a car moving at sundown. Anything goes songs, you know why you're capturing that movement. And that's what I'll help you understand the why and the how. And by the end of this course, you'll have taken many of these photographs, so feel free to share them. Be proud of what you're creating because you change the settings. You understand why and now I have a piece of art to show for it all because you shot in manual. 3. What is Exposure?: what we're learning is called exposure. You will hear this word a lot in the world of his Harvey. In a nutshell. Exposures. How much like you're letting in through the lens. I was being captured by the camera. It is how bright or dark your photo is. In manual mode, you're in control of the only three things that control exposure shutter speed aperture and I have some. Normally, a camera will determine the exposure of an image to a perfectly exposed where it's not too dark or too bright. However, shooting in manual mode gives you that option. It allows you to determine what you want, expose and how you want to express it. It also allows you to choose how movement is captured with shutter speed. How much okay or background blur you have in your ability to compensate with ESA. These three things aperture shutter speed and I S O. R. Like your timetables and man. Once you learn them, you'll never forget. Um, and once you learn what they do, you get better and better controlling the camera settings. The best way to think about each isn't a triangle formation, each control light, allowing a certain amount dependent on what setting is chosen into the camera, you can restrict the amount of light or open up the camera to let light in. If you change one, whoever the other needs to be compensated. So if you change the aperture of the camera or the F stop, you'll either have to change the I S O or shutter speed to balance out the images, brightness or exposure. And if the images balance, you get even exposure. If it isn't, you get a photo that is either under exposed meeting too little light or over expose with too much closure is a balancing act between shutter speed I s O an aperture. So now let's explain what each of these mean and what they do in the future. 4. Shutter Speed: the first thing you need to know when shooting a manual mode. A shutter speed shutter speed is what you use in a photo to capture movement. It is what freezes objects in time or shows the movement in light trails, and it's all dependent on the Celtics you use for shutter speed. Shutter speed can be measured by the amount of time, but the sensor is exposed to light when the shutters open. This is the sensor of the camp. Most cameras have shutter speed settings ranging from 30 seconds to 1 4/1000 of a second upto 1 8000 2nd Remember that this is the setting that is measured in time, so if it's a set 30 seconds, the shutter will stay open for 30 seconds, meaning that light will be hitting the sensor and the shutter will stay open for that period of time, capturing the entire photo everything in front of the lens for 30 seconds long. To demonstrate these shutter speed and motion and photos, I went down to my kitchen sink. I turned the faucet on, and I used a light source behind the faucet to bring out the waters that came out I did a few tests and took one at one over 8000 of a second where the water is completely frozen in time and it did another one at six seconds where you couldn't see the pattern of the moving water. Um, this is how you can add a bit of creativity to your photos and how you can use motion to create your own votives and sold on the shutter speed, as you can imagine. If you're exposing light to the image for long periods of time, any movement that will be captured in front of the lens will be blurry, and any movement that you make if you're holding the camera at a tripod will affect the photo. I recommend using a tripod if you have a setting longer than one over 125 some can do as long as 1/80. But to be safe and keep your images sharp, I recommend not shooting longer than one over 125 handheld. Use a tripod if you need to go any longer so that you can keep your image sharp and on the capture of movement you want to and you are getting shaking hands help. So one thing that I find really helpful when shooting. If I have to shoot a long, very shutter speed, maybe anything below one over 125 is I begin to stabilize my body on. The best way to do that is to take the state's teaching, so keep your, uh, feet shoulder width apart. Parallel, and then you're gonna bend your knees ever so slightly and bring your camera to your shooting position. However you shoot, whether it's with one hand or two and normally be shooting with your arms. But for this stance, you want to shoot with your elbows close to your chest and bring them is close to your body as possible. This make sure that any movement you would have normally that might effect of slower shutter speed will not happen. And you have a very perfect in sharp. When I was recently Colombia over Christmas, a friend and I hiked to the top of a mountain for sunset. She has this fantastic hair, which was blowing all over the place since we were so high up. Instead of taking a normal portrait, I wanted to incorporate how her hair was just blowing. Ever get an image where it blur together to create a face that was stopped in time? And it turned out that shooting at 1/50 of a second gave me this look, remember, sometimes it's not a focusing issue. It's because your shutter speed is too slow. So bump it up a bit and try again or mount your camera on a tripod. Like I said before, it's all about within the camera in front of the lens and you behind the cameras. So, just to recap about shutter speed, it's how long in time you're exposing your camera sense for light by keeping shutter open 1/8 thousands of a second is a really fast shutter speed and will capture humming bird in flight with nobler 30 seconds. The max on those cameras will capture streams of cars passing as blurred subjects with light trails. Hand holding is possible until one over 125 of a second until you possibly may see some blur in your images from your body's natural movement. Longer than that, use a truck. If you can't hold, use my tip and pull your arms into your body and Vanya any slight 5. Aperture & The F Word: aperture is the second thing you need to know in the balance