How to Change Shutter Speed On a Canon, Nikon, or Sony

How to Change Shutter Speed On a Canon, Nikon, or Sony

How to Change Shutter Speed On a Canon, Nikon, or Sony

If you’re confused about how to change the shutter speed on your camera, you’re not alone.

Camera manuals are hard to understand because they’re filled with jargon. Most cameras aren’t intuitive for users either.

There are so many menus, buttons and dials to deal with!

But if you keep your camera set in AUTO mode because it seems too difficult to change camera settings, you’re not doing yourself a favor.

This is even more true if you’re into sports or wildlife photography, or enjoy taking nature photos featuring seascapes and waterfalls.

Why Shooting in AUTO Mode Sets You Up for Disappointment

When you try to capture an action shot in AUTO mode, often you’ll see nothing but a blur.

That’s because your camera’s shutter speed wasn’t set fast enough to freeze motion.

To freeze motion, you want your camera shutter to open and close quickly. This means you need to be shooting at speeds of 1/250 of a second and faster – even all the way up to 1/2000 of a second in some cases.

Here are some outstanding examples of freezing motion with fast shutter speeds from my students T. Michelle Mullaly and Michelle Murell. 

Photo by T. Michelle Mullaly

Photo by Michelle Murell

On the other hand, if you want to capture those soft, dreamy photos of seascapes and waterfalls or capture light trails in the night sky, AUTO mode doesn’t allow you to leave the shutter open long enough to capture motion.

To capture these kinds of shots you’ll need to slow your shutter speed down to 1/30 of a second or even slower.

A photo taken by my student Raahul Singh is a spectacular example of traffic light trails captured at night. 

Photo by Raahul Singh

Now it’s your turn! I’ll walk you through how to change your shutter speed in both manual and shutter priority mode. 

And to make the process even simpler, I’ll give instructions for three popular entry-level cameras. You can follow along with your own make of camera. 

How to Change Shutter Speed on Three Popular Cameras

I’m going to walk you through how to change the shutter speed on three popular consumer-level cameras:

  • Canon Rebel T6
  • Nikon D3400
  • Sony A6500

I recommend that new photographers start experimenting with the effects of changing their shutter speed by using Shutter Priority mode.

This is a semi-automatic mode that lets the photographer control the shutter speed, while the camera automatically adjusts the aperture and ISO for a perfect exposure.

But I also want to show you how to change your shutter speed when you’re shooting in manual mode. 

First up, let’s look at how to change the shutter speed on a Canon Rebel.

Changing Shutter Speed Manually on a Canon Rebel t6

To change your shutter speed in MANUAL mode, turn the dial from AUTO all the way over to ‘M.’

This ‘M’ indicates MANUAL MODE. You’ll see an icon with fractions that appears on the display screen – these fractions indicate your shutter speed.

You’ll notice a dial right in front of the shutter release button.

When you turn this dial,  you’ll start to see your shutter speed changing. Turn it one way, and your shutter speed increases. Turn it back the other way and it decreases.

Entering Shutter Priority Mode on Canon Rebel t6

Next, let’s change your camera into SHUTTER PRIORITY mode.

Unlike other camera manufacturers, Canon uses TV (time value) to indicate Shutter Priority mode.

This makes sense because shutter speed is measured in increments of a second. These increments indicate the length of time between the shutter opening and closing to create the exposure.

Turn the mode dial on your camera from ‘M’ to ‘Tv’ to switch into Shutter Priority mode.

To adjust your shutter speed in Tv mode, turn the same dial as we used to change the shutter speed in manual mode.  

Changing Shutter Speed on a Nikon D3400

To switch from AUTO to Manual mode on a Nikon, turn the mode dial to ‘M’ for MANUAL MODE.

Next press the shutter part way down to bring up the info screen on the back of the camera.

You’ll see the shutter speed indicated in the circle on the left side of the screen. Sometimes this screen automatically turns off so just press the button to re-engage the screen.

