Should I Shoot In Manual Mode? Get Emails Like This Straight To Your Inbox!

I wanted to take a break from my blog and tell you what you get if you subscribe to my weekly email. This is what I sent to my subscribers last Friday at 3pm.

“Friday again, and very nice to be here. I hope that all is well in your world? Mine is thankfully just fine.

After the series of emails about one blog post a new question, and one that I talk about and write about a lot. This also ties back to my photography snobbery thing that I wrote about a while back.

Should I Shoot In Manual Mode?

Why am I writing about this now? Simple. I saw something this week that annoyed me. And this is still one of the most frequently asked questions, which I would like to answer here, explaining why I am absolutely correct in what I am saying.

Should I Shoot In Manual Mode?

If you want to yes. If you do not want to, then no.

It is that simple.

There is a still an amount of disinformation and snobbery about manual mode, yes people still say that to be a “real photographer” you have to shoot in manual mode.

I do not shoot in manual mode, so according to these people I am not a real photographer. Whatever. If people want to think that, then up to them. I really do not care.

And neither should you.

What about AV/ TV?

Sorry – AV is aperture value mode, aperture priority mode, AV Mode – choose the aperture and the camera chooses the shutter speed. TV is time value mode, shutter priority mode. Choose the shutter speed and the camera chooses the aperture.

Manual mode? Choose the aperture and shutter speed. Not a huge difference then is it?

If you take photos in manual mode and use the camera’s suggested metering reading, then how much difference is this from using AV Mode, where you select the aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed?

Not a lot really, is it? You are using the camera to help you. Do one less thing.

But Manual Mode still has more credibility???

Manual to AV/ TV is not a huge leap, they are virtually the same. And if you use exposure compensation with AV or TV Modes you are making the same adjustments that you would/ could do in manual mode, you are doing pretty much the same thing, just in a different way.

Manual Mode is as valid as AV Mode, which is as valid as TV Mode. Not more valid. Not better. Just another way of getting the exposure. Just another tool to be used when needed, or wanted.

When should you use manual mode?

When you want to – if you love using manual mode that is great. Knock yourself out and carry on.

In tricky lighting – sometimes you just need to use manual mode. The lighting is tricky, and fooling the cameras meter, and you are just not getting the results you want.

To get a specific effect – want to overexpose a scene by 5 stops? Manual mode might be the thing for you.

But let’s not forget, you can, most of the time, get the same results with AV and TV Modes.

Why you should LEARN manual mode

Learning manual mode is a great way to practically learn the exposure triangle. And I am all for that. We should all know how to use manual mode. And we should all learn the exposure triangle. You never know when you might have to use manual mode. I am saying have to here, for whatever reason.

But you do not always have to use manual mode. Learn it sure, but use what you want to when you want to.

I don’t use manual mode. I do if I need to, which is not that often, or if I want to, which is even less often. I am happy using AV Mode, and Program Mode when the fancy takes me.

Do you use manual mode?

Do you know what, I enjoyed writing to you about this subject. So much so that I am going to expand on this email and write a full-blown blog post on this very same subject right now for publishing on Monday.

What else have I been up to?

My blog

This week, a very long post.

35 Excellent Reasons Why You Should Use Lightroom Like Me.

Like I say, a long post, but hopefully a good and informative read. And it could have been more than 35 things but I had to stop somewhere. And I have to say I really enjoyed writing this post.

Photography Explained Podcast

Meanwhile, back over at the photography Explained Podcast, episode 112 was titled Is HDR Photography Bad? Is It Ok To Use It? Or Is It Cheating? You can read the transcript here it you like, or listen to the episode using the podcast player on that page.

And I was bracing myself for a load of grief but nothing so far. See HDR isn’t that bad after all!

The other thing about my podcast

Still working on it. Running a bit more behind. But getting there. Mid-April more likely now. Which is a shame.


Fancy helping me? Know anyone who might find my email/ website/ podcast remotely interesting? If you do please share this email with them, and accept my sincere gratitude if you do.

Have a great week, catch you next Friday. Got to go and write that blog post now!

Cheers from me, Rick”

OK – do you want to receive stuff like this every Friday straight into your inbox? You do? That’s great. Just fill in the subscribe box on my website and you will receive an email once a week, 3pm UK time on a Friday afternoon.

And for doing this I will thank you by sending you my splendid Lightroom thing.

That’s all for this week. And next week I go into more depth on the question – Should I Shoot In Manual Mode?

The video of the blog post

Oh sorry – one more thing – check out the video on my You Tube Channel for this short but sweet blog post.

OK I am done now.

Please, any questions get in touch via my website. It would be great to hear from you.

Cheers from me Rick

Rick McEvoy
Rick McEvoy Photography
BIPP qualified logo ABIPP

Rick McEvoy

I am Rick McEvoy, an architectural and construction photographer living and working in the South of England. I create high quality architectural photography and construction photography imagery of the built environment for architects and commercial clients. I do not photograph weddings, families, small people or pets - anything that is alive, moves or might not do as I ask!! I am also the creator of the Photography Explained Podcast, available on all major podcast providers. I have a blog on my website where I write about my work and photography stuff. Rick McEvoy ABIPP, MCIOB

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