Assignment Day 2 | Shoot in Manual

I’m super excited! I enrolled in an online photography class offered through the Digital Photography School– 31 Days to Becoming a Better photographer. I know there are some fine points of being an excellent photographer that I’ve missed in my haphazard path to teaching myself how to use my DSLR cameras.

Since my blog often functions as a personalized “brain box” where I can stow my thoughts and photos with tags and categories to find them again… I’m planning to collect and organize my assignments here. (This should keep me busy as a beaver, for a while.)

My first assignment was to set my camera up with settings that were recommended by the instructor. I decided to use my D 850 for this class to have the advantage of full-frame photography.

The second assignment was simply to Shoot in Manual, and to take photos in different contexts.

These are my photos for this assignment:

White Balance recommendation was to use “Auto” however, I think the result looked dull and decided to try my camera’s Cloudy Day setting instead.


Outside close up

Inside: Switched camera back to recommended “auto” white balance setting.

bright light and dim light



  1. Congratulations, JANE. I need to either take a class or spend some time with the manual, as I’m only using the very basics. This encourages me, although it might not be until after we move. Love that close-up of the flowers.


    1. Thank you, Janet. I think we learn a lot when we go it alone. However, for me personally, learning by trial and error doesn’t help me learn or understand the science, technology, and (yes) math behind how and why some photos are great and some are super duds! And… sometimes reading the manual only gets me a bit confused. It’s great having a professional photographer to ask questions. Also look forward to opportunities for critique.

      (May I ask… Where are you moving?)

    1. Agreed. I’m especially motivated to know my camera(s) now since they are the BEST I’ve ever owned, and probably will long remain in that category for a very long time!

  2. That is exciting, Jane. I’m self-taught too. I’ve only been using a real (do you call mirrorless micro four thirds real?) for a year now. I like your cloudy day white balance choice much better. I look forward to seeing your other ‘practice’ shots as you go along.

    1. Thanks, Tracy. One of the challenges for me in these posts will be resist post-processing the images! Although, I think maybe cropping might be okay? In time, I think it is reasonable to hope that the use of post processing will become much less.

      1. Nothing wrong with cropping, Jane. That is just finessing and often necessary when photographing wildlife. I don’t know about you, but I find that many shots I take are unplanned and unexpected, and it is a case of snapping first regardless of the camera settings or miss the shot altogether.
        I agree. Less post processing is a worthwhile goal.

        1. Tracy, you are so right about the unplanned and unexpected! That’s the thrill… although there have been times that those moments have created quite an adrenaline rush.

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