Do you know which settings to set first when you're taking a photo?
I saw a video a while back by professional photographer Spyros Heniadis who had a simple way to remember.
I Am Shooting
Use the acronym, “I. A. S.”
- Shutter Speed
This is a good way to get your photo to look how you want it and makes choosing your settings fast and efficiently.
Walk into a scene, make a judgment on lighting conditions for the ISO (100 for sunny, up to 3200 for low light).
Aperture next based on what you want your depth of field to be. (Shallow for portraits for example)
Finally shutter speed – this is usually wherever you need it to get a sharp photo.
Finally, readjust your ISO AGAIN depending on what your meter is telling you to get the right combinations for settings for the exposure triangle.
I think it's a handy little way to remember how to shoot in manual.
Of course, some people will use a different approach – and that is fine too – all rules in photography (other than Physics laws themselves) are made to be broken and should be regarded as handy guidelines anyway.
And there are a lot of them.
To get your head around shooting guidelines like this and get yourself shooting in manual as fast as possible (and you should want to do that because it is how you get ultimate control of your images), then you should probably go through a more thorough grounding in the basics of camera craft and photography.
For that, we highly recommend you take a look at the Photography Tutorial Ebook by Richard Schneider. It is a solid and detailed guide and will almost certainly answer all of your fundamental questions about getting to grips with photography.