Beginner Photography Glossary

Category: Photography


Learning and undering all the jargon and components for a new hobby or skill is important, especially when it comes to photography. If you really want to get good at taking photos, you must understand all of the parts of your camera. So if you’re novice to photography, check out our quick and easy photography glossary so you can start taking photos like a pro. We’ve also some style lingo too.  

Rule of Thirds- Rule of thirds is a photography guideline for when you’re about to compose a photo and you want it to be straight and proportionate. When you’re about to take a photo, you’ll notice a grid of three rows and three columns. Use this to line up the photo.

Bokeh- Bokeh is an aesthetic you can achieve where part of the photo is out of focus. You might recognize bokeh when you see photographs where background lights are blurred out.

A photo that has the style of bokeh in it.


Exposure- Exposure deals with how light or dark your image is. A photo that is deemed to dark is considered underexposed and a photo that is too light photo is called overexposed.

Flare- The effect that is created when light is reflected into the lens. It’s become popular over the years to add a little bizazz.

A photo that has flare in it.

 Manual- Manual mode allows you to control the exposure. In manual mode, you choose the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.  

Aperture- An aperture is the opening of the lens that allows light to come in and it is expressed through the f-stops. In photography, f-stop numbers are counter-intuitive. The lower the f-stop number, the larger the opening will be and the more light can pass through. The higher the f-stop number, the smaller the opening is and the less light is able to pass through your camera. A low number aperture means the photograph will focus on one thing and blur the rest of the image out. A photograph taken through a high f-stop number is clear and crisp throughout.

Shutter Speed- Shutter speed is the length of time the film or digital sensor in a digital camera is exposed to light. It’s also the amount of time the camera’ shutter is open when taking a camera. The quicker the shutter speed, the darker the image is and the longer the shutter speed the lighter the image is.

ISO- The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to light. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive it is to light.

If you still have an inkling to learn more about photography, stick around. This fall Sperling Interactive will be hosting a photography workshop for business owners that want to advance their business photography.

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