Cheat Sheet For Every Beginner Photographer

Published 9 years ago

Professional photography is hard, no doubt about it. But this cheat sheet will help those first dipping their toes into professional waters. Made by Daniel Peter of Fotoblog Hamburg, it explains the differences between certain apertures, shutter speeds and ISOs. The chart doesn’t go into detail about advanced techniques of photography or composition, but it’s a quick and easy start of a beautiful relationship with your camera.

The aperture in photography determines the width of the hole that, well, the aperture makes. It determines how much light gets through and the cone angle of the ray bundle that hits the image plane. A narrow one means a sharper image since the ray bundle is more concentrated. A wider one would mean the picture would only be sharp around the point of focus.

ISO is a system of measuring film sensitivity, or how much light a film needs to develop an image. Insensitive film requires more light, and thus is deemed slow. Sensitive film is called fast, but there’s an a downside: fast films usually have higher film grain. ISO is also used in digital cameras, even though the true term is exposure index (EI).

Shutter speed… well, that determines the amount of time that the camera shutter remains open and, consequently, how much light reaches the film or image sensor. This is an important consideration when photographing movement: high speeds eliminate motion blur, while slower ones add more.

Download Peters’ chart here.

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Martynas Klimas

Writes like a mad dervish, rolls to dodge responsibility, might have bitten the Moon once.

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