The Manual Photography Cheat Sheet

Last week we spotted this great infographic on Pinterest and we just had to share it with you. It was created by Miguel Yatco, a 19-year-old photography & visual arts enthusiast. This handy visual aid gives a simple explanation to some of the more technical terms you might come across in photography such as aperture and ISO. The notes below from Miguel provide some more detailed information. [short]


  • 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.

TPA would like to thank Miguel for granting us permission to use his infographic on our blog.