Aperture - When your shutter opens aperture is the measurement of how wide your lens diaphragm will open up, letting in more or less light