Basic Terms inPhotography

Photography Words For Beginners 2020

 Photography Words For Beginners 2020: Photography in Greek means ‘painting with life’. It can be considered both an art and science because there are basic principles of physics involved and it involves beauty.

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The first photograph was taken by Joseph Nishi in France in1826 on abutment coated aluminium plate. We’ve come a long way since then and to fast-forward 150 years to the era of the Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera (DSLR)

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Before we start with details let’s understand some basic words of photography

Photography Words For Beginners 2020 : Exposure

The amount of light that strikes the film/chip/ sensor is measured in stops and is also known as Exposure Value or Ev. A difference of one-stop is a doubling or halving off of the light making the image. A stop is used to measure the differences in Exposure Values of apertures, shutter speeds and ISO. Fast means the camera can expose photo quickly

International Organisation Of Standard Number (ISO)

It is a measure of the sensitivity of the sensor in the camera. It used to be measured in American Standard Associations(ASA) numbers. These numbers are used in both film and digital cameras. ISO numbers come in a wide range but standard numbers are 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc. ISO numbers are linear, the higher the ISO number, the more sensitive the sensor and results in more noise or grain in the image.

Shutter Speed

It controls the amount of time the shutter remains open. It is measured in fractions of seconds. Depending on the camera it may show the shutter speed without the numerator I .e.250 instead of 1/ 250 Common shutter speeds are 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8,…..,1/1000, etc. Doubling or halving of the Time Value (Tv) represents one stop of Ev. A fast shutter speed freezes the action of image conversely slow shutter speed blurs (bokeh effect) the action of an image.


 It is the size of a hole in the diaphragm that allows the light into the camera. The larger the hole, the more light that enters the camera in a given time. Aperture Value(Av) is measured using F-stops shown as f/# (i.e. f/16).  

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The image on the top shows the common F-Stop values and how they appear. Change of 1 F-stop doubles or halves the light entering the camera. Smallest F-numbers represent wider Apertures & larger F-numbers represent smaller Apertures. The Av controls the amount of depth of field in an image. The wider the aperture the more shallow the depth of field and vice versa. Av & Tv Together The wider the aperture used, the lesser time i.e. faster shutter speed is needed to properly expose image conversely the slower the shutter speed the smaller the aperture needed for any image. There are a number of combinations that we make a correct exposure table below shows the same.

Photography Words For Beginners 2020: Lighting

Lighting is the most essential ingredient in photography. One of the skills that separate professionals from novice photographers is the ability to solve lighting problems. There are 2 primary factors to consider for light: Direction & Colour. The direction the light comes from can make the image seem flat or 3-dimensional. Front lighting is easy to photograph but the image is generally flat. Top lighting, such as from the sun overhead, also makes the image flat and make shadows short and dark. Side lighting will emphasize texture and contours and create long shadows. The ideal time for photography is dusk and dawn lighting.

Lighting Colour

The colour of light is measured by temperature and Kelvin. The colour of natural light changes throughout the day. Humans respond psychologically to different colours therefore the colour of a photo will affect emotional responses. The light that is in the reds, oranges and yellows are said to be warm. Conversely, photographs, where light is blue in tone, are called cool.

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White Balance

When taking a photo with a digital camera, the white balance setting of a camera will affect the colour cast of the image, balancing the lighting of the subject. Typical white balance settings of a camera include tungsten, fluorescent, shade, Sunny, cloudy, flash, auto and manual. Filters can also be used to affect the colour of light in the image.

Photography Words For Beginners 2020

Camera Shooting Modes

All digital cameras have various modes for shooting. Generally, the Scene Mode takes the guesswork out of setting proper exposure. This mode includes presets for taking photos and a variety of settings such as at night, on the beach, or snow, or for portraits. Manual Modes allow for more creative control and a greater understanding of camera settings are required to use this mode.

Photography Words For Beginners 2020: Composition 

Photography Words For Beginners 2020


Lens length is given in millimetres(mm). Wider lenses have smaller-numbers and longer lenses have a larger number. Wider lenses (that is 18 mm) are useful for landscape photography and long lenses (i.e.300 mm) are useful for close-ups and wildlife. Human eyesight is equivalent to about 50 mm.

Basic Terms 5

Depth Of Field (DoF)

It is this zone of acceptable sharpness. Aperture and distance to subject control DoF. The closer the subject, the shallower the depth of field. The wider the aperture, the smaller will be the DoF (Bokeh effect) and vice versa.

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The Rule Of Thirds

While composing your photo place the subject at a junction that trisect the image. Also when composing landscape shots the horizon line should be on one of the intersecting lines.

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It is using a foreground object to frame the subject of the photo. The frame should be appropriate to the subject, it should have its own aesthetic value. Render the frame sharply, or blur it away. Fill the frame of your pictures, if you can’t get closer to your subject use a longer lens to fill the frame. Filling the frame refers to the primary subject, not extraneous objects.

Portrait Techniques

The subject should face into the image and there should be more space in front than behind. Subjects usually shouldn’t be square on to the camera.

Photography Words For Beginners 2020


Try to include an object to create a sense of scale. Horizon line will emphasize sky and land. Focus on the detail within the scene to add interest. Try to use a line that will lead the viewer’s eye into the picture.

Basic Terms 9

In photography, there are no set rules so experiment, explore, and enjoy! This is the Most Important Tip. Also, read Moon Stars Milky Way Photography & Careers With Photography


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