Often, when talking with beginning photography students, I hear them indicate that they do EVERYTHING using the "M" manual exposure mode. When I ask why, they say "My photography teacher told me I should."
Can we tear apart and destroy this myth once and for all. I'm sick of it.
I don't like seeing people in pain, continually getting disappointing results and frustrated instead of joyous in the process.
You don't need to shoot in the "M" mode in order to be a "real" photographer - in other words, a worthy, talented photographer.
Yes, the "M" mode has its place. It comes in handy when I shoot with studio lights, and in tricky situations. Instead, I tend to stick around the "Av" Aperture Priority mode - selecting a small f-stop number if I want small (shallow) depth of field, and a big f-stop number if I want big (deep) depth of field. 6 out of 10 times, that's my number one concern.
If my main concern is freezing movement with a fast shutter speed, I choose a small f-stop number, knowing that this will result in the fastest shutter speed. And if I have to, I increase my ISO. It's that simple.
I'm not alone. Many, many amazingly successful creative photographers tend to use the semi-automatic exposure modes like Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority.
I know this is going to irritate some old school dogs who, when they started, painfully spent months learning how to take every single photo in the manual exposure mode, using manual focus, and a gray card, and walking bare feet uphill in the snow to every shot... :)
What say you? Can we put this error to rest once and for all?
I say, shoot in the mode that works best in your efforts to get great pictures AND learn the art of creative exposure.