Tips on how to get more creative photos by having fun experimenting with your camera settings!

Three important settings you need to know about photography, before you start using manual mode on your camera: Aperture, Exposure and ISO – Together they can produce amazing light effects in your photos. Be creative, explore and have more fun with photography.


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ISO: adjust how sensitive the sensor is to light, with a high ISO you can take photos in darker conditions with a higher shutter speed or a smaller aperture without affecting the sharpness in your photo. However try to keep the ISO as low as possible as you can easily get some grain/noise in your photo when the ISO is to high.

Aperture: determine the how blurry your background is going to be in your photo. It is easy to get confused here because a big aperture equals a small number, for example (f/1.4), a small aperture equals a high number, for example f/22.

Exposure: is the shutter speed, the faster your shutter close the more light you need to expose the sensor inside the camera to create a good balance of light in your photo. It is normal to be able to adjust the shutter speed all the way from 30 seconds down to 1/4000 of a second (0.0004 sec).

Golden turtle doves in a christmas tree
ISO: 200 – Aperture: f/4,8 – Exposure: 0,4 sec.

I will do my best to explain how to simply understand the different modes on a DSLR camera.
Some people think that P stands for professional and that pros only use “manual mode” M and “program mode” P (P does not stand for professional), well this is not the truth! It doesn’t really matter what you use as long as you get the photo you are after!
You may have different mode names on your dial, it depends on the camera you use, I use a Nikon camera so I will mention the dials and expressions used for this camera.
I will try to explain the settings in a simple way so it is easy to remember. The different modes I will mention in this article is: M, A, S, P and Auto mode:

M mode (Manual) – will let you control everything that you can possible adjust. Aperture, exposure and ISO, and this is the 3 main settings to adjust the light captured in your shot.

A mode (Aperture) – will let you adjust only the aperture. For example f/2.8 will create a blurry background, or f/11 that will capture more of the details in the background. You can leave the rest up to the camera in this mode.

S mode (Shutter) – will let you adjust the shutter speed. while you leave the rest up to the camera. For example with a quick shutter speed you will be able to capture things that move fast or you can make long exposure pictures with a slow shutter speed.

P mode (Program) – will automatically adjust shutter speed and aperture for the optimal exposure. You can however, still adjust the ISO. P mode can be a good option instead of auto mode in situations where you don’t have much time.

Auto mode – will choose what it think is the best settings. This mode is very handy when you are in a situation where you need to take a quick photo and you don’t want to miss the moment.

Homemade snowlight
ISO: 640 – Aperture: f/11 – Exposure: 2 sec.

Only when I have time to plan my photos, then I use M mode on my camera. I do this to make sure I am not getting a too high ISO, that can result in a picture with a lot of noise. With a low ISO number you may need to turn down the shutter speed and use a tripod to capture a clear image with the right exposure. M mode enable me to adjust the aperture so I can get a detailed background if wanted, or I can get a longer exposure time with a lower shutter speed, to produce those silky skies / waterfalls.

I would recommend to get your camera and start trying out all the different modes and settings, remember to have fun!




1 thought on “Tips on how to get more creative photos by having fun experimenting with your camera settings!

  1. this such a big help. I’m currently exploring my camera more and really enjoying using the settings. its only taken me 7 years! thank you for the like on my recent post. any advice would be welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

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