26 of our most popular photography cheat sheets

26 of our most popular photography cheat sheets

Many of you have browsed and shared our growing number of photography cheat sheets, and some of you have even gotten in touch to let us know how much you enjoy them.

However, as items drop off the main page on a blog, they can be difficult to find later. To help save you time searching and gain time shooting, we’ve collated 26 of our most popular photography cheat sheets in one place. Here!

Below you’ll find a summary and thumbnail of each. Simply click the links to drag and drop the larger version of each photography cheat sheet to your desktop.

1. 54 Portrait Ideas: free downloadable posing guide

54 Portrait Ideas: free downloadable posing guide

Are you stuck for portrait ideas? Sometimes we’ve found that you can over-think these things. When you put so much thought into backdrops and colour schemes, etc, you can overlook some of the fundamentals of portrait photography, such as your subject’s pose.

A great way to reignite your portrait photography is to shoot a model in your home photo studio, using as minimalist a set-up as possible. By experimenting with different poses you can see what works and get new portrait ideas to apply to your next shoot.

2. 6 simple lighting set-ups for shooting portraits at home

If you’re looking to take your photography further you’ll probably want to learn how to use off-camera flash. In this tutorial we show you 6 simple studio light setups that will help you capture some of the classic portrait lighting effects.

3. Free f-stop chart: master your aperture

Understanding aperture f-stop chart: free photography cheat sheet

One thing we consistently hear from people is confusion about aperture and just what exactly those numbers mean. Understanding aperture can take some time for a beginning photographer, but hopefully we can speed this process up for you! Inside is a handy f-stop chart put together by our friends at N-Photo, which you can drag and drop on to your desktop.

4. Free family portrait photography cheat sheet

Free family portrait photography cheat sheet

Are you a frustrated family portrait photographer? While we can’t offer much help in the way of crying babies, we can help with a number of common obstacles we face when taking pictures of family. In the latest of our Photography Cheat Sheet series we’ve come up with what we believe are four of the trickiest conditions for shooting family portrait photography.

Within each scenario we’ve crafted a handy little flow chart to get you through each challenging situation and come out the other side with a top-notch family portrait. Simply drag and drop the infographic inside on to your desktop to save as a handy reference the next time you’re called in to action as the Official Family Photographer!

5. How to use a histogram – photography cheat sheets for achieving perfect exposure

Histogram: photography cheat sheets for achieving perfect exposure

Before the histogram, photography enthusiasts had to go through a lot more effort to get good exposures. But while the histogram is one of the most useful tools on your camera, it’s also one of the least understood.

Understanding the histogram in photography and how it tracks your exposure is one of the key steps in learning how to become a better photographer. In this quick guide – and with a few handy cheat sheets – we’ll show you exactly how to interpret your camera’s histogram.

Your digital camera’s histogram serves as a guide to help you better underststand your exposure. To this end, it aims to illustrate the range of tones in a scene. On the left of your histogram you’ll find the extreme of dark shadows, while on the far right you will find your bright highlights. This photography cheat sheet explains it all in depth.

6. Portrait photography cropping guide

Free portrait photography cropping guide

Portrait photography is challenging for a whole host of reasons. Getting your portrait right in-camera is only half the battle. Knowing how to edit your portraits can be quite difficult when it comes to cropping a photo. Cropping in an awkward position on your subject can end up ruining a perfectly good shot. This handy cheat sheet shows you clearly where you can and can’t crop subjects without it looking awkward.

7. Free wedding photography cheat sheet

Free wedding photography cheat sheet

Do you fancy yourself a wedding photographer? Or, rather, have you had the role of wedding photographer thrust upon you by desperate friends and over-confident family members? Don’t freak out. Help is here.

In this photography cheat sheet we came up with what we believe are four of the trickiest conditions for shooting wedding photography: the bride’s arrival, inside the church, photographing the bride and groom and, finally, taking pictures of family and friends.

8. Understanding the color temperature scale: free photography cheat sheet

Understanding the color temperature scale: free photography cheat sheet

In this photography cheat sheet we’ve illustrated the color temperature scale and show you where some of the more commonly used white balance settings sit within it. We’ve also shown where some common shooting conditions, such as hazy skies and sunsets, sit within the color temperature scale and what white balance setting you might want to use to capture accurate colors in these conditions.

9. Free portrait lighting cheat sheet

Free home studio portrait lighting cheat sheet
Portrait lighting need not be so complicated. Whether you’re in a professional studio or shooting a model in your home photo studio (see our 10 tips for setting up your home photo studio), often the simplest portrait lighting set-ups yield the most classic and dramatic effects.

By experimenting with different poses you can see what works and get new portrait ideas to apply to your next shoot. This photography cheat sheet takes you through several simple portrait lighting set-ups, showing the different effects they create.

10. Metering mode cheat sheet: how they work and when to use them

Metering mode patterns: free photography cheat sheet

The Metering Mode button on your camera is symbolised by an eye-shaped icon within a rectangle. Within your metering mode function you will have either three or four metering modes: spot metering (Don’t miss our guide to when to use spot metering!), partial metering, centre-weighted metering and evaluative metering.

