Easy Manual Camera Settings For Photographers

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Easy Manual Camera Settings For Photographers with Vanessa Joy

If you’re relatively new to the world of photography, manual camera settings may seem like an impenetrable mystery. What are they for? How do they work? How can they help you take better shots?

In this guide, I’ll help you understand how to create easy and effective manual camera settings for your photos. Let’s get started!

Setting Up

First of all, you’ll need to turn your camera’s manual mode on (that’s the “M” button on your mode dial). Then, in order to start mastering manual settings, you’ll want to look for easy lighting conditions. I’m talking about lighting that’s all around your subject, and (most importantly) isn’t changing. Learning how to shoot manual can be really tough if your lighting is constantly fluctuating.

As far as gear goes, I really love the Canon M50 Mark II camera with the 32mm F1.4 lens. It’s not super expensive compared to higher-end options, but it’s a great camera and lens that both newcomers and professionals can use to amazing effect. And another really nice thing about the Canon is that it’s a mirrorless camera, so what you see onscreen is what the end product of your shot will be.


I typically set my aperture before I set anything else, since it’s going to have the greatest impact on how your photos turn out. The lower your aperture number is, the wider the aperture will be. A wider aperture results in a soft, blurry background—so at 1.4, your subject’s eyelash may be in focus, but not their eyeball! (Of course, with good eye detection, that shouldn’t be a huge issue when you snap your photos anyway, but it’s something to keep in mind.)

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