Wyoming Cloudy Landscape

Photography Quiz Number 1

In the first two articles in this series, we’ve covered a lot of material, and it can be hard to tell whether you really understand something until you’re tested.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with a quiz. Some of the questions are pretty easy, and some are more difficult. It’s not timed, though, and you can use any tools that you’d like (you can open a second browser window to the 3 Basics and the F-Stop articles, for example). So, don’t think of this as a real test; it’s just another way to learn. If everything is working properly, some of the answers will have feedback, too… so you’ll get tips as you go.

The quiz below will choose 5 questions from a pool of 15, so if you take the quiz a few time, you should still get some fresh questions.

So, if you feel like it, give it a try! Nobody will see your score. If this dredges up memories of high-school pop-quizzes, then feel free to ignore it and move on to something else.

Good luck!

[mtouchquiz id=1 questions=5]
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Hi Matt,

i bought my DSLR Canon 600D yesterday and happened to land on your website after some basic googling.

Have found your articles to be very informative. Tried your quiz too and liked it. Shall come back after trying out my hand based on some basics i picked up here on Shutter speed, Aperture and ISO.

Thanks a ton


that was so much fun


Nice man, It’s pretty useful, can you make some more quizzes for us?

Hari Gadde

I got 3/5 correct in first attempt. 5/5 in second attempt. not bad for a beginner. but the quiz is good way learning. thanks for putting things to understand easy


This is still very new to me, these 3 basic, so this is actually very helpful.  I got 3 right the first time so I took it again and got 4 right without cheating either time.  So, I’m on a roll!  Thanks Matt!!!


That was fun Matt. Thanks for taking the time to come up with it. I’d love to see one with more advanced questions. It’s a great way to check your progress.


I’ve learned in the last year that sometimes you really have to think fast if you’re going to get a shot and you don’t want to buckle under the pressure and use the little green square… I’d love to see more of the “how would you get this shot?’ types of questions. It would be a great way to test yourself and see if you would have “got the shot” or if you would have hemmed and hawed around and missed it.

Along the same lines, I believe a really cool feature for the site would be a “How would you shoot this..” section. It would be great to have a section that would promote some discussion on photos and what could be done to make them better, from initial composition, settings, and lighting right up through photoshop and a finished product. Just a thought… :)

If you decide to do this, let me know. I have tons of crappy photos that I would volunteer for a critique. :D


Bill Minton

I love that second idea!

Bill Minton

I can give you a hand if you want to try to retain the posts. I converted my personal site from MyPHPNuke to WordPress a couple of years ago. The majority of the complexity was the users (and authentication). I don’t remember the SQL to export/import the posts being that difficult.


My initial thought was something a bit more prominent too. It would be a neat feature for the site. You have a great idea about just selecting a couple photos to go over, otherwise there will be all kinds of pics popping up and it will get crazy.

I thought of this after I had shot a model awhile back in a sketchy location. Afterwards I posted an unedited pic for laughs and I commented on how happy I was that I didn’t get shot. I was going to crop it, but leave the cool light of the pic basically as it was. It was crummy weather that day and the light reflected that. Matt suggested some different ideas that I tried and it really improved the pic. Afterwards, it got me thinking of how two brains are better than one and what a learning opportunity something like that could be.

I’m excited to see this being implemented. :)


No replies… I guess this is on me to be the guinea pig since I brought it all up…. Okay, I’ll pic one out and fire it off to you. Finding a bad picture isn’t going to be hard at all… finding one that doesn’t make me look like a blithering idiot is going to be the challenge. :)


This is harder than I thought it would be… It’s funny because my first degree was in architecture and I spent a couple years up to my neck in classes that taught design, proportions, lighting, eye appeal, etc… and so much of it goes hand in hand with photography. As an engineer I picked up how to be technical. I’m looking through these pics now and on almost every single one of them, what I should have done differently is jumping out at me plain as day. I guess it goes back to what I mentioned earlier about practicing thinking on the fly and knowing what to do in various situations where you don’t have a lot of time to ponder things.

I’m coming across two main themes here. One is pictures that don’t quite follow the “rules” and I can not decide if I like them or hate them, and the other is me wondering what someone with strong post processing skills could do with an image that to me is really just kind of blah and doesn’t do a whole lot for me. I spend too much time in front of a computer so I strive to do everything “in camera” as a result, my post skills are nothing to brag about.

An example of the first type is on my album page (actually several of the pics I posted on there I can’t decide if I like or hate so I put them up to get some feedback) It’s the two boys on the bridge. I snapped off a quick one while I was waiting for them to come over for a closer shot. I was checking the exposure more than anything and later when I saw it, I liked it. Then later I looked at it again and almost deleted it. Just curious what others honestly think.

The second I’ll post in my album and note it. I’ll send you the raw file Matt. I shot it and thought it should have been better than it was. It just does nothing for me and I’m wondering if some post-processing skills could perk it up a bit.

I’ll look forward to some honest feedback.


I hope so because I could not get it to go via email. I threw a jpeg up on my album instead.


I’m glad it works. I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, I just snapped it off and afterwards I had wished I would have taken my time. It will be interesting to see what gets done, how you do it, and if it can be saved. I tried emailing it but I guess it was too big. I’m on a satellite and the weather is less than perfect, later today I’ll have a better connection and will try again, but we may need that second option.


Hey Matt.

I just tried emailing it but it didn’t work. The raw file is too large it seems.


Okay Matt. You’ve got the raw file now. :)

We definitely need a section for crappy pics…lol. I deleted that jpeg from my album. That’s such a terrible picture, I didn’t want anyone to actually think that I liked it and wanted it in my L&M album…

Bill Minton

Just got 100%. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure on a couple of them though. The f/45 question I thought might have been a trick question, since I’ve never seen f/45. On the “one stop less than f/4, I was pretty sure it was 5.6 because I wasn’t used to seeing 4.5 on my camera. I double checked that one at http://www.uscoles.com/fstop.htm before answering. I stumbled across that site several months ago looking for an explanation on f-stops. He explains the math behind 1.2, 2.0, 2.8 and why they aren’t 1.2, 2.4, 4.8, etc.

I started to take it the other day and got interrupted, but the first question was different and tripped me up a little. I think it had something to do with being in a dimly lit dark room at 800 ISO and I wasn’t exactly sure if going to say 1600 ISO was going to do it. I remember thinking I might need to select multiple answers on that one to get the right exposure.


Passed it the first time with 100%.