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Tips & Tricks

The Manual Photographer’s Cheat Sheet: An Infographic for Beginners

By Hanssie on October 16th 2014

Some people think back nostalgically to the days of film. The hours spent in the darkroom, the smell of the chemicals, the anticipation of the images that magically appear on paper, hanging them to dry. Others have fully re-embraced the medium again, forsaking their DSLRs. People love shooting film for numerous reasons and some still ascertain that the best way to learn the technical aspect of photography is to do so manually.

For those of us who have learned photography with our automatic settings (‘P’ mode anyone?), learning how to shoot analog can be daunting. This handy infographic made by is a great place to start if you’re ready to venture into the world of film (or even manual mode on your DSLR). The guide is pretty comprehensive, covering what film to choose, choosing your ISO, adjusting you aperture, shutter speed and exposure, setting up your composition and more.


This little cheat sheet is a great resource for any photographer’s toolkit – for beginners, a wealth of information you must know, and for seasoned pros, nice to have on hand to pass on to your friends that may be interested in checking out what the film hype is about.


P.S. The only thing about the infographic I would change, is not to experiment with ‘converging lines’ on or near railroad tracks due to safety reasons!

If you’re interested in analog photography, here are a few of our past articles with some helpful information about film:

1. List of Places To Buy Rolls of Film Online

2. List of Mail Order Film Developing Labs

3. Watch the Total Film Processing Sequence Condensed Into 4 Minutes 

4. Shooting Film vs. Shooting Digital – Shooting For Your Medium

[Via Manila Bulletin]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Edward Wileczek

    Great information,i started out using film and manual cameras,and like the refreshment course

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  2. Derek Grant

    great and handy info to have

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  3. Mircea Blanaru

    I use a Lomography Diana Mini film camera with great results so, I totally agree with the article!!!

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  4. Kim Farrelly

    Great article Hanssie, full of good to know facts that we all to easily forget on digital.

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  5. Brandon Dewey

    A lot of great information for people who have never shoot film or for people like me who haven’t shoot film in a VERY long time it’s a great refresher resource.

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