A lot of photography is based on technical knowledge, education and practice. If you’re a beginner and wishing to pursue photography, take a look at these 8 technical terms that you need to know.

8 Technical Terms Every Beginner Should know

– Aperture

The aperture refers to the opening in the lens that light shines through when a photo is taken. A larger aperture lets more light in, whereas a smaller aperture keeps light out. Photography is all about light and how to manipulate it whether you are out of doors or inside a studio, so an understanding of how the aperture affects your photography is essential.

– Depth of field

The depth of field can range from narrow to infinite and is usually affected by the camera’s aperture setting. A large aperture is used for a narrow depth of field while a small aperture is required for focus over a large depth of field. It can be difficult calculating the depth of field, so experiment with your camera and a variety of settings.

– Exposure

Exposure is the amount of light absorbed by the sensor of a digital camera or the film of a film camera. If there is too much light hitting the ISO sensor for a long period of time, your photos will be overexposed and come out blurry with glares.


The ISO number is a measure of light sensitivity. A digital camera will allow you to change the ISO number in the menu by adjusting the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor. In a film camera, the ISO is changed by changing the film. The ISO number is also often referred to as the speed of the film, since its light sensitivity dictates the required length of exposure.

– Focus

Sharp focus depends on the lens position and the size of the aperture. An object that is clear is considered to be in focus and an object that is blurry is not. There are many ways to achieve sharp focus in your photography. For example, point and shoot cameras have autofocus, while focus in a manual camera relies on the photographer. Most professional cameras also have autofocus and this makes the process of snapping a photo much faster – useful if you have to react to an immediate situation.

– Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is the 3rd part of exposure. It refers to how long the shutter stays open to allow light through. Shutter speed can be very tricky because if your camera is set to a slow shutter speed, objects that move will be blurred. The shutter speed you choose will depend on your personal photography style, the conditions within which you are taking the photograph and the behaviour of the object.

– Lens

The lens is the most important part of the camera. Photography is about capturing light and manipulating it as it passes through the lens. An important factor to consider when choosing a lens is the length of the lens, or the focal length, because a shorter length allows for more light to hit the sensor than with a longer focal length. This means that with a shorter focal length you will normally be able to use a larger aperture.

– Flash

Flash can be an important, if not the only, source of light when shooting in areas with little to no light. A simple point and shoot camera’s flash is something you can’t work with too much because they come with a standard flash, but some can be manipulated in the settings menu. However, if you’re using a manual flash, it can be played with to get the lighting you wish to achieve.

There are many techniques and skills that go into being a professional photographer but as a beginner these are 8 essential terms and elements that you must know and learn. Keep checking our blog for more information and tips on photography.