- Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
- Photography : Digital SLR Crash Course
- DSLR Photography for Beginners : Take 10 times Better Pictures in Just 3 Short Days !
Learning to fully control your camera manually may seem like a challenging task. It almost feels like there are a lot of parameters to control just to get a clean, well exposed shot, and it's a lot more comfortable to just leave the camera do all the work.
While that may be the case, you will never ever reach the full potential of a camera by using it on Auto mode. That's why pros can take amazing pictures with entry level cameras, and amateurs take horrible photos with state of the art equipment.
Before learning how to control all the settings on your camera, you must first learn the basics of exposure. A good understanding of focal length, aperture, shutter speed and ISO, as well as how they all work together is a vital step in learning to manually set your camera for any situation.
Focusing and white balance are also important settings, and after you master exposure, they represent the next level.
Shooting in Manual mode is something that requires a lot of practice. You can read a lot of books and watch a lot of videos, but if you won't go out and experiment, you won't really learn that much. As you gain experience in controlling your camera, you will be able to anticipate settings before you take it out of the bag.
Here is a two part video made by Table Top Photo Studios that explains the basics of shooting manually.