Homework Assignment No. 4 — Manual Mode, Fill The Frame
The fourth homework assignment I give students in my digital photography class at the Delaware Art Museum is to explore shooting in Manual Mode and to Fill The Frame.
Many, perhaps most, professional photographers shoot in Manual Mode. While cameras in automatic and semi-automatic modes get better all the time, the camera cannot guess what you want. If you want to control the exposure, especially if you want the image darker or lighter, shoot in Manual Mode.
In three other posts, I discuss shooting in Program, Shutter-Priority, and Aperture-Priority modes. Those are good, but they still let the camera decide at least one of the three exposure variables and lets the camera decide how light and dark the image will be.
Usually, shooting in Manual Mode means you will use the camera’s built-in light meter. That meter can be set to meter the light coming from a point, from the entire scene, or from several key points. You can get the light meter just right by changing the camera’s sensitivity to light (ISO), the shutter speed, and the aperture. If you can get the meter to zero, that is a good starting point. But maybe you want it darker or lighter.
To make the image lighter, make the camera more sensitive to light by dialing in a higher ISO setting. Or, make the shutter speed longer (slower). Or, use a lower aperture number.
To make the image darker, make the camera less sensitive to light by choosing a lower ISO setting. Or, make the shutter speed shorter (faster). Or, use a higher aperture number.
Manual Mode Links
Fill The Frame
Filling the frame is often at odds with the Rule of Third and Lines to Corners. The idea is to leave no wasted space in the image area. When cropping an image, this composition rule often comes into play. This rule is a first cousin to the advice often given to photographers: get closer to your subject! But, as a rule, it is much stronger than simply getting closer to your subject. It is a matter of paying attention to the entire frame of the image and how the parts of the image relate to the borders around it.
To get a quick idea of this rule, perform an Internet search for “photography fill the frame” and look at images.
Below are thumbnails of some of my images where “Fill The Frame” was on my mind, either when taking the photo, or cropping it later. Click on any thumbnail image to see it larger in a slide show. To return here, click on the “x” in the upper right of the slide show, or press the ESC key of your keyboard.