How to Think and Experiment When You're Shooting in Manual Mode | Josefin Svedberg | Skillshare

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How to Think and Experiment When You're Shooting in Manual Mode

teacher avatar Josefin Svedberg, Photojournalist, writer & yoga teacher

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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

15 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. File Format

    • 4. Basic Settings: ISO

    • 5. White Balance

    • 6. Aperture

    • 7. Shutter Speed

    • 8. Shoot Bright

    • 9. Shoot Dark

    • 10. Creating Habits

    • 11. What am I Shooting?

    • 12. Experimenting

    • 13. Mistakes

    • 14. Recap

    • 15. Conclusion

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About This Class

Have you found photography intimidating and technical? This class is for you if you want a fun, experimental approach to photography. It's all about developing your style while you learn the manual settings in your camera. Let's make photography intuitive and personal!

We will cover:

  • ISO
  • White Balance
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed

Learn which habits to create, how to think, experiment, and deal with accidents and mistakes. 

You will practice by playing with light by taking light, dark, and balanced photographs. 

How can you convey different emotions? 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Josefin Svedberg

Photojournalist, writer & yoga teacher


Josefin Svedberg is an exploring photojournalist and storyteller, born in Stockholm, Sweden. She uses photographs and writing to convey stories for clients, exhibitions, and publications all across the globe. With a focus on outdoor culture, originality, and human connection Svedberg examines people and the world, mostly through surfing, yoga, and skiing. Being creative and curious, she uses multiple tools and approaches, always pushing boundaries in experimental ways. 


