Auto to manual

March 26th, 2019
Hi can anyone help me please? I am quite new to photography and I am trying to move away from using auto all the time. However can anyone explain to me why when I take a photo in auto then turn my camera to manual and use the same setting the photo doesn’t come out looking anyway near the same?
It’s rsther confusing me! Thanks in anticipation for your help.
March 26th, 2019
@angel_a First off: Welcome to 365project!

Second: Good for you wanting to learn more about photography, and how your camera works!

Lastly: I don't have an easy answer to your question. Do can you post examples? I see you're using a Nikon D3400, I used a D3200 for several years (until recently). I've used both manual and automatic modes through the years (usually shutter priority, sometimes aperture priority, rarely Program mode). Maybe I can do some experimenting to compare performance. I've been shooting almost exclusively Manual mode for the past several months (Since changing cameras), getting back to my "roots". You might check to make sure you don't have any exposure compensation programmed, that would affect only automatic modes.
March 26th, 2019
The reason your photos look different when taken in auto vs manual may be to do with white balance settings (i.e. the 'colour' or temperature of the photo) - something else you might need to adjust in manual!

Some people use either shutter or aperture priority as a gateway between auto and manual, but that can sometimes backfire when they just pick a value and leave it at that.
My advice would be: put your camera on manual and go and play! Learn what the different settings do (there are countless books and articles explaining everything) and from there discover what you can do. Yes, you will probably end up with some really bad photos at first, but you will then learn from your mistakes and figure out what works and what doesn't.

Hope this helps!
March 26th, 2019
@angel_a Hi Angela, welcome to 365. I started the same way, not knowing anything about a camera. I did a free online photography course with Emma Davis called "A year with my camera". It was so amazing and I learned so much, that I sometimes shoot in manual although I prefer aperture priority. Look into it if you are serious about learning, I can wholeheartedly recommend the course. Good luck :-)
March 26th, 2019
Hello. I use a Nikon too. I started going full manual last August. After a few weeks it got a lot easier.

As far as your question about switching from auto to manual, the two are not related. The manual is always set the way you left it last time no matter what happens when you use the other modes. If you want the same results as you got in the auto mode, you need to look at the exif info for the picture, and set it up the same in the manual mode. I actually am glad it works that way. I often will get my settings just right for a situation, but then find myself wanting to shoot in a completely different situation... like I'm trying to get pictures of birds, but I see an awesome landscape shot I want to take. Rather than resetting everything, I just switch over to another mode, take my pictures, and the switch back to manual and still have all my bird related settings ready to go haha.

I'm so glad I've been learning to use the manual mode, I find I don't always agree with the camera, and it's nice to have more control. I still have a long ways to go, and often get the wrong exposure. So far the way my mind works, is that I figure out the ISO and white balance first, then pick the aperture, and then the shutter speed. I still don't have good instincts for the shutter speed and have to do a lot of experimentation before I get the right exposure.

Good luck with learning manual mode. It's a lot of fun!
March 26th, 2019
A handy piece of knowledge from the film days that can really help us understand how to get an exposure close to how we want it is the exposure triangle and sunny 16 rule. this is how the iso you choose, the aperture and shutter speed you select are related in terms of how much light reaches the sensor in different lighting conditions. the exposure meter could tell you if you have correct exposure from your selected settings. .
. you would have to check your exif as larry mentioned above to check that you have all three set the same as what the camera selected when it was on auto.
(i use P mode rather than Auto because it lets you use exposure compensation and select your iso, which i find to be more useful for getting the exposure to look the way i want than auto setting.
then i learned to use Av and Tv modes depending on what would be most useful for the subject, and finally progressing to fully manual. that way its not just a stab in the dark
March 26th, 2019
I found changing from auto to manual a huge learning curve but very well worth it. I tried using the auto settings and switching to manual but with the same results - not what I expected! I started trying to use manual shortly after joining this site and somewhere along the line skipped AP and SP.

