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What are Photography Cheat Sheets and Why Do I Need One?

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

What are Photography Cheat Sheets and Why Do I Need One?

Face it, not everyone takes the perfect photo every time. If you are struggling, a photography cheat sheet may be what you need. 

Photography cheat sheets have a deceiving name. They’re not actually cheating. Rather, they help you remember valuable photography tricks you may not have memorized. They are great time savers as they allow you to reference the information you need to move on from whatever you are struggling with. 

This article will discuss photography cheat sheets so you can determine if you should be taking one along on your shoots. 

Find the Photography Cheat Sheet That’s Right for You

Once you start researching photography cheat sheets, you will find that there’s a wide variety out there. Some help you with aperture, others help with focus, others help with exposure, and the list goes on. It goes without saying that you’ll want to find one suited to your needs. 

Benefits of Using Cheat Sheets

Cheat sheets are beneficial for a variety of reasons including the following: 

Saves Time: When you are shooting, you don’t want to spend hours taking a picture because you’re not sure what settings your camera should be set to. A cheat sheet will help you address and fix your problems so you can get on with the shoot. 

Makes You Look More Professional: You may think that taking a cheat sheet along on shoots will make you look unprofessional. But the exact opposite is true. You will look way more unprofessional spending hours trying to take a photo than you will be looking at a cheat sheet. 

Helps You Learn Skills: The more you reference the information you need to help you get good photos, the more it will become ingrained in your memory. After a while, you won’t need the cheat sheets, you will just be a great photographer. 

Types of Cheat Sheets

There are several types of cheat sheets available. Here are a few of the most popular types. 

Exposure: An exposure cheat sheet will explain how to set aperture, shutter speed, and ISO so you get good photos. 

ISO: An ISO is the part of the exposure triangle that allows you to shoot in various lighting situations. An ISO cheat sheet will show the lighting conditions that are suitable for different ISOs. 

Shutter Speed: The shutter speed you set your camera to will depend on the brightness of the environment and the motion of your subjects. A shutter speed cheat sheet will show you the ideal settings based on your situation. 

Photo Basics: A photo basic cheat sheet will give you a general rundown of how you should be setting your camera to achieve specific results. 

Depth of Field: The depth of field is directly related to aperture settings. A cheat sheet will show you how to set your aperture to produce certain results. 

Basic Photography Rules: This type of cheat sheet will provide a review of composition including cropping, leading lines, background, patterns, balance, the rule of thirds, and more. 

Cheat sheets aren’t exactly cheating. They provide you with the guidance you need to become a better photographer while saving time and making you look more professional. Will you be taking one along on your next photography adventure? 

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