Photo: Billie Reva Taylor 

See full profile

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1. Intro: this class is for anyone. He wants to break the rules when it comes to Tora fee and create their own unique style. My name is Josephine Svedberg, and I'm a photographer, writer, yoga teacher from Sweden. In this class, we will go through different scenarios and what you can think about and how you can set up your camera and how you can think Teoh emphasize different things and, uh, also to do when everything goes wrong and you fail miserably and hopefully you will get a some happy accidents that I've got. And I think one or probably my favorite photos that I've ever taken are accidents, that I have some camera settings that I didn't really know that I had. And I take a photo, and I think it turned its out amazing. It's always more pure and more movement than a perfect photograph. It brings out a lot more emotion and feeling, and that's more important for me. The cloth product that we're going to do is to take three different photographs with different exposures and try to see if you can disobey the camera and take a photo service of it over exposed that you like and out floater that is but under exposed that you like and one that's normally exposed. This class is for anyone who may be a started shooting and manual and feel a bit overwhelmed. I want you to leave this class feeling inspired and curious and excited to go out and shoot more. And I want you to have confidence and the tools that you need to be able to shoot a manual all the time. If that is what you want, what you like. Don't obey the camera. Make up your own rules. I'm glad that you're beginning this journey with me. Let's start first lesson and start exploring what we could do with our cameras. 2. Class Project: welcome, Teoh. The first lesson. We're going to start by doing our class project, and I would love to see what you come up with. So please share in the project gallery, and maybe we can start a discussion to see what works and what doesn't. And, ah, whatever you find out that you want to share, we're going to take three different photos. One photo does under exposed one has normally exposed the one that is over exposed. So the over exposed has too many white pixels, too much light, the normally exposed this pretty balanced, and the under exposed has too many dark black pixels. Try to see how the camera works and how it emphasizes different things. When you shoot in a different way, it's and, ah, how the camera behaves when it comes to you reflective surfaces like shooting 30 window or shooting in the water. See if you can perfumer limits and, ah, get something that you haven't gotten before. Maybe try different angles, different subjects, different scenarios. Even if you're shooting in your home, try to be creative and do different things. Feel free to shames other settings as well, like Aiso and white balance, but we're gonna focus on the exposures because I don't want you to feel overwhelmed. But please show us if you come up with something fun with Aiso or right battles, too. I would love to see what you come up with. Then let's share a process. Where to try. Let's see if we can push each other's limits and learn from each other and see how we can use light differently in the following lessons. We're gonna go through how you can get the photos that you want and how you can change the settings to emphasize different things, and we're gonna start with the file format. 3. File Format: for it is less that we're going to go through the file format and, ah for shooting in manual when you might get some things a little bit off. It's good to shoot in a raw formats and not a G peg format, but raw. The files are larger, but that's because there are higher quality and they store a lot more information so you can change the white balance afterwards really easily. You still have information into really dark in the really bright spot. So if the photo turns out too dark or too bright, you can easily shame stop back. So I would highly, highly highly recommend you shooting in roar format, even though it's a large format. But it's better to get used. Teoh delayed ing a bunch of the photos that you don't need and only saving your favorites with time. I think you get better at the leading the kind of good ones because you need a space on your computer, so just say the really good ones. Maybe not if it's about your family, rear Cade's or pets, but make sure that you shoot raw files because then you can change so many things when you're editing and you can save so many mistakes or accident in the next lesson, we're going to go through your dis Eddings on our camera, used to basic idea of what the settings dio. 4. Basic Settings: ISO: in this lesson. We're going to go through the basic settings, and I'm gonna try to be really brief and not used. Difficult language. I made a print out that you can either save to your phone or take a photo of So you have the basic idea of what a setting dust when you're out shooting, what time you will build the muscle memory and you'll know what the settings dio. And then it will be easier for you to get what you want. Well, he's going to get an idea of what the settings are doing so we can play with that when we're experimenting, we're going to start by going through I s O and I usually try to keep my eyes so pretty low . So I try to keep it up 200 by keeping I so at 200 I can make sure that my images are as Chris but as possible and don't have that much grain in them. But if I shoot in low light, I sometimes bump up the ISO, and if you shoot indoors or if you shoot somewhere you don't have as much light. You can bump up the ISO to keep ah, fast shutter speed so the shutter speed and aperture and Aiso work together. Some people call it noise, but noise sounds a little bit bad, so let's keep it to grain and low. I so is less grain more. I so Hirai so means more grain. How grainy the photos turns out depends on the camera. And, ah, it could be really useful. I've used it in the past to create a texture that could be really cool, and you could make something different. Interesting. For example, I used to shoot live jazz music at an old fire hole, and, ah, for those photos, I edit him in black and white, and I like the grainy feel with high Aiso because then the photos look sort of timeless, and ah had a lot more personality. Nowadays, I don't use I so that much because I have a few on the log cameras and I like the distortion and grain, and the light leaks a lot more when it comes on a low cameras. But that too, so preferences. That's just because I happened to have the cameras. It's always good to know what you can do with your camera on what the settings. Thus the graininess can be used. Teoh emphasize different things, and you can give you a different feel to your photo so they don't always have to be super sharp, which might be the norm. Feel free to play with