11. How to pose for photos: find the most flattering angles for you and your subjects

How to pose for photos: find the most flattering angles for you and your subjects

Non-professional subjects won’t know how to pose for photos so you need to direct them to get the best portraits possible. In this tutorial and cheat sheet we’ll show you three flattering camera angles and three classic poses that work every time.

12. What is exposure compensation: free cheat sheet for photographers

What is exposure compensation: free photography cheat sheet

What is exposure compensation? If you’re new to photography or have moved beyond your camera’s auto modes, this clunky photographic term might sound a bit confusing. But rest assured, it’s not – and our new photography cheat sheet should help clear this up.

13. Full-frame sensor size explained: how to exploit its advantages for pro-quality pictures

Full frame sensor size explained

In this cheat sheet we explore some of the myths and pros and cons of full frame sensors and explain how it can affect the different types of pictures you may take. We also look at ways to fine-tune your shooting technique you really use your full frame sensor to its full potential.

14. How to calculate hyperfocal distance: free photography cheat sheet

How to calculate hyperfocal distance: free photography cheat sheet

What is hyperfocal distance? Before the introduction of autofocus cameras, the use of ‘hyperfocal distance’ was a popular focus technique used by photographers – and it’s still one of the really neat camera tricks for times when your camera struggles to autofocus in difficult lighting conditions.

15. what is ISO: camera sensitivity settings (and the best ways to use them)

What is ISO: camera sensitivity settings (and the best ways to use them)

Click on the infographic to see the larger version.

What is ISO? Discover how your camera’s sensitivity to light is measured and when you should increase your camera’s ISO setting.

16. Free night photography exposure guide: : best camera settings for popular subjects

Night photography exposure guide: free cheat sheet

Start improving your low-light photography today with our latest photography cheat sheet. Our new cheat sheet is a handy night photography exposure guide with suggested shutter speed times for a range of subjects you’re likely to shoot at the ISO settings you’re likely to use.

17. Home studio setup: 6 things every photographer needs

Home studio setup: 6 things every photographer needs

A home studio setup doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In this cheat sheet we’ll show you six essential items every photographer should have in their home studio setup.

18. Best shutter speeds for every situation

Best shutter speeds for every situation

Do you struggle with finding the best shutter speeds when shooting unfamiliar subject matter? It can be difficult to know how to set up your camera to freeze movement, capture motion blur and other popular digital camera effects.
In this cheat sheet we’ve put together our list of what we believe are the best shutter speeds for every situation.

19. Using apertures: when to go small and when to go wide

Apertures: when to go small and when to go wide (free photography cheat sheet)

In this infographic we take a closer look at why you would use small apertures and why you would use wide apertures. We show an example of each, and also illustrate how your apertures look at each f-stop to give you a better idea of how much light you are letting into your camera.

20. What is flash sync? Your flash modes and when to use them

What is flash sync? Digital Camera World explains

What is flash sync? If you’re new to flash photography you’ve probably been asking yourself this question. In our latest beginner’s guide to flash photography we explain how each of your flash modes work and offer a handy photography cheat sheet that illustrates the process.

21. Autofocus point options: what subjects should each be used with

Autofocus point options: what subjects should each be used with?

Your DSLR offers a variety of autofocus points, which can be used in different ways. But which focus points should you use, and when? Our quick cheat sheet explains your different focus point options and when they are most opportune.

22. What your camera captures at every focal length

Cheat Sheet Friday: how much your camera captures at every lens' focal length

In this cheat sheet we illustrate some of the differences a different lens focal length can have both in terms of how your image looks and how much of your scene your camera is able to include.

23. 3 ways you can affect depth of field: photography cheat sheet

3 ways you can affect depth of field: free photography cheat sheet

Depth of field, or ability to control which parts of your pictures are sharp, is one of the main advantages of owning an SLR camera. Look at a scene with your own eyes, and everything from your feet to the horizon is usually in focus. But your pictures do not need to look like this.

This photography cheat sheet examines three common ways you can affect depth of field. Our infographic looks at how aperture, focus distance and focal length will affect what appears sharp in your images.

24. The landscape’s greatest challenges: free photography cheat sheet

The landscape's greatest challenges: free photography cheat sheet

This infographic examines some of the more challenging aspects of shooting landscape photography. We chose four key challenges – composition, exposing for the land, exposing for the sky and capturing moving water.

25. Free action photography cheat sheet

Free action photography cheat sheet

Do you have trouble capturing moving subjects? Whatever you’re shooting, action photography can be tricky to achieve given the unpredictability of your subjects, little control over the lighting and trying to keep everything sharp. This handy action photography cheat sheet explains how to shoot some of the more popular subjects, what you’ll need and what makes pictures work.

26. A layman’s guide to depth of field: how to check and affect sharpness like a pro

A layman's guide to depth of field: how to check and affect sharpness like a pro

One of the first steps toward taking more creative photos is learning how to control how much of your picture is in focus. In this photography infographic we show you how to check and affect sharpness, as well as answers some of your burning questions.

READ MORE

Download more free photography cheat sheets
99 Common Photography Problems (and how to solve them)
10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)
77 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything
Canon vs Nikon: the DSLR system comparison you’ve been waiting for!