impact. In order to shoot manual, it is done through the lens rather than in camera like shutter speed. Aperture control. Step the field, and it's measured by an F saw. It is controlled solely by the lens and varies on each lens you have mounted mechanically. People like to relate the aperture to the pupil of your eye. You get smaller when there is more light and larger room, there is less. It's the people of the camp, whereas the shutter speed is controlled by measurement. In seconds, apertures controlled by the F stop lenses were designed with aperture or iris plates. As these blades come in, the opening becomes smaller, letting less like if the blades retract. The opening is bigger, letting more light in. Okay, so I wanted to show you guys how to find your starting F stop value in the range. It's always gonna ended off 22 but on your lenses, where you're gonna find starting value and it's always gonna be on the front element of the lens friends, since this is a 50 millimeter cannon e f funds, and it shows one toe, 1.4. It's always showed in a ratio, So this one has a minimum aperture value of homeboy for on kit lenses. So blends is that you may start out with or get with your first DSLR. You will see that they may have zoom lenses may have to amateur valleys, so those air to starting values that's not like the minimum and the maximum that's your starting value. So most the time. It's like 3.5 to 5.6 instead of just one number. And that'll be on Lian soon lenses because, as light interest the lens. If you're at a longer focal length, you'll have a lot more light loss. Um, but yes, so take a look at the front of your lens and see what number it starts off. S Stop always controls it up the field. So in addition to the amount of light, but it's led into the camera, the lower the F stop number, the shallower your depth of field will become, for instance, thes air. A few photos that I took of a couple for their engagement see how the focus is on them and everything falls off behind them. That's a shallow depth of field. Here is on 1.4 to get this look. In contrast, this photo I took of my father was a F 7.1. See how everything is very sharp and in focus. That's because I stopped down or raised the number of my have stopped to get less step The Field and Warren Focus. On the other hand, this landscape shot was it in a forest in Germany at F 22. See how the entire photos of focus and you can see everything from the foreground to the background. Changing your F salt is a very creative way to add a personal look to your photos, and it's one of my favorite science. Do you like everything being in focus than shooting the highest self number? Do you like having a shallower background and keeping your subjects the only focal point of the image? Then lower the number. Just remember that opening the lens with a lower number creates a showered up the field with more light being let him because the opening is bigger and on the contrast, higher number will let less lighting and Maura, the photo will be in focus. Somethingto also play around with is the closer you get to subject the shallower the depth of field will become Okay, So now we're gonna do is head back into the backyard and show you a few demonstrations that have to do with aperture shutter speed and I Okay, so what we're gonna do now is I'm gonna show you a few sample shots of what? Um, an f stop may look like if you're close versus if you're far too your subject on, we're going to shoot at 1.42 point 85.6 and something higher. Probably like 11 or 16. So let's go to our subject over here, which is our lovely tree. So my settings right now are at eso won 60. The lowest. I try and keep it. Um, 6 40 shutter speed. So that's one over 641 point force. That's the lowest I've stopped that the sons could dio. So we're gonna take you. Want what? Your minimum vocal like this. I haven't on automatic focus right now because it will automatically tell me if I'm too close and it will focus. OK, so that's our one at 1.4. Keeping my feet at the same distance. I'm gonna try shooting at 2.8. So for that, I'm gonna bump up my I s. So it's probably around 500 but I always look at my life. You on the back of my camera to check how it looks. So it's not over under exposed. Okay, so that's a 2.8. Now, we're gonna go to 5.6. I'm gonna have to bump so poor I'm going to do one more at 11. Okay. Perfect. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna show you were gonna go back to 1.4, and I'll show you how it looks farther away, and you'll see that the depth of field is in a shallow as when you're close. Okay, so now I want to show you guys what? The same f stops that we just shot at costar subject What? That photo looks like when we're farther away. Subject because when you're closer to your subject, the shower, the depth of field was a lot, so I'm not the same settings now. It won't wait for Okay, then we're gonna go to two point and 5.6. They had to bump my eso up to 400. Okay? And then finally will shoot like 11. No, but my so up to. Perfect. So now you'll be able to see what the difference is between being farther away from your subject and closer when you're on different forms. 6. ISO: Now that we have talked about shutter speed and aperture, we're done the hardest parts of learning about shooting and Manu this final component I eso will tie everything together. So not only are you able to control the creative parts of that image by setting your shutter speed and aperture but you can correctly expose an image compensating with eyes. I so is how sensitive the sensors in your camera is toe like the higher the I s. So the more sensitive it iss the lower the I S o the less sensitive it's, however, the higher the I s o. You said it too. The more noise you will get in your image. This is because cameras sensor is made megapixels, which is probably a familiar term to many of you. You notice the higher the megapixels, the better quality, the image. However, the higher the megapixels, the more pixels are to be sensitive to light, and the more noise you can get in an image. This means that is, the number gets higher. You start to see this degradation in your images as the pixels getting noisy. That's why I only use I and so as a compensation tool for when I don't have enough light in my image. So I pump out my eyes some number when I need to. As a general rule from