Once I checked the ISO and the white balance, I then played. If one f stop didn't work, another would. You won't regret taking the plunge once you become a little more familiar with your settings and you see the results that are possible. Have fun!
March 26th, 2019
Hi Angela!

Have you heard of "A Year with my camera" class? It's a free online class that is based on a weekly emails that is designed to teach you how to move from auto to manual - It's quite nice. They should have a non-January start some time during the year - if you register now, they can add you to the next start's email list. https://ayearwithmycamera.com
March 27th, 2019
@angel_a
Hi there.. when i first took steps to move from Auto to Manual .. I found baby steps were quite nice.
So I started with using aperture priority.. and letting the camera sort the rest out.. while i became more familiar with all the settings... just an idea!! I shoot RAW and play with all the settings now to get a nice balance.. but sometimes I still use Auto focus sometimes now..
hope that's helpful
enjoy!!

.. I also set myself little tasks to learn what happened when i changed various settings to understand it all better ..
March 27th, 2019
@kali66 I hadn't heard of the sunny 16 rule. I just looked it up. That's handy to know. Now, let's turn it around a bit and do a little arithmetic.
I like shooting photos at a local wildlife refuge. My subject is usually far enough away that I want to use my longest lens. That's 300 mm. There is another rule of thumb for hand-held photography that says my shutter speed should be at least as fast as the reciprocal of that. So, minimum shutter speed is 1/320 s. Sunny 16 says to use ISO 400 and f/16. Nice. I wonder if I can program a custom setting in my camera.
March 27th, 2019
@vera365 thank you for your advice, Dianna higher up also mentioned the course “a year with my camera” I have just registered to do the course - next one starts in April! Brilliant. Thanks for the link. Dianna thanks too!
March 27th, 2019
Thanks everyone for the advice. I have done an online course and am familiar with the exposure triangle. The main issue I had was using the same settings as in auto on manual and the picture turning out very different. I will look at the sunny 16 rule and see what that says.
In the mean time I have registered for the “a year with my camera” course recommended by Diana Ludwigs and Vera.
If anyone has any more advice I will gratefully receive it. I don’t think this will be my last cry for help🥴
March 27th, 2019
@tdaug80 thats really cool :) and assuming its a bright sunny day, if its partly cloudy use f11, overcast f8 white subject close down one stop, dark subject open up one stop...
March 27th, 2019
@ludwigsdiana I've just signed up to the Emma Davies scheme, stsrt next month. did you purchase the workbooks??
March 27th, 2019
I would recommend using aperture priority first. It allows the camera to meter the scene and allows you to concentrate on composition. You can then play around with different apertures to see what effects you get.
March 28th, 2019
@30pics4jackiesdiamond yes I did Jackie, it helps as your pc does not get filled with all those emails. It is a fabulous course for beginners. Not sure if you are too advanced, but worth looking into :-)
March 28th, 2019
@ludwigsdiana not too advanced at all, rarely use manual button, don't really understand exposure and stops. All lesrning is good though
March 29th, 2019
@tdaug80 @kalli66 I hate when maths ( numbers!)is brought in to art!!!
March 29th, 2019
JackieR. I have just enrolled on Emma Davis A year with my camera too and I have bought the page planner after reading Emma’s blog. She states all you need to know is on the weekly emails and as such you need buy nothing. But I felt I wanted to be able to have a record of my progress - I would write everything down anyway so decided to get the planner. I may after doing a couple of weeks buynthe workbook too if I feel that I need the extra reminders. I do like to have things written in front of me.
I am looking forward to getting out of auto with Emma’s help!


March 31st, 2019
@angel_a @30pics4jackiesdiamond I'm starting in April as well and looking forward to it! - probably using the app (same username) but will try to give Instagram a go (4rky68)
March 31st, 2019
Hello @angel_a . @4rky and I have met and probably will do so again, if you can get to South England easily come play!

On yearwithmycamera I'm CameraJackie - inventive I know!!
March 31st, 2019
Thanks JackieR opposite ends of the country (orneafly) but thx is fir the offer. I will look out for you on year with my camera though!
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