Photography cheat sheet helps unlock DSLRs' potential

Illustration shows the back of a camera with Auto White Balance selected

Let’s face it, if you’re an illustrator, graphic designer or a web designer, you’re unlikely to become the next David Bailey. But feeling confident enough to photograph your print projects or product designs to a standard that will do them justice in your portfolio, or to photograph things while out and about to add to your collection of assets, is a skill that many creatives could benefit from.

Enter the Manual Photography Cheat Sheet – Reloaded, an infographic from The London School of Photography designed to help novice photographers to explore the settings in their DSLR’s manual settings with confidence. So if you’ve always wondered what aperture means or how to stop your photos appearing grainy, scroll down to see the full infographic, and check out the useful tips shared.

“The Manual Photography Cheat Sheet – Reloaded is a clean-cut, visual way of showing you how to step up your photography game from automatic to manual shooting,” says Antonio Leanza, owner of The London School of Photography. “Not only does shooting in manual mode enable you to produce sharp, well composed imagery – but you’ll also gain a stronger understanding of the inner workings of your camera.”

Star trails over a busy road

To shoot star trails like this, manual settings are essential

(Image: © Getty)

With the best cameras for creatives all offering manual control options, it’s worth exploring what these features can do. If you’ve ever wanted to take a mesmerising photo of star trails, for example, the infographic points out that a long exposure – achieved through the right balance of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, plus a tripod – is essential.

“By shooting in manual mode you have full control of your shutter speed, ISO and aperture, amongst an array of other settings that can further fine-tune your images. By manually controlling aperture for example can help you achieve those beautifully aligned portraits with blurred or bokeh backgrounds. It’s also highly useful for changing shutter speeds, enabling you to achieve those fast moving subjects like cars or cyclists in crystal clear motion without sacrificing quality.”

An illustration shows a man taking a photo, and text says to use the rule of thirds, leading lines and cropping in photography

Just like design, there are some key rules to remember with photography

Designed by London School of Photography's in-house graphic designer Christina, the infographic also shares some tips of a more creative nature. These include a brief explanation of using the rule of thirds and shooting in the ‘golden hour’ – the minutes just after dawn or just before sunset, where the natural lighting is a flattering warm hue.

With the festive break approaching quickly, why not try out some of these tips to elevate your photography as we head into 2018? Remember to click the icon in the top right of the infographic to see the full-size version.

Click the icon in the top right of the infographic to see the full-size version

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