Photography “Cheat Sheets”: Exposure, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO

Time to share some “technical” stuff – I hope you’ll find it funny and helpful. Photography is like a universal language we all understand. If you want to use it to express yourself better, then knowing its syntax is a good idea, right?

I offer workshops and one-on-one mentoring to amateur photographers seeking to bring their work to the next level. My mentoring clients have usually read books or blogs on photography and have understanding of its basic principles. But, as I have realized, sometimes it is still necessary to look back at the basics if they are not yet fully mastered on intuitive level.

So I have developed a number of slides for my workshops (and now also for you) that – I hope – provide a simple explanation of photography basics. A kind of visual summary, a mental shortcut to what you have already learnt. Do you own a DSRL camera but don’t yet dare to abandon the automatic mode? Then it’s for you!

Today I am sharing the cheat sheets on the ground principles of photography: exposure, aperture, shutter speed and ISO.


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More slides are coming: on focal length, digital sensors and what to do with the crop factor, the ways to control the depth of field, and a checklist on how to get sharper images.

Are there any specific topics you want to see explained? You can name them in the comments.

The goal of these slides is to make photography funnier and easier for you: so you are welcome to save the slides and to share them. It took me quite some hours to design these cards, so please refer to my website if you share them online.

I also plan to make a small eBook with these cheat sheets and to offer them as printables. If you are interested in updates, please subscribe to my newsletter on my Contact page.

Looking for personal guidance, feedback and advice on the next steps in your photography? Find out more about my photography workshops and one-on-one (live and distance) mentoring sessions.