Hi there and welcome back for another week of Photo Shoots With Laz!

The prompt for this week is:

Full Manual

While the camera often determines shutter speed and aperture for the photographer, it doesn’t know your creative intent. This week, challenge your self to assume creative control over the camera by using full manual mode. Select a subject where varying the aperture and / or shutter speed helps enhance the composition and visual qualities of the image.

The challenges for each week are also divided into one of 4 categories. The category for this week is…


Technical Aptitude is just as important as creative inspiration in photography. This year’s technical category is primarily focused on in camera processes, however, there will be some post processing techniques included.

Going Full Manual

This week's photography challenge explores going full manual and shooting photos with more technical prowess

I couldn’t have asked for a better model.

This week’s prompt isn’t very innovative, focusing on the technical aspects of utilizing your DSLR by going full manual and effectively adjusting your lens in that way. It’s perfect for me in that I haven’t shot in full manual in a long time, allowing for the opportunity to shake off some of the rust I’ve accumulated since 2017.

One of the biggest reasons I tend to deviate toward nature photography is because I have a lot of time to set up shots and adjust settings; in real-time I’m incredibly slow and will miss an opportunity because I take too long adjusting settings so my shot isn’t overly exposed or out of focus.

Luckily I had a willing model who was incredibly patient as I adjusted the lighting, changed settings and carefully played with my manual focus so he was entirely focused in on.

Overall I’m quite happy with how the photo turned out, although I should have cleaned up the background so the composition was neater. The photo achieved a nice bokeh effect and the background doesn’t look as messy as it was outside of the frame. I did have to do a bit of editing because of the lighting, but it wasn’t the craziest of edits I’ve performed.


Photo Edits

Full manual photo edits that I performed in Adobe Lightroom

Here’s the before and after of the photos that I shot. You can see here the adjustments I made to fix the cool temperature caused by my fish tank lights in my room.

Like my previous photo challenge I didn’t really perform any crazy edits. It was a very impromptu shoot, so the blue hue of my fish tank lights gave the photo a much cooler temperature than was optimal, so I adjust it to be more white-balanced in Adobe Lightroom. The room was still a little dark and I bumped up the exposure a tad. I also increased the highlights and shadows while decreasing the blacks and whites in the photo.

The only other change that I performed was increasing the luminosity and changing the color of my wall to better reflect what it actually looks like and I tried to adjust the color of my green blanket to match the spread of my bed (this is where I messed up in terms of composition and having a crumpled up blanket in the background of my shot).

I’m relatively happy with how the color scheme turned out, where the wall and bedspread compliment the colors of my subject rather than contrast. I’ll have to revisit this again in the future and do a reshoot so the composition is better.