Mudding Through Manual Mode: Giveaway!

By | April 21, 2015

Here’s the deal, manual mode is hard. I’ve found that out the hard way, several times.

Manual Mode Failure Overexposure

Of course, it’s also awesome when you get it right. Seriously, I was shocked when I got this shot of Wyatt in a semi-dark interior room on a rainy, dreary evening.


One of the biggest challenges to overcome was simply learning about all the features our camera offers. We’re using a Nikon D3200 and so far, have been really pleased with it. However, there are so many features I’m not sure I will ever be able to full take advantage of. So, I’m trying not to focus on that. Instead, I’m learning terms like aperture and ISO.


(Source) (I found this image on Pinterest, so please go see the original source if you’re going to pin it yourself. )

I’ve done a bunch of research and read a bunch of articles. In that research, I came across Not only does he have a bunch of awesome information, he also has specific sections for both Canon and Nikon cameras so you can get customized help for whatever camera you’re using. Seriously, check it out.

camera tips snip

One of the coolest features I’ve seen on the website are his cheat cards, which he has for 12 cameras. For a small fee, he’ll send you a complete set of cheat cards and you can download them to have for reference. I put them in my dropbox so I can access them on my phone or from my laptop and I’ll be able to reference them whenever I get stuck.

Each set includes cards for various shooting scenarios. Basically, 20 different things or situations in which you might struggle to know what camera settings to use. I’ve found them to be most helpful in two situations: either I am pressed for time to set up my camera to get a good shot, or I have plenty of time for trial and error but still can’t quite get it right.

I used the cheat card for outdoor portraits for this cool shot of my in-laws’ dog, Ziva. Pretty, right?


Check out this page for side by side comparison shots of auto mode and his custom cheat card settings. And don’t forget, he offers these for 12 different cameras, so you can choose which set you’d like to buy. I imagine I’ll have to use them less and less as I get better at remembering what settings work best for what situation, but I think it’s totally worth the small fee if you are struggling to get the hang of this manual mode stuff like I am.

But, because Moose is such an awesome dude, he sent the set to me for free (how awesome, right?) AND he agreed to give three sets of cheat cards away to some of our awesome readers! If you have a camera you’re trying to learn to use, leave a comment below with what kind of camera you use and how you’re learning to use it and we’ll choose three (YES, THREE!) of you to have Moose send you some awesome cheat cards for your camera and lens combo. Good luck!

You should also go spend some time on his website to learn a few things, and see photos of his cute sons, even if you don’t win. 🙂

Three cheers for three of you who are going to be able to learn manual mode along with me! Tell me some of your biggest photography challenges. Indoor photos in dark rooms are my biggest challenge. It gets me every time!

Giveaway ends Tuesday, April 28 at midnight. Winners will be chosen at random and notified by email.

6 thoughts on “Mudding Through Manual Mode: Giveaway!

  1. Lindsay @ The Newlywed Notebook

    How fun!! Thank you so much for sharing these resources!! I actually just bought my first DSLR about 4 weeks ago now and have been having way too much fun playing around with it. Of course I’m a total DSLR newbie, but it’s still be fun to experiment. I looked at a bunch of different models but ended up getting the Canon t3i. I think it will be a great starter camera and I figure I can always upgrade when/if I can figure this whole photography thing out. 😉

  2. mrsecarver

    We have a Canon EOS 7D. We’ve have been working with it for a while and I think Matt wants to try to do more in manual mode, but even on auto it does pretty great!

    1. Melissa Post author

      Yes…I used to agree on auto…but I’m a believer in manual now. No going back! 🙂

  3. Bree Talks

    Yes, most of my free time to blog or take photos (without my sweet crazy kids) is at nighttime and then I don’t have good light anywhere. The shadows always get me!


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