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  • Writer's pictureKristy Italiano

Getting Started: Basic Terms In Photography

So you just bought a new camera. Or maybe you are dusting off your old camera to take up photography as a hobby again. Whatever your first step may be, let's look at some of the basic terms in photography to help you get acquainted with your new or old device.

In photography, there are several basic terms that are commonly used to describe different aspects of the process. These include:

  • Aperture: The aperture is the opening in the lens through which light enters the camera. It is measured in f-stops, and a smaller f-stop number corresponds to a wider aperture.

  • Shutter speed: The shutter speed refers to the amount of time that the camera's shutter is open when taking a photo. It is measured in seconds or fractions of a second.

  • ISO: ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera's image sensor to light. A higher ISO number corresponds to a higher sensitivity, which allows for faster shutter speeds or wider apertures in low-light conditions.

  • Exposure: Exposure refers to the amount of light that is allowed to reach the camera's image sensor when taking a photo. The aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work together to control the exposure of a photo.

  • White balance: White balance refers to the process of adjusting the colors in a photo so that white objects appear white and not yellow or blue.

  • Depth of field: Depth of field refers to the amount of a scene that is in focus in a photo. A shallow depth of field means that only a small portion of the scene is in focus, while a large depth of field means that much of the scene is in focus.

  • Composition: Composition refers to the way that elements in a scene are arranged in a photo. It is the artful arrangement of the subject, foreground, background, and all other elements to create a visually pleasing image.

Creativity is all around us. Becoming familiar with the basic terms of photography will help you learn and try out all the different features of your camera. There is not better way to get creative then to try out different settings... remember, manual mode is your friend! Continue to adjust the settings until you find the perfect shot.


If you are just starting out, be sure to subscribe as I'll be detailing the basic terms used in photography for my next post!



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