Turn the dial located on the back of the camera to change the shutter speed. Turning the dial to the right increases shutter speed and to the left decreases it.

Shooting in Shutter Priority Mode

To change to SHUTTER PRIORITY mode, turn the mode dial on the top of the camera to ‘S’ for shutter speed.

Adjust your shutter speed by turning the same dial that you did in manual mode.

Changing Shutter Speed on Sony A6500


The Sony is a bit different than the Nikon and Canon because it’s a mirrorless camera.  But it’s just as simple to change the shutter speed on this camera as it was on the other two.

Turn your camera’s mode dial (located on the back of the camera) to ‘M’ for manual mode.

The dial to change the shutter speed is also located on the back of the Sony.

When you change the shutter speed you’ll see the speed selected in orange. Just as with the other two cameras, turning the dial to the left decreases shutter speed and to the right increases it.

Shooting in Shutter Priority Mode

To put your Sony into Shutter Priority, turn the mode dial to ‘S.’ Just like with the other two cameras, Shutter Priority allows you to adjust the shutter speed and the camera takes care of aperture and ISO for you.

Get Out and Practice in Shutter Priority Mode

Now that you understand how shutter speed affects your images, and have the knowledge to change your shutter speed…the only thing left to do is to have fun and practice your new skills!

Or, if you’d like a little more help before you take your camera out of AUTO mode, why not join my FREE training?

I’ll have you out of AUTO mode for good in just one hour!

Click the button on the image below to register.


How to Import Lightroom Presets

How to Import Lightroom Presets

How to Import Lightroom Presets

“How do I import presets into Lightroom?” is a question I definitely get asked a lot.

What makes it even more confusing is that there are different versions of Lightroom. And these versions handle importing Presets in a slightly different way!

But overall, importing Presets is a simple process, no matter which version of Lightroom you use.  

In this post, I’ll walk you through how to import and install presets for Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile.

But before I do, I’d like to do a quick rundown on what Lightroom Presets are–just in case anyone who reads this isn’t already familiar with them.

What is a Lightroom Preset?

To edit photos in Lightroom, you use a series of sliders to adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, etc. If you have many photos to edit, this is obviously very time consuming. 

But imagine that instead of making adjustments to photos one-at-a-time, you could apply adjustments to entire batches of photos with a single click.

And that’s exactly what a Preset is–it’s an editing shortcut. 

If you understand how starting with a cake mix helps you bake a perfect cake without measuring, it’s a perfect analogy for using a Preset to edit your photos. 

Why Editing With a Preset is Like Baking with a Cake Mix

Think about baking a cake. First, you have to heat the oven. Then you need to prepare your cake pans. Next you have to measure all the ingredients carefully. Finally, you have to follow the mixing and combining instructions to the letter. 

Now think about a baking a cake with a cake mix. It’s huge a shortcut to turning out a delicious cake, even if you’ve never baked a cake before.

Think about it. Everything in the cake mix box is pre-measured. All you have to do is add water, and an egg. Voila! Mix as instructed and bake. 

Even if you’ve never baked before, you can still turn out a great cake. 

And if you wanted to bake another cake just like it, it wouldnt be a problem. You would just start with that same mix. 

You make that cake even more delicious when you add your own little tweaks with frosting and decorations.

Presets are Editing Recipes


Well, using a Preset is a lot starting with a  cake mix.

Only in this case, a Preset is a professional editing recipe applied to your photos with a single click. 

Only in this case, a Preset is a professional editing recipe that’s applied to your photos with just one-click.

Presets give you consistent results that cut your editing time down to a fraction. But don’t think using Presets to begin your editing process limits your creative freedom. 

Presets are only a starting point to your editing process, not the end. You’re free to make tweaks to any of the settings. You’re completely in control of the final look of your photos. 

One of the best things about Presets is that they help you try new looks you may not have thought of on your own.

