Numenorean wrote in post #16835244
I nearly always shoot manual. Very rarely where I don't.
You typically aren't going to start learning by shooting manual. I'd recommend Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority if you want a little control, but Green Box it if you're having a hard time getting good shots. Learn exposure by looking at what the camera chooses. But the camera will not always be correct in what it chooses depending on the scene, metering mode, etc.
Get a book and read also - Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is a good start.
I'm with you on shooting Manual exclusively. With a little button customization and the option of auto ISO (with a reasonable cap set) makes Av/Tv no *easier* to properly expose. One thing I've been working in lately is utilizing the different metering modes, but I tend to meter on a lightest/darkest area and take an educated guess by adjusting shutter speed/ISO. I dont find myself changing aperture much as I have a good idea of what aperture I want going into a situation (usually wide open for indoors/selective focus, or stopped down to f/8-f/11 for landscapes).
That little bar on the meter in your viewfinder is invaluable. I do second all the notions here about reading up on the "exposure triangle." It's really easy to get a basic understanding of it, and thats enough to get you started playing around in manual or Av/Tv. Sure there's lots of other areas of photography to learn too, some complicated, some not. It's definitely a discovery process. Everytime I go out to shoot, I learn something. I go home, I read something, go out and try to apply it whenever I can. Most of the time I throw all of my shots away, but I don't care, I had a damn good time getting those shots. Every once in awhile, I get a shot I like. Thats how it goes.
Theres all different kinds of photography too! Each genre presents its own challenges. I find that fascinating. I've pidgin-holed myself a bit into landscapes, but its what makes my jaw drop when I see an awesome landscape shot online or elsewhere. Plus I'm intrigued by the locations and how the photographer got to that spot, and what the struggle was to get the shot. And even though I think I suck, I love that I can also go out on a similar journey. Some people would rather be fishing, I'd rather be posted up in the mountains, on some scenic perch fiddling with my camera gear. Even if I blow the shoot, I had fun, and I will learn from my mistakes and maybe have a new trick added to my bag.