Aiso and see what happens if you bump it up really high. We have it in the middle or super low. You see how you can use it and when it can be a good setting for you to know. 5. White Balance: the next setting we're going to go through is white balance. It's good to know that it's a setting that changes the color temperature. For example, when you shoot at night, my first tend to turn out Wait you blue and ah, that's white balance when the Claressa live it off or when you shoot inside with artificial light, the camera doesn't really know what to Dio. I've actually started Teoh put white balance on automatic because it's so easy to change in post when it comes to raw files that I rather used not care about it. I used to play with it a lot because you can change color temperature. I've had a face where I took a lot of really cool blue photos and ah face where took really worm sort of orangey Votto's and ah, it's good to know that it's there and what it does. See how it can work for you and see how it changes the settings in your camera. 6. Aperture: next settings ever may be the most two dominant ones. The 1st 1 we're going to go through is aperture, and the operator is the hole that lets the like through in your camera. And, ah, small number means a big opening, and a big number means a small opening. The big opening small number. Let's in a lot of light. You can have faster shutters beads for this small opening big number, you need more time for light to come through the hole, and you need to slower shutter speeds. So a small number of temperatures, so big opening means that you can get short focal depth you can isolate to subject by making the subject chart and arrest blurry. You can use that a lot when it comes to Porter or something where you want to isolate the subject. Large number small opening means that you can get more of the photo in focus. It's a wider, adept field. Common uses its last gay photos, and for a lot of lenses, they have a nap. Attar that makes for the sharpest images that that lens can produce A 7.1 might be a good thing for shootings things like skiing or sports. I use it sometimes if I want to be really sure that I'm getting the shot. But I also like a short depth of field. See how you can work with different that full field and what works were you and remember that you need to have a nice so in a shutter speed that corresponds with the aperture that you choose to use. 7. Shutter Speed: It's pretty last setting. We're going to go through shutter speed and shutter speed is simply the speed off the shutter. So if the shutter closes slowly, it's gonna let through a lot more light than if it goes fast. And, ah, high number means a fast shutter speed to 4000 of a second is my fastest of my camera. It means that the shadow be closed really, really fast, and it's good for freezing motions. So even though something goes really, really fast when I take the photo, it's gonna look like it didn't move at all. And slow shutter speeds is going to get motion blur. So 60 for example, I usually don't go lower and that if I'm holding the camera in my hand, because then the movement of me moving and the subject moving in the scenery and everything rearing is gonna be too much movement for me to be able to capture anything that makes any sense. But that's personal. So go out and try and see where your limit might be for what you want to shoot. A slow shutter speed might be really good on a tripod, because then you can let a lot of light come in, but the camera is stable, so you will only get the movement in the landscape. And it's commonly used for shooting things like shooting a landscape, and you want the clouds to kind of blur out. Or you're shooting a waterfall or a river or the ocean, and you want the water to be really soft and flowy and arrest of the landscape. Sharp, slow shutter speeds are often used when it comes to you. Low light photography like shooting at night or in the morning, right dark. But it can also be used to emphasize movement. For example, because of the slow shutter speed, the wings and defeat are blurry, and you can also see it in this photo with the mountain where the mountain is sharp pen, you can see the trade of lights. Try to see if you can find other ways to use slow shutter speeds. See of what a dust emotion can you show motion better? If you are taking a photo of someone running? Does it look faster if you're freezing the motion? Or if you let's, um, motion Blur happened. Now we're going through the settings, which might be a little bit of the boring part and more of the confusing part. And now it's time to start using what we learned. Practically in the next lesson, we're gonna go through what you can do with your settings to shoot bright on purpose. 8. Shoot Bright: this lesson, we're going to go through how to shoot bright and wanted to shoot bright. When you shoot bright, it might be that the subject is backlit. So if the sun would come from behind, and if you want to be visible and not completely black, then you will have to shoot a little bit too bright, and you would have to let too much light in. The same goes for shooting and reflections gets which reflections reflects back a lot of sunlight, so it will probably be too bright and snow reflects light a lot. And when you have really Bryant white backgrounds or subjects, or the sky or the desert, everything has a limit to you bright because it is so bright. So if you shoot, the camera says, it will make it a grey, but maybe you want to shoot it a little bit overexposed. I like to shoot t right when I want to emphasize the sun. It's super sunny, their light everywhere, for example, it from shooting yoga and I wanted to be really light and airy and nice and friendly. I might overexpose so some pixels are completely white because you then you can see. There is a lot of light in the photo, and there is a lot of sunshine. It doesn't matter to me if the photo is blown out and too bright, as long as some things have some contrast in them. But practice with how can you shoot que Bryant? Can you find reflections? Can you find back late? Can you find a place in a lot of light? And a good rule for shooting Brian is to shoot at dusk or dawn because then the sun will come in from the side and you will get the light rays and it's easier would shoot backlit or a water light from the side than it is to shoot at noon. Because at noon the sun is so high and then the light will sort of be everywhere. I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. Shoot Dark: Now we're going to go through shooting dark on purpose. When you shoot dark on purpose, then you can emphasize the light. If you have, for example, a single light source and you want to emphasize only what's in delight, then you can make everything else dark on purpose, and then the viewer is gonna be drawn towards the light. You can also shoot dark on purpose to emphasize shadows. I like doing that when it comes to