Try Out Different Looks for Your Photos

If you don’t have a lot of experience, Presets push you out of your editing comfort zone. You can try out new looks for your photos without any risk, because edits in Lightroom are non-destructive. You can always start over again if you don’t like the results. 

That’s why Presets are a great way to kick-start your editing creativity. 

Better yet, Presets make your photos look like a pro edited them! Your photos look consistent, and that’s a big plus when you’re doing client work.

Let’s get started installing your Presets! 

Let’s Get Started Importing Presets into Lightroom

Before you install your presets, you need to know which version of Lightroom you’re working with. 

Lightroom Classic CC—This is the desktop version of Lightroom, and also the one I recommend you work with. Lightroom Classic has more robust features than the Lightroom CC does, and it also is the better choice to keep your photo catalog organized. 

Lightroom CC—This version of Lightroom uploads to the Cloud. It syncs your photos across desktop mobile devices, and the web. Lightroom CC is perfect for photographers who edit on the go.  

Lightroom Mobile—To get started, download the free Lightroom app, available for both iOS and Android. While the app is free, you’ll need an Adobe Photography plan subscription to sync your photo catalog to your mobile device. 

We’ll begin this lesson with how to install Presets on Lightroom Classic CC.

Preset Installation Instructions + Tutorial for Lightroom Classic CC

Step 1: Before you begin, install the most recent version of Lightroom CC.

To check if you have the most recent version installed, go to the Menu bar in Lightroom and click ‘Help.’ You’ll see ‘Update’ in the drop-down menu. Click on ‘Update.’ (If you need to update, a dialogue box will appear. )

Step 2: Download the presets that you want to install (note the folder where you downloaded them.)  

Step 3: Unzip the downloaded presets file before you start the preset import.

Step 4: Open the Develop module  

To access the Develop module, click on the menu on top of the screen (shown in the image below. )


Step 5: Navigate to Presets

You’ll see Presets on the left side of your screen. Click the ‘+’ sign to the right.

Step 6: Click on ‘Import Presets.’ 

This dialog box will open after you click on the ‘+’ sign.

Step 7: Locate Your Unzipped Presets Folder

Open the folder and select all Presets inside. (Click the first preset in the folder, hold down the shift key and click the last preset in the folder to select All.)

Once you’ve selected all of the Presets, click the ‘Import’ button at the bottom right of your screen. Your Presets will install automatically. 

Step 8: Your Presets Are Installed!

You’ll be able to see your newly installed Presets in the Preset module on the left-hand side of your screen.


Next up: Let’s install presets on Lightroom CC, the web-based version of Lightroom that syncs over all of your devices.

Preset Installation Instructions + Tutorial for Lightroom CC

Step 1: Before you begin, install the latest edition of Lightroom CC

Step 2: Download Presets

Download your Presets. Unzip this folder before you start the installation.

Step 3: Open Lightroom CC

Click on the ‘Edit’ icon on the top right of the screen. (See image below.)

Step 4: Scroll to the Bottom of the Edit Panel

This panel is where you make adjustments to your images, such as exposure, contrast, saturation, highlights, shadows, etc.

You’ll find the Preset Panel located on the bottom of this Edit panel in Lightroom CC (shown in the image to the left.)

Click ‘Presets’ to begin the process to upload your presets.

Step 5: After the Edit panel opens up, you’ll see ‘Presets’ on the left side.

Click on the three dots to the right of the word ‘Presets.’ (This action opens the Preset Panel.)

Scroll down and click on ‘Import Presets.’

Step 6: Select the Presets you wish to install from your unzipped folder

(Follow the same steps as in Lightroom Classic CC above).

Click on ‘Import.’

Step 7: Enjoy your newly installed Presets!

You’ll see your new Presets now located in your Presets folder.

These will also sync to Lightroom Mobile, which I’ll cover in the next section.

Installation Instructions + Tutorial for Lightroom Mobile

With the Lightroom CC mobile app, you can edit on the fly with your phone or tablet. 

