Manual Photography Cheat Sheet


Manual Photography Cheat Sheet



  • The light meter is different from the exposure setting.

  • Keeping your light meter at “0” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the perfect setting. Just don’t stray too far from the “0”. Adjust to your liking.

  • Positive numbers on your exposure setting will make your photos brighter.

  • Negative numbers make your photos darker.


  • Small numbers (like f/1.4) have larger openings, which let in more light.

  • Big numbers (like f/16) have smaller openings, which let in less light.

Shutter Speed

  • Seeing 100, 250, 320, etc. on your viewfinder means “1/(number seen)”, like “1/100”.

  • Try not to use 1/60 or less when handheld, that’s when you use a tripod or look for something steady.

  • Using longer exposure (slow shutter speed) will let in more light.

  • Using shorter exposure (fast shutter speed) will let in less light.


  • ISO is the sensitivity of your camera to light

  • Lower numbers are less sensitive to light, which give smoother photos.

  • Higher numbers are very sensitive to light, which give very grainy and noisy photos.

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