I’ve had my entry level Canon DSLR for over two years now. However I must confess that I always use it in automatic setting. I’m a little nervous about using manual because I don’t really know what I’m doing and whenever I’ve tried it I’ve ended up with rubbish, unusable, shots.

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited by Transun to attend a photography workshop, where I could learn a little bit more about using my camera in Manual. Transun are a travel agency specialising in trips to see spectacular sights. So thing like whale watching, Father Christmas in Lapland and most recently a trip to see the truly spectacular Northern Lights. We were going to be given information to help us capture the Northern Lights, should we ever be lucky enough to get there.

I’ve put a lot of the information we were given into the video below. So that you can start using your DSLR camera in manual mode too.

After the lesson we all headed outside to put into practise what we’d just been taught.

owl graffiti

We learned some really cool effects for nighttime photography. By using a really slow shutter speed we were able to get the following photo. our teacher moved across our shot with a light, but as you can see the effect cuts him out completely.

night photography

You can also create ghostly figures using the same theory. I can’t wait to use this to photograph bonfire night and Halloween. Having a little play of my own I got the following shot which I was pleased with, especially considering any independent use of manual mode usually results in blur for me.

night time photography

I had a lovely night, and I’m definitely going to be a bit braver with my camera from now on. Thanks again to Transun for organising the event.

*disclosure: I attended the workshop for free, and am letting you know about Transun as a thank you.