Photography Terms - A Glossary of Photography Definitions - Bruce Weber Photographer

If you're new to photography or just want to learn more about the lingo, this glossary is for you! This post will define common photography terms and explain what they mean. By understanding these terms, you'll be able to communicate better with other photographers like Bruce Weber Photographer, and understand the concepts behind different techniques. So let's get started.


Your aperture is the opening in your lens through which light enters your camera. It is measured in f-stops, with a lower number corresponding to a wider aperture. A wider aperture allows more light to enter your camera, which is helpful in low-light situations. It also makes your background appear blurry (a shallower depth of field), which can be used to create a more pleasing image.

Shutter Speed

Your shutter speed is the amount of time that your camera's shutter is open, exposing film or digital sensor to light. It is measured in seconds or fractions of a second (e.g., "one two-hundredth of a second"). A faster shutter speed will result in a shorter exposure time, which is helpful when you are trying to freeze fast-moving subjects. Conversely, a slower shutter speed will result in a longer exposure time, which can be used to create interesting effects such as light trails.


Your ISO is the sensitivity of your film or digital sensor to light. It is measured in numbers, with a higher number corresponding to a higher sensitivity. A higher ISO can be helpful in low-light situations, but it will also result in more grainy or "noisy" images.


Your exposure is the amount of light that reaches your film or digital sensor. It is controlled by your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. A longer exposure will result in more light reaching your sensor, while a shorter exposure will result in less light.

White Balance

Your white balance is the color temperature of the light that is entering your camera. It is measured in Kelvin (K). Different lighting conditions have different color temperatures; you can use your white balance setting to adjust for this. For example, if you are shooting in a shady area, you might want to use a lower white balance setting to make the colors appear warmer.

Depth of Field

Your depth of field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in your scene that appear in sharp focus. It is controlled by your aperture, with a wider aperture resulting in a shallow depth of field and a narrower aperture resulting in a deep depth of field.


Your composition is the way that you arrange the elements in your scene. There are many different compositional techniques that you can use to create pleasing images, such as the rule of thirds or leading lines. Experiment with different compositions and see what works best for you.

Final Word on Photography Terms

By understanding these basic photography terms, you'll be well on your way to taking better photos. So get out there, start shooting, and don't forget to have fun.

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