you shooting snow in the mountains. Because I really like this sort of soft shapes of the snow like cornices and stuff. And then you can see how the shadows makes a picture and the mountains instead of shooting it, she ever bright and making everything looked like white snow. I kind of like the sort of bluey grayish tones. It's also great for emphasizing storms. It looks a lot more grim and stormy if you shoot it a little bit too dark. For example, when you have a dark, stormy sea and dark clouds, you can turn it up a bit by blowing exposure a little bit, and then he can bring back some of the brights when you're editing and it will look amazing , especially if you have some light shining through somewhere. It's also really useful when you're shooting early in the morning or in the evening or at night, and you want to capture a really nice guy. But you don't really care that much about the landscape and is also good for shooting dark backgrounds of dark subjects, and it can kind of make it, Ah, airy side, moody fuel. But it also emphasizes a lot of the brightness of the light that is in the photo so you can create a calmer composition. See if how you can play, what making things too dark and how you can create a feel that wasn't there before, or he how you could emphasize something that is happening and make it appear to have your in a way that you see it in the next lesson. We're going to go through creating habits and how you can set up your camera so that you're ready to shoot different things 10. Creating Habits: it's really important to create habits when you're taking photos. A. A good habit to get into is to always shake your camera before you go out to shoot. Before you go out and shoot, make sure that you have enough battery power that you have a memory card that is empty and ready to be filled and check to see if maybe you shot night photography the night before. And the ISO is crazy high, and you don't want that during the day or something of that. Check your camera to see that it's ready for the day, and it's ready for to shoot and have it to checking your camera does induced apply to you before you start shooting. Check your camera whenever you think about it. And whenever you have the time, think about Emma changing scenery. Is the light changing? Is it going from early evening too late evening, Then the light is going to be less unless and I need to change my settings accordingly. Same goes for the morning. It's gonna get brighter and brighter, and I'm gonna have to change the settings. And if I'm walking in a dark forest, my settings aren't gonna work if I all of a sudden walk out into a bright field, then I have to change to setting. So if the light is changing, I have to change my settings. Get into the habit of checking your camera so that you're ready for the shot. It only takes a second. It can feel like it's a hassle. But if you get into the habit, check your settings, aware that they're going to be a lot more prepared for whatever is gonna happen in the future, I usually pretend to take a photo that I think that I might take in the future. And then I'm ready for that shot. So, for example, if I'm walking in the forest and I hear monkeys, then I know that the monkeys are probably gonna be up into trees. So then I'll point my camera up towards the tree where there might be a monkey in the future, and then I can change my settings for that spot so higher in the trees there's gonna be more light getting to it. And, uh, then my settings are more likely to be in the right range for when I'm shooting. Among industries further ahead if that is happening. So by getting into the habit of checking your settings, you can always be one step ahead and be ready for what's coming in. The next lesson, we're gonna go through how to think when you're shooting different things. 11. What am I Shooting?: in this lesson, we're gonna go through What am I shooting and how to think in the questions you can ask yourself. You're gonna want to think about what the focus is for today's shoot and that. What kind of settings do you want? Do you want a short left a field, or do you want a wide up the field? You want the fast shutter speed or a slow shutter speed? What kind of feeling are you trying to complete? What today's shoot? And I think it's even more important to be ready for the unexpected because most of the time I have time to set up for my shoots. So, for example, if I'm shooting a landscape, that landscape isn't going to go anywhere, so I'll have the time set my camera on a tripod. I have a time for a slow shutter speed and large number small opening our Britcher, and, uh, I don't have to have my camera ready for that as I leave my door. What I do have to have my camera ready for its the sudden things that I might want to capture. And for example, for me, that's a lot of the time animals when I go out for a walk or for a drive when someone else is driving so I could focus on taking photos. Then I'll put on my telescope lens. So I get close and ah, I set my settings so I'm ready to take photos of what might happen. So point the camera toward something with similar life conditions that I think that the thing might end up in the animal might show up. And then I'll change my camera settings to that light. And then I'm ready whenever something shows up abruptly. And even though it's super risky, I like a short doctor field. I think that that risk is worth taking cause a lot of people won't take that risk. And, ah, the photos turn out Amazing if they turn out. But a lot of the time the sharpness doesn't end up in the right spot. But when it does, it used looks really, really, really amazing. And, ah, it's a risk that I'm willing to take, and the same goes for it. Slower shutter speeds. It's sometimes hard to know how fast a bird flies like for example, the hummingbird or this bus erred Ah, with his boss, er the sun was setting, so my I didn't really see shack where I had my shutter speed, but I just said it accordingly, to where I had my upper ter. And, ah, it is a bit slow, But then you can see the motion in the wings and you can see the motion in defeat. And it's just it's buried, lifting off, leaving and, ah, the eye is sharp and that's all that matters. It's an important part with getting the shots that you want is to plan ahead. What might happen, What could happen that will go so fast that you don't have time to change the settings. Think about the feelings that you want to come bay and, ah, the more you practice, the more intuitive it's going to get. So in the next lesson, we're gonna go through experimenting and how you can experiment with your settings 12. Experimenting: this lesson, we're going to go through experimenting and how to experiment. I think it's so important to you. Let go of social media and the want to get a great great shot. Just go out and play and see what you can do with your camera. See what happens if you go crazy with a