During my Introduction to photography classes, in Washington DC, when introductions are made, one of the questions I ask is, what is it that they’d like to get out of the class.
Most, if not all, of the class wants to learn how to “make better pictures”. That’s a fairly vague statement so, usually, I press the question what does a “better picture” mean?
For most photographers, if not all, a better picture means “getting the picture to look like what we want it to look like”.
The only way to do that is to start to learn and understand the “craft” of photography. The only way to learn and understand the craft of photography is to begin understand how your camera works and how to work your camera in manual exposure mode.
When you work your camera in manual exposure mode you, not your camera, pick your aperture, shutter speed and ISO(exposure settings). When you are working in an auto exposure mode your camera does this for you.
The advantage of learning to work in manual exposure mode is that you begin to see and understand the visual outcomes of your exposure setting choices. Once you begin to make your exposure setting choices with visual effects in mind you are using exposure creatively and you are now using a thought process (instead of an auto-program in your camera) that will make your photography uniquely yours.
What does “making better pictures” mean to you?