5 Free Photography Cheat Sheets That Will Help You Master the Basics

I remember getting my first camera and running out (with a roll of film) to start taking some photos of my sister.  

A week later, the images returned from the lab, and they all looked like the first image to the right.

Yep, all overexposed to the point you couldn’t hardly see anything!  

Then I was told I had to learn some photography fundamentals if I wanted to be an amazing photographer.

After a couple of books and another roll of film, I created this gem (second image).  

Fast forward 30 years, and I still use those same fundamentals!  Now, I’ve condensed my years of experience into 5 main Fundamental Cheat Sheets ALL photographers should know.

These Photography Cheat Sheets are part of my Photo Card Essentials Collection, and these 5 are yours for free!

They’ll help you avoid the same mistakes I made and help you create amazing images at a faster pace.  

I wish I had these when I started my photographic journey!

Plus, you can take them with you anywhere you go. Each cheat sheet can be printed or saved to your smartphone (or tablet).

Make sure to download, print, and take them with you the next time you’re out creating photos.

Check out the Photo Card Essentials Collection if you’d like the complete collection to elevate your photographic skills further.  

It’s like having me as your photography mentor wherever you go! Check them out here.

 

first roll

First roll of film, from 1989… not so good!

second roll of film

The second roll of film… resulted in a much better exposure! But, a little bit over-edited. 🙂

ISO cheat sheet

ISO Cheat Sheet

Not sure which ISO setting to use? Use this ISO Cheat Sheet to set your ISO based on the current lighting situation.

Includes 6 scenarios with images to help you make the right decision.

Aperture Cheat Sheet

Setting your Aperture has two main functions; one, it will allow you to paint with more or less light, and two, you can use it creatively to blur out the background.  

This Aperture Cheat Sheet includes 2 photos to compare what Aperture settings will blur the background.  

Plus, additional images showing multiple Aperture sizes, the ones that will make your photos brighter or darker, and which ones will increase or decrease the amount of blur.

Shutter Speed Cheat Sheet

The Shutter Speed tells your DSLR how long to keep the “Shutter” open for your Exposure. They’re a lot of Speeds to choose from! Which one should you use? 

Well, use this Shutter Speed Cheat Sheet to determine the setting you should use. It includes 9 photos showing the effects of different Shutter Speeds and a chart for different scenarios.

Exposure Triangle

Exposure Triangle Cheat Sheet

The Exposure Triangle is a visual tool to help you manually adjust your three camera settings to get the correct exposure.  

For example, let’s say you decide on ISO 100, f/5.6, and 1/500th, which gives you the correct exposure. 

But, you want to blur out the background more and decide you want to shoot with an Aperture of f/2.8.

You can use the Exposure Triangle Cheat Sheet to determine which new Shutter Speed you’ll need for the same exposure.

Manual Mode

Manual Mode Cheat Sheet

You’ll need to know how to shoot in Manual Mode to gain complete creative control over your camera. This mode allows you to “manually” set each of the three camera settings.

It’s easy to do with this Manual Mode Cheat Sheet! Includes step-by-step instructions for getting the correct exposure… every. single. time!

Parker
Parker
A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube
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