Beginners Guide To External Flash For Your dSLR, Manual & Automatic

Dan Eitreim

February 26, 2015

If photography is your hobby and you’ve been around for a while, I’m sure you’ve come to realize that while the principles of photography have remained basically the same since the days of film, the mechanics of the camera have changed dramatically.

Few if any of us actually take the time to read the manual when we buy a new camera, but it is well worth your time to do so. In it, you will find out which of the functions have changed and which have remained the same. Actually, spending the hour or so to go through the manual page by page is easily worth the equivalent of a paid photography course. Try it, you’ll be amazed at what you learn and best of all, it is all free.

Here are some of the camera features that are covered…


With modern cameras, there are many available modes. You can choose fully automatic, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual – and with some cameras there are even more! It can get confusing. That’s why most of us give up and stick our camera on automatic and leave it there. This is a mistake. You have the whole world of creativity at your fingertips, but on automatic it is wasted.

Keep in mind that the camera is a machine. It is not creative. In fact it doesn’t know about or even care about creativity (or anything else for that matter), it’s a machine. It is only capable of deciding how much light you need for an exposure and trying to let in that much light – period.

If you want to move ahead of everyone else in the area, you need to put your camera on manual. That way (and only that way) you have creative control.

Light Sensor:

This is the modern equivalent of film but it captures light in the form of pixels rather than the silver crystals in film. The rating of film is measured by the ISO. If you wanted to change the ISO you had to physically change the film. The light needed by modern sensors is still measured by ISO, but you can just change the rating of your sensor. No need to physically replace it with a new one.

Once the right amount of light for an exposure is recorded, the sensor converts the pixels and saves them to the memory card.

Shutter Release:

At last, a button that hasn’t really changed! Press it half-way down to focus and then the rest of the way to capture the image.

With all the menus and options available on our cameras, there are literally hundreds of changes. Far too many to list here. Take the time to read the manual, you’ll find that knowing how to work with all these creative options will add immense enjoyment to your hobby.

To learn more about a great online class, check out – Photography Master Class

For a bit of fun check out – Trick Photography

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