I’ve always been envious of the photographs of so many of my friends. Tiff, Shawn, Marco, and Dave especially have a phenomenal eye for pictures. I’ve long wished for the ability to take a photograph as well as they can.

This morning, I noticed a lovely sunrise on a slightly overcast day at the beach. I grabbed our O-MD E-M10 and ran down to the water. I couldn’t describe what precisely it was I was trying to capture, but I was sure I’d know it when I saw it.

I started by placing the camera in aperture priority mode, as I typically do. I just couldn’t quite get things the way I wanted though.

I swapped to full automatic, and that didn’t help either.

I spent a moment on shutter priority, but that, too, didn’t get me 100% of the way.

Frustrated, I got bold, and leapt into the unknown. I switched to full-manual.

This is the result:

A photo posted by Casey Liss (@caseyliss) on

I’m pretty pleased with myself.

I didn’t set out wanting to take a great picture in manual mode; I just set out to take a great picture. Since I’ve been taking pictures with this camera for nearly a year now, I’ve built up more and more confidence over that time. Thanks to just being patient, and trusting my instincts, I was able to, well, level up my skills.

As it turns out, there’s no shortcut to lots of practice, and time.