the lower, the better. I keep mine at 160 before changing it, and I only change it if I have to. But why would you have to change it? Well, imagine, but you're taking your photo of your friend, and the lights are only so bright. But you want everything in focus and you're not on trial. One over 125 the minimum you can before you start to see him. It's shaking caused by your hands and your body, and you shouldn't have f stop 5.6 or higher that small amount of light getting through the lens. You may have a photo that is under exposed, so you choose to bring it up instead of 162 320 or even maybe 800. This way, you're still able to capture and create the photo that you envision but have to add light to the image by changing the eyes. Here are two photos that I took for a music fastball in Trona. It was so dark that I had to open my aperture upto 1.4 and shoot it won over 250. This is to keep the band's movements frozen, Um, as they were playing a show. So I had to, but my eyes up to 12,800 you can see their skins quite texturizing. And the blacks of the image have lots of pixels. In this case, it might work because it brings out the edginess and grungy nous of the bands. But if it were a different genre photography, perhaps wedding or even lifestyle, it may not work in the same scenario. But this is an example of how I or so can be used in a creative method and still get perfectly exposed images. Now, let's try and take a photo of show you the difference in isil levels. Okay, so now we're gonna shoot some different eyes. So setting starting at 1 16 going all the way up to 12,800 you're gonna be able to see the difference in each photo based on the shadows and the blacks of the image as well as we get up to 12,800 you'll see that the skin is a bit more texturizing, revealing different pixels. So let's bring in the bottle and let's searching. 7. Shooting Order & Wrap Up: when choosing your settings on the camera, I like to first focus on what I have framing and select shutter speed aperture. First, these air, those settings that enable you to have the most creativity in your images. I asked myself these questions when I'm taking a bow. What about capturing? Is it moving? Is it close to me? Is that the focal point of my image? What's the scene if there isn't movement? I want to capture all focus on aperture first because I love shall it up the field. And that's why my 51.4 prime lens is my go to lens right now. So let's say I'm at 1.4. That means I'm getting in a lot of light and a really shallow depth of field outside. This will be to write, So now I have to look at shutter speed. I'll adjust my shutter speed while keeping my eyes so as low as possible until the exposure seems and that's it. That's all there is to manual settings to begin I s O shutter speed and aperture. As you can see, it's a balancing act of creative potential impossibility. So to summarize, Shutter speed is the length of time that your shutter stays open and center exposes like it also captures motion and movement in a photo a longer shutter speed like five seconds Gubler motion. Whereas the shorter shutter speed, like one over 1000 will freeze and captured aperture It's the amount of light Let it through the lens controlled by enough Stop The lower the number The more light let in on the showered up the field The higher the number, the less light Let it and the more in focus the background This I S O is how sensitive your sensor is too light. The higher the number, the more sensitive it It's the lower the number. The less sense of this, the higher the number, the more noise there is. Adjust these three creative, perfectly properly exposed image with the ability to be creative in every shot you take 8. Bonus Tips & Additional Kit: Okay, so one of the rules that it's nice if you're just starting out with manual settings to start a foundation for shooting outside is the sunny 16 rule. This is a well known rule, and what you do is you start with aperture. You send it to an F 16 which doesn't let along the line in, and then you choose your I s O. And then you shoot the reciprocal of that for your shutter speed. So if you are at an F 16 on your camera, which you should be, If you're on Sonny's ex funeral, you will put your eyes. So maybe, like 1 60 you'll shoot at 1/1 60 shutter speed. This should give you the appropriate exposure for a sunny day on what I do from that is I never shoot just from the sunny 16 settings. I start there and then I'll scale back to see kind of stylistically what I want to shoot with. But that's a nice rule in order to get started. Okay, so one more thing I want to talk about is accessories. So when you get more in tune with shooting in manual settings, you may find that you need something to block out the light or had some color or some more creativity in camera before you go to post. I love filters. I have a bunch of them on sale of Amazon, the Polaroid ones or super creative. But just start, I would look into neutral density filters, also called nd filters. They under expose You were photos by adding black pretty much in front of your lens they screw on. This is a variable Andy, so I can choose how dark or how bright it iss. They screw into the front of your lens and then say, If you're shooting at midday and it's really bright, the sun's out. You can't lower your eyes so below 100 you can go like you can't stop down more than enough 22. Then you might think about scoring on one of these guys and you'll be able to shoot that waterfall in midday that you weren't able to before. Okay, so something I also wanted to point out is if you get into film photography or you already were in film photography and you have some old, fully manual lenses lying around where you got into the market of them and found some off Craigslist and Botham. You'll notice that you will find them on the ring of the lens because you'll have an aperture ring. So instead of adjusting your aperture in camera, you'll be doing it on the ring of your camera like that's so I have to manual fully manual lenses. I have a 14 millimeter rockin on 2.8, and that's found right at the base of the lens where the aperture ring is. And then I also have a Helios for four to USSR lens. This is much smaller, so they haven't labeled just on the opportunity itself. And this isn't F two because it's the lowest I can go on the ring, so tell you find out.