But you can’t directly upload Presets to your mobile device.

You must upload your Presets to  Lightroom CC first, then they’ll sync over to your device. 

Step 1: Download the Appropriate Lightroom Mobile App for Your Device:

Link for Apple devices

Link for Android devices

Step 2: Open your Lightroom App

Step 3: Log into your Adobe Creative Cloud account 

Step 4: Select the photo you wish to edit.

Step 5: Open the Edit module by clicking the edit icon


Step 6: The Presets you saved earlier in Lightroom CC appear under the Vignetting panel inside the Edit module.

Develop Your Own Editing Style with Presets


What I love most about Presets is they help you develop your own editing style.

Study the changes the Presets make to your Lightroom adjustment sliders. It’s the fastest way to understand what effects the diffferent adjustment sliders make to your photos.

Most of all, Presets are fun and let you test drive different editing styles. You might find a new favorite you never expected!

Try some Presets out today and amaze yourself!

Or if you’d like a little more hands-on help with editing, be sure to check out my FREE online editing workshop. 

 Discover the 5-Step Lightroom Editing Recipe Every Photo Needs


If you’ve never edited with Lightroom before, you’re in for a real treat. Lightroom Presets make the editing process fun and easy.

Join me for my 5-Step Editing Recipe online workshop. You’ll see an incredible difference in your photos in just 30 minutes! 

Click on the image below to register.

How to Watermark Your Images with Adobe Lightroom Classic

How to Watermark Your Images with Adobe Lightroom Classic

Ever see a ‘signature’ or logo on a photo that identifies the photographer of the image? That’s a watermark! 

A watermark is a digital signature (or logo) that identifies you as the creator of an image. 

Watermarks are important for two reasons:

1) They send a message that people need to ask permission before using your images. 

2) A watermarked image is a way to get recognition as a photographer.

Sharing your watermarked images on social media is an easy way to get noticed by potential clients. So make sure any image you post to Facebook, Instagram, etc. have your watermark added! 

If you use Adobe Lightroom (and you should!) adding a watermark to your images is a simple process. 

In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the easy steps to watermark your images with Lightroom. 

Adding a Watermark with Adobe Lightroom 


The following video excerpt from my course Lightroom 101 shows you just how easy watermarking your images in Lightroom really is!


Now that you’ve watched the watermarking video, here are the step-by-step instructions to watermark your images with Adobe Lightroom.

Two Watermark Types to Choose From


If you want to watermark your images in Lightroom, there are two options for you to choose from:

1) A text-based watermark

2) A graphic logo watermark

If you want to watermark with a custom logo, but you’re not comfortable with creating graphics, I have one piece of advice. Hire a professional to create your logo for you (which is what I did.)

Your logo is the visible brand of your company, so make sure it’s a logo you’re proud to show off.

So let’s get started adding a watermark to your images.

First up:

How to add a text-based signature to your images.

Option 1 – Create a Text-Based Watermark in Lightroom


Here are the easy steps to create your own text-based watermark inside Lightroom:

Step 1: Make sure that you’re in the ‘Library’ module.

Highlight the images you want to apply your watermark on.

Step 2: Go to ‘File’ settings

Save your export settings as JPEG, and sRGB. (Unless your printer requests something different, you shouldn’t have to touch this setting again.)

Resize your images if you wish at this time.

Next, go to ‘Watermarking.’

Leave this box unchecked or it will just take information from your metadata. Use the dropdown menu to navigate to ‘Edit Watermarks.’

Step 3: Choose your font and font color

Scroll down to the text options settings until you see the box below.

text-based watermark options

Font options for your watermark

I recommend that you make your font white (or another light, solid color for your font.)

White stands out but doesn’t take away from your image.

Type in the text that you want on your watermark. (This can be your own name or a company name – whichever your preference is.)

Step 4 – Additional Font Options

Text Size: Make your font large enough to be noticed, but not so large it distracts from your image!

Optional: Change the opacity of your watermark to make it more transparent.