settings. If you go to the extremes with the settings and ah, learn what you can do so that Wayne you're out and you're shooting and you really do have to or want to get the shot, then you know what to dio. You get faster and your fingers and you get muscle memory. And by experimenting you can make photography a lot more intuitive. You have to harm the freedom to mess up and make mistakes to improve, and it's easier to mess up if you don't have anything to lose. For example, when I was growing up, I was taking a lot of photos in my bedroom and since I had to windows, the light would always come in through those windows. It would be different depending on the day and this season, but the light would be sort of limited and Ah, the things I had in the room was limited and I had to play with angles. I had to play with my settings and I had to be creative, create different photos. And I think I learned a lot from that. Oh, my camera work and how I work together with my camera and how I could emphasize different things. And there is no riel excuse for not practicing. As long as you have a little bit of light and your camera, you can practice. You don't have to be in a mind blowing location. It's OK to just take photos in your room or wherever you are and see how you can be creative. How can you push their limits? How can you make something ordinary look amazing? Practicing in your home is really pressure free. You don't have to come up with anything amazing you can used have fun and see if something can trigger your imagination and your creativity and, uh, issue towards improving your skill. Make sure that you don't complicate things, focus on one setting at the time and tried to really figure out what that setting is dealing. And then you can see the relationship between settings. Just know that it's a constant practice and everyone is always still learning and still evolving. So make sure that you make time to practice and that it is okay to make mistakes. I think it's good to you. Try to shoot different subjects and in different scenarios so that you have a wide range of skill so that you're ready for the unexpected. You get more used to adapting to delight conditions and the cameras shoot things a bit differently and different lenses three different things and make sure that you know your camera and your hands. No, your camera and it all will become very intuitive. I think everyone can take a really good photo. But the more you practice and the more you push yourself, the more likely it's going to be that you take great photographs consistently. I think it's important to know that for Tara, Free isn't about the equipment and but the person that is behind it is the skill that you build. A great photographer can take good photos with any camera, and it doesn't matter what kind of equipment that you have in the next loss, and we're going to go through what to do when everything goes wrong. 13. Mistakes: things don't always turn out the way that you wanted to, but sometimes it turns out even better. Of course, you're gonna lose some of the shots that you take, and especially if you push the limits and you're a little bit out of your comfort, so but it doesn't matter that much. If you lose photos, you're always gonna build skill. And if you're not prepared enough, you're gonna learn to be better prefer heard in the future by shooting and raw. You will say a lot of your photos that you messed up a little bit, but sometimes you won't be able to save the photos. If you're taking photos for someone else and someone else depends on you, make sure that you get the shot. Before you start experimenting, make sure that you always get what you were supposed to get. But then I think it's important to always push your limits and experiment and see what he can do differently. If you are shooting for a client or for a family member, get what they want you to get, but then experiment a little bit and see if you can do something differently that you and your kind likes better than what they wanted from the beginning. Know how to take calculated risk, knowing to push boundaries, and it's important to keep it loose and keep it fun. And don't put too much pressure into your photography. Know that it's a prose is and it's a practice. We are all improving all the time, and you can't be great at something without practicing, and I still mess up all the time. But I don't care that much. When I dio I tried to keep is professional when I'm working, but on my free time I'm practicing all the time and I'm doing all these crazy things. I messed up a lot of photos, and sometimes they turn out better than I could ever have imagined. Like I said before that most of my favorite photos are happy accidents. So they're not something that I could have planned. And I like my photos to come a feelings, and I think when things happen organically, you show a lot more feeling. A lot of times I use shallow that the field, the sharpness ends up in the wrong spot. But that spot, it's a lot better than spot that I imagined. And I think it's important to be open to the unknown Teoh Accidents and Miss Days cause sometimes they can show you a new prospect that you wouldn't have seen otherwise. I have lost a lot of photos from bad backups and things happening. It has helped me to not be so precious about my work. I know that I have built the skill to take new, great photos. And even though I can mourn losing a favorite photo, it doesn't matter that much because there will be new photos. There will be new things happening. It's I'm always out in new locations, shooting you things and new, beautiful things will happen and ah, when they happen. I hope that I'm ready with my camera and I will still mess up a few shots, but the few ones that turn out great I will be super happy for 14. Recap: thank you for sticking. Third asshole class with me. We're going to go through it a little bit quickly and use. Remember Teoh shooting and raw. Get to know your settings. Experiment. Think about what you're shooting. Plan ahead and be ready for the unknown and get ready for whatever might happen. Getting do the habit of always shaking your settings and changing your settings and trying new things, and you'll shoot manual intuitively in no time. Make sure that you're updating your cost products so we all can see what you're working on . And let's start a discussion to see what's working and what doesn't work and how we can use the settings and interesting ways that ca mais different feelings. 15. Conclusion: thank you for spending this time with me. I hope that you share your happy accidents and your successes, but also that your share thinks that haven't turned out the way that you want it to be. And I would love to answer your questions. And I hope that we can all learn from each other and see if we can push photography into being more experimental and more intuitive and, ah, let's speak with our own voices, See in the next class.