Instruction Manuals


Believe it or not, it is very important to keep those instruction manuals that came with your cameras.  With the complexity that is inherent in almost every high-end digital camera sold today, it is nearly impossible to master all features of your camera right out-of-the-box, or even years later (as in my case).

Where’s My Manual?

I often find myself looking for the manual when I want to understand a nuance of my camera — such as why the digital zoom is not working (because I was shooting in RAW), or why exactly I would want to shoot with AiAf focusing, etc.  And let’s face it, every digital camera (even by the same manufacturer) is different from the others in some ways.  It is not possible to know all of the details of each, and like everything else, you learn more from actual practice than you can ever learn from reading the manual.

But when you need to look up something in that manual, you will want to know where you put it.  The paper one that came in the box with your camera should go on your bookshelf next to all the rest of your photography books.  Don’t stop there though.  Download the PDF version that your camera manufacturer provides.  You can usually find this on their websites under ‘support’ or ‘downloads.’  Store it on your computer in an obvious place so you can quickly find it when you need it.  I would suggest putting it in your ‘pictures’ folder under ‘camera’ or some other descriptive folder name.


Wherever you put your manuals, make sure you can find them when you need them. That way, when you’re out mowing the grass, thinking, and wondering why on your last shoot that your flash wouldn’t fire when you were in portrait mode with shutter priority override, you’ll be able to take that break, run right in, and find out why.

Thank you for reading what I wrote – I hope you enjoyed it!