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There’s this persistent idea that in order to be a “real” photographer, you have to shoot in manual mode.

Well, that’s just not true.

The point of learning and shooting in manual mode is to learn and understand how your camera works so that you can use it to take the photos you want to be able to take.

But sometimes that idea gets lost behind this other idea that you must shoot in manual mode.

The truth is, you should shoot in whatever mode enables you to take the photo you want to take.

This is particularly important as you are learning, because, as someone learning photography, you might be thinking, “I should shoot this in manual mode because it will help me learn and grow.”

Generally speaking that’s true, shooting in manual mode will help you learn and grow, but if you’re not confident shooting in manual mode, there are times when you definitely should NOT be shooting in manual mode.

One of those situations is when you’re shooting something important, where you have to get some kind of a decent shot of whatever you’re shooting.

If you’re in a situation like that, and you’re not certain you’ll be able to get the shot in manual mode, then put the camera in the mode that you know will give you the shot.

Whether it’s auto mode, or a priority mode, or a scene mode like sports.

What’s important in situations like that is that you get your photo. If you use an auto mode, it may not be the best photo ever, but it’s better to have an okay photo of an important moment, than no photo at all because you felt some ridiculous obligation to shoot in manual mode in order to be a “real” photographer.

You should definitely learn how your camera works and how to control it, but you should also definitely use whatever mode you need to use to get the shot you need to get.

Now get out there, and whether it’s in auto mode or manual mode, take some damn photos!