Why you should start shooting in manual mode + free printable

This article is for beginners who want to start shooting in manual mode, because when you start doing that a new whole world opens to you! Your photography will evolve and you start achieving the results you always wanted.

So, what are you waiting for? Once you read this article a freebie is available for you to download. This printable will be your companion, until settings will no longer represent a mystery.

Why should you photograph in manual mode?

When you shoot in automatic mode, the camera is controlling the scene and it will basically take the images for you. When you shoot in manual mode, instead, you become the master. Isn't this answer enough to you?? Just joking, when you choose the settings you want to apply, depending on weather conditions and much more, YOU are the one deciding and YOU will paint every single pixel that is going to compose your image.

Why are you scared of settings and how to overcome this fear?

You probably think that all these numbers and parameters are incomprehensible and let me tell you something....I was thinking the same thing when I first started! Then, one day, all of that, made magically click! The settings of your camera are just numbers and thanks to them you can control the amount of light entering the sensor and creating your images. Do not be scared and give it a chance, you will see how easy this will be the more you practice!

Let me introduce you to...the Trinity!

What do I refer to when I talk about the Trinity? Well, the ISO, the Aperture and the Shutter speed! The three basic elements that you will need to manage in order to control the light.

I will explain you in the easiest and simplest way what are each one of them and so then you will be able to practice straight away!


The ISO refers to the sensitivity of the sensor of your camera to light.

ISO 100 means that less light is hitting your sensor at a low ISO and you will have a less grainy image. When shooting during the day between 10am and 4pm ( depending on the season.. of course ! ) you might want to use a ISO between 100 and no more than 400. I always tell my students that I never use more than 400 and they should not as well. The reason is to preserve the quality of the photo.


The aperture is represented with the F-stops in your camera and it refers to the space through which the light passes in the optical of your camera.

The aperture controls the focal length and you can notice that depending on the lenses you use, it may vary. I tend to privilege fixed lenses like a 50mm with a wider aperture of f 1.8. In photography, a wider aperture refers to a low F-stop, and a small aperture of f 16 refers to a large focal length, so that your image and the elements in it, will be entirely in focus.


Create bokeh effect with a wide aperture, between f 1.8 and f 4.

You will get a similar effect to the image below and it will help you understanding the meaning of all these numbers; practice make perfect and also...bokeh is so nice!

Shutter speed

Shutter speed refers to the speed at which your camera takes a photo or how long your camera’s shutter remains open.

If it's faster, less light will filter and this is perfect when shooting moving subjects, like animals, children or in food photography when capturing liquids or movement.

On the other side, a slower shutter speed lets more light in and if your camera is not on a tripod, you'll probably get a blurry image. You can use the slower shutter speed to capture a movement from the start to the end.

Now, you can get your free printable that will allow you to get amazing images! Do not forget to share your images with me tagging #fedicreates on instagram or just by sharing your results with me. If you have any questions, I am always available!

Photographing in manual mode printable
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