A photography cheat sheet is a graphical representation of one of the concepts of photography.
As a visual person myself, I find that visual learning is the most effective method of absorbing and retaining complex information.
Photography Cheat Sheets
Below is the collection of cheat sheets and infographics I use on my website to accompany written articles and tutorials.
Feel free to download the cheat sheets, printing them out and using them when you are out exploring and shooting.
1. F-Stop Chart Infographic
An F-Stop Chart cheat sheet visually demonstrates different aspects of the most fundamental concept of modern photography – aperture.
The cheat sheet also highlights the aperture relationships with F-stop, lens design, depth of field, and light transmission.
2. Shutter Speed Chart Infographic
As you probably know, the Shutter Speed is the part of the exposure triangle. Together with aperture and ISO, it is responsible for allowing the right amount of light to reach the camera sensor to achieve proper exposure.
But at the same time, shutter speed carries even more critical camera function; it controls motion in photographs.
We all understand that photography is a static medium, and it is impossible to have movement in still images. But, what we can do is to introduce the illusion of the motion. It allows the viewer to experience fast-paced action or dream-like slow motion.
Using different Shutter Speed values, we can produce visual effects that blur the line between reality and illusion.
3. ISO Chart – ISO Cheat Sheet
The idea of switching from automatic camera settings to manual controls can seem overwhelming, but this ISO Chart guide will teach you to understand this fundamental camera setting.
4. Exposure Triangle Infographic
Exposure triangle illustration displays the relationship between 3 cornerstones of photography – Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Each of the parameters is an essential component in capturing available light and producing well-exposed images.
At the same time, each parameter (Aperture, Sutter Speed, ISO) carries its unique functionalities.
Aperture control Depth of Field (DoF)
Shutter Speed controls the motion in our photographs.
ISO is responsible for the amount of digital noise in images we capture.
5. Top Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts
Below is the cheat sheet with a list of Lightroom keyboard shortcuts that are most important for my editing workflow and indicate how I use Lightroom.
6. Neutral Density (ND) Filter Chart
Neutral Density (ND) Filters are the most popular filters among landscape photographers.
The function of the ND filter is to reduce the intensity of light before it reaches the camera sensor.
ND Filters help nature photographers to control motion when creating a dream-like long exposure captures. ND Filter also can give us more control over the Depth of Field (DoF).
ND Filter Chart helps us to calculate the right Shutter Speed value when using different strength ND Filters.
For example, if you place 4 stop ND Filter in front of your lens, you need to reduce the shutter speed value from 1/250s to 1/15s.
To learn more about ND Filters, please check the original article where ND Filter Chart was initially published: What is an ND Filter?
7. Full Frame Lens on APS-C Camera vs APS-C Lens on Full Frame Camera Infographic
What happens when you attach a Full-Frame lens to an APS-C crop sensor camera? And what result should you expect when you use an APS-C lens on a Full Frame camera. The right answers are not as apparent as you think.
The Full Frame vs APS-C infographic helps us understand what happens with the Circle of Projection when mixing Full Frame and APS-C lenses and cameras.
It is easy to see, looking at the infographic, that the Circle of Projection of any given lens stays constant no matter what camera you use. What changes is the size of the sensor behind the lens.
8. Size of Camera Sensor and Field of View Infographic
The cheat sheet below illustrates how a digital camera’s sensor size affects the lens field of view.
The size of the camera sensor does not change lens light transmission. What it changes is a field of view. Smaller the sensor, the narrower the field of view.
For example, 50mm f1.8 lens on full-frame, APS-C, and Micro Four Thirds cameras transmits light at the same rate. But the field of view of the 50mm lens on the APS-C camera decreases by a factor of 1.5. The 50mm lens acts like a 75mm lens.
And the same 50mm lens on Micro Four Thirds camera acts like a 100mm lens. The field of view is being reduced by a factor of 2.
For more details, check the following tutorial: Full Frame Lens on APS-C vs APS-C Lens on Full Frame Explained
9. Golden Hour Infographic
We all know that sunsets and sunrises are the best time for shooting landscapes and seascapes. But, it is not apparent why the light experiences such a transformation from midday to evening and from morning to noon.
The Golde Hour Infographic demonstrates that light has to travel 10 times longer distances in the evening or morning through the earth’s atmosphere compared to midday. And if we understand that the earth’s atmosphere acts as a giant natural defuser, the softness of Golden Hour light becomes clear.
10. Body of Light for Landscape Photographers
If you are a landscape photographer, you need to understand when is the best time to take photos outdoors.
The Anatomy of Light cheat sheet does just that.
The Golden Hour starts around 40min before sunset. It continues for another 20min or so after the sun dips under the horizon.
And later, the Golden Hour transforms into Blue Hour in with the light becomes even softer and cooler.
Together the Golden Hour and the Blue Hour produce the most favorable time for landscape photography, also known as Magic Hours.
11. Standard Photo Print Sizes
The Standard Photo Sizes cheat sheet gives all the necessary information when you are planning to print your photos.
The infographic lists the most common photo print sizes, their aspect ratios, metric dimensions, and even the minimum number of pixels required to achieve the best quality of prints.
12. Hyperfocal Distance infographic
13. Big Sur Photo Location Guide Infographic
The Pacific coastal drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco is one of my favorite experiences as a photographer. The journey is such a fruitful driving trip that I had to complete it 3 or 4 times before I could hit all spots worth exploring and capturing.
And of course, the Big Sur part of the drive is a crown jewel of the entire drivel. It stretches over 200-250km and offers the most exciting and visually stunning locations.
I selected my top 12 favorite locations along the drive and placed them into a cheat sheet infographic.
14. Lightroom Export Settings for Instagram
15. Paper Sizes
There are two broad groups of photo dimensions. You may be familiar with one of them from using inkjet or laser printers; these sizes are referred to as A0, A1, A4, etc, and are part of a system offered by the International Standard Organization (ISO).
And here are the dimensions used when printing photos. They are the widths and heights used by photo labs pretty much everywhere, and they are what you get if you go to purchase prints. These dimensions include:
16. Camera Lens Hood Infographic
A camera lens hood is an essential accessory for photographers. It helps to protect the lens from physical damage, and also to block unwanted direct stray light. This infographic provides an overview of the different types of camera lens hoods available and the benefits of each. This infographic provides an overview of what a camera lens hood is, how it works, and why you should use one.
Photography Cheat Sheets | Conclusion
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned photographer, cheat sheets are a great way to keep all of your photography knowledge in one place. By having a go-to reference, you can quickly and easily find the information you need to take your photography to the next level.