Photography Cheat Sheet: The DSLR for Dummies

This photography cheat sheet covers everything you need to know to shoot great photos with a DSLR.

So, you’ve taken the next step in serious photography and got yourself a DSLR camera. At first, it may seem intimidating and greatly technical to shoot with it compared to a smartphone or digital point-and-shoot camera. But you’re also set to embark on an exciting journey to taking significantly better photos. To prepare you for that, we bring a photography cheat sheet that will serve as your comprehensive DSLR camera guide.

The cheat sheet below, shared with us by SK Camera, covers everything a beginner needs to know in order to use a DSLR. Designed to be quick and straightforward, it should also help you take control of your camera and break away from auto mode. Shooting in manual mode requires you to master the essential functions and settings of your camera. These include mastering shooting modes, understanding ISO, and learning about the exposure triangle. It can be intimidating to fiddle around with all the controls, and you may not be sure about the settings you’re choosing. But with enough practice, and the help of this photography cheat sheet, you’ll be confident about shooting with your DSLR in no time.

If the cheat sheet above feels too much or complicated, break it down into chunks and dedicate practice days for each component. You may want to begin with shooting modes, as indicated above. Or, if you really want to learn the foundations of a balanced exposure, learn about the exposure triangle first.

After practicing with this DSLR guide, you may also want to move on to the more in-depth photography cheat sheets we have so far: rule of thirds, ISO setting, shutter speed, metering modes, and white balance presets.