Is it important to shoot in manual mode?

Many things aren't necessary if you're starting out in photography or even if you are a photographer. You don't need the most expensive gear: it's not the gear that creates the photo, it's you. And that is also exactly why you need to learn to shoot in manual. YOU want to create the photo. You want to be able to tell your camera what to do in order to make your creative vision come alive.

While it's totally possible to take beautiful pictures in automatic mode, if you're serious about (food) photography, there is no way around manual. It will allow you to focus where you want to focus (if you let the camera choose, a lot of times it will get it right, but sometimes it just won't), set the aperture to get more or less of the elements in a scene in focus, and keep the ISO low in case you aim at the least noise (grain) for you photos.

To start to shoot in manual is not especially complicated, but it does require practicing. You'll get better gradually, but after a few days you'll have managed the basics. And soon enough it'll be intuitive: your fingers will find their way before you have to think about the right button.

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