Add font decorations like drop shadows to your signature font if you like.

Step 5: Choose the anchor point for your watermark.

Scroll down to the ‘Watermark Effects’ box. Notice the section marked ‘Anchor.

Watermark effects box in Adobe Lightroom CC

Choose your anchor point

Anchor refers to the position your watermark is placed on your image.

There are nine possible locations to choose from. Simply click into one of the circles to select the correct placement for your watermark.

Take Care Where You Place Your Watermark!


I don’t recommend that you place your watermark over the center of your image, for obvious reasons.

The main one is that it just looks bad!

The only reason you might want to choose the center position for your watermark is for sending proofs to clients.

The reason why you might choose to do this is that it’s more difficult to crop out a watermark located in the center of an image.

(My own personal preference is to place my watermark on the bottom left of my images.)

Use the ‘Horizontal’ and ‘Vertical’ sliders to fine-tune the exact placement of your text.

Click ‘Save’ when you’re satisfied with your watermark text and placement.

Step 6: Export your photos

You’ll see your watermark added to all the images you chose in the first step. 

Next, let’s look at how to add a graphic watermark to your photos.

Option 2 – Add a Graphic Watermark to Your Images with Lightroom

This section of the tutorial doesn’t cover creating a graphics-based logo with a program like Illustrator or Photoshop.

If you’re experienced with graphics programs, then, by all means, get creative!

You might want to do a bit of Googling to find some ideas before you start – but remember to keep it simple. 

You want to get noticed for your great photos more than you want to get noticed for just your logo! 

If you’re not comfortable creating a graphic watermark on your own, I recommend you check out my friends at

They’ll create an awesome logo for your photography brand at a great price. 

So, with that bit over with, let’s get started with how to upload your graphics-based watermark to Lightroom. 

Step 1: Create a folder inside your external hard drive called ‘Watermarks.”

Have your pre-made logo ready.

Upload your graphic watermark to this folder.

Step 2: Open up the ‘Library’ module inside Lightroom

Select the images that you’d like to watermark.

Step 3: Click on ‘Lightroom’ and scroll down to ‘Edit Watermarks.’

Choose ‘Graphic’ as your watermark style by clicking the radio button.

Select 'Graphic' to upload a pre-made logo

Choose ‘Graphic’ as your watermark style

Step 4: Click the ‘choose’ button

Navigate to the folder where you saved your logo. Click on your logo to upload it to Lightroom. 

Step 5: Select your anchor point

Follow the same method shown as for the text-based logo.

Adjust the horizontal and vertical offsets if you need to move your logo a bit.

Step 6: Save your watermark

When you export your images, your new logo watermark automatically appears on the images.

Now, your logo will be saved as a preset for the next time you export your image.

Note: You can save multiple text and image-based watermarks. Just select the one you want to apply before you export your images.

How easy was that?

If you’d like more Lightroom tips and tricks, be sure to check out my FREE Lightroom training, “The 5-Step Editing Recipe”

Want More Lightroom Tips & Tricks That Pro Photographers Use?


Be sure to join me on my FREE training, “The 5 Step Editing Recipe.”

Let me show you my deliciously simple recipe to better editing. In just 30 minutes, you’ll discover how to speed up your editing workflow 10 X!

Just click the image below to be taken to the registration page. 

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

How to Make A Brand Guide For Your Website

How to Make A Brand Guide For Your Website

buyer persona templateHey! I’m Melissa Love from The Design Space and I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for my good friend, David Molnar. We’re working on some fun website projects together, so we thought it would be a good time to share some easy but professional design techniques with you that you can use for your next creative project.


Are you starting to think about building a website? Itching to dive in and get started? Wait right there a minute. I want to make sure you’ve got a beautiful brand guide to help you make the right design decisions when it comes to building a website.

Once you’ve determined your avatar using the buyer persona template you can move on to your branding. 

