Cheat sheets that immediately helped my photography

Two Christmases ago, Mandy upgraded my DSLR. I got a shiny new Nikon D5300 with a 35mm and a 55-300mm lens. I loved it. I took a few photos with the presets and was happy overall as long as the light was perfect and my subject matter wasn’t moving and didn’t require any special types of focus.

Mandy was smart enough to know that I’d need to really learn to use the camera so she gave me a tutorial book with it. It looks great. I can’t wait to open it up and start reading it – yes, still.

The idea behind the camera was that I’d get to take great photos of Jonah when he was born and of everything wonderful the boys were doing together. The reality was that it stayed in its bag since I was fully frustrated with the photos I was getting from it. I knew it was me and not the camera. I just didn’t have the time to give to that great tutorial book sitting on my shelf.

A couple of months ago I started trying to get into night photography. I read a few things to try and get that going, but I was still tripping over myself. Super frustrating. I really wished I’d remembered more from my college photography class (actually showing up would of been a good idea too).

I was searching around a couple of weeks before our vacation and I ran into cameratips.com. It’s a pretty decent site run by a freelance photographer, Moose. I was immediately honed in on the cheat cards he offers. You enter in your camera type and lens that you have and you can buy digital booklets for 10$ with quick set up tips.

Example from cameratips.com/cheat-cards
Example from cameratips.com/cheat-cards

My camera hasn’t been back in its bag except for when I’m hauling it around from place to place. I love these sheets! It gets you set up just enough in manual mode to run with it. You still make minor mistakes but you are just one or two clicks of one setting off. After a test shot or three you are there!

If you need a kick in the butt to get your camera out, drop the $10 or $20 (I got one for each of my lenses). I’ve been so satisfied. Below are a few photos I’ve gotten since getting these. I have ZERO affiliation with Moose and any of his products, I simply purchased them and immediately wanted to share.

 

This was a quick night shot of Comet Lovejoy from my highly light polluted back yard.
This was a quick night shot of Comet Lovejoy from my highly light polluted back yard.

 

Seagull waiting for some scraps at the Chatham Fish Pier
Seagull waiting for some scraps at the Chatham Fish Pier

 

A little whale tale off the coast of Provincetown. This was on a very hazy day. I was able to battle through and a get a few crisp shots.
A little whale tale off the coast of Provincetown. This was on a very hazy day. I was able to battle through and a get a few crisp shots.

 

Solo bird during our whale watch in Provincetown.
Solo bird during our whale watch in Provincetown.

 

Henry and grandpa flying around the go kart course. This is one of my absolute favorites from vacation.
Henry and grandpa flying around the go kart course. This is one of my absolute favorites from vacation.

 

The American flag during a Chatham band concert on July 3rd.
The American flag during a Chatham band concert on July 3rd.

 

Moon shot from mid June.
Moon shot from mid June.

I hope to be sharing a lot of my night photography as I have more time for the hobby. If you have good resources for tips, please feel free to share!

Cheers!
Kim