You might be planning to hire a graphic designer to create your logo or maybe you’re going to do it yourself. Whichever way you choose, a brand guide is your road map to making sure you create a consistent look and feel both on and offline. 

I’ve put together a short video, walking you through the basics as well as a layered Photoshop file that you can download and use to create your own brand guide. You can see what it looks like right below the video (which also contains a step-by-step demonstration of how to use it). If you have any questions about brand guides, make sure you leave a comment. I’d love to help!





Should You Put Your Pricing on Your Website?

The question of whether or not to display your pricing on your photography site is a scandalous debate…


Showing your pricing on your site can do a few things – it can qualify your leads, so you know they can afford you and it can also also prevent potential clients from contacting you because of sticker shock.


Some clients may still contact you, but if your pricing is $4,000 to shoot a wedding and it’s not in their budget, they’ll be too scared to contact you at all.

On the other hand, if you charge $1,000 to shoot a wedding potential clients might be suspicious of that low of a price, especially if the average rate is much higher in your area. They won’t be sure if they can trust you. They may not be confident in how professional or experienced you really are.

If your pricing is on the low end of your local market, and you’re okay with being cheaper, then it can also benefit you to post your pricing on your site. You’ll attract more inquiries, and probably book more work.

It’s not a good long term strategy, but if you’re a new photographer, this can help you get through the initial period of building your portfolio and your business.

And if you’re selling prints, posting those prices online is important. Prints are a commodity, a hard cost. Show those prices.

So the burning question… Do I or did I display my pricing?

NO. I don’t display my pricing on my site.

There was a time when I had  “packages starting at…”  on my website, back when we were just starting out. I think it hurt us, our inquiries went down.

If you’re the sort of person who likes to feel out a potential client, learn more about the wedding venue, look for just the right clients for your portfolio, posting your pricing on your website is going to result in fewer leads. They’ll be more qualified to pay your full rate, but there will be less of them.

By not having my prices on my site, and bringing in more leads, I have a chance to refer clients to my friends who might be a better fit for their budget.

Being able to offer a referral is a nice way to give back in your community, and it’s always nice to know you’re helping other photographers to put food on their tables, too.

Another thing to consider is what type of photography you do. If you are a commercial photographer, shooting advertising campaigns, album covers, or editorials, don’t put your prices on your site!

Companies have come to me, and their budget may be lower than my usual day rate. Sometimes, I want to take the shoot anyways, because it’s a celebrity client that will look great in my portfolio, or it’s a brand I’ve always wanted to work with. If I had my pricing quoted on my site, those companies would have never approached me, and I would have missed the chance.

Companies also come to me with huge advertising budgets. If I had a lower day rate and it was listed on my site, I will either end up leaving a lot of money on the table (while the company gets a great deal!), or they might decide not to work with me altogether, because they might think I’m not the level of photographer they want to work with.

Should You Show Your Pricing On Your Site?


The magic question is always “What’s your budget?”

Bring them in with your photographs, your site, your about page, and then let them contact you to inquire about your packages. If you’re a wedding or portrait photographer, you can have your generic pricing in a PDF or on a private page on your site, ready to send them. And even get your site listed in other photography directories for marketing purposes.

If you’re a commercial photographer, talk to them to get an idea of their budget and the scope of the project, and then quote them based on those factors. You’ll end up having to consider things like exposure for the images, the type of client you’re working with, and so on. But your best way to start to figure that out is to go straight to the contact and ask what the budget is.

Have a candid conversation, on the phone, or via Facetime. Give them examples of the types of sessions or shoots you’ve done with similar budgets, talk to them about the ways the images will be used, and go from there. Have fun, get out there, and do the work you love!

How to Create the Best Photography Portfolio

Curating your photography portfolio is one of the most important things you’ll do for your website, and many people are doing it wrong.


Here’s why:

Let’s take a photographer, we’ll call her Susie. Susie loves shooting weddings, family portraits, and senior portraits. Susie hates shooting babies.  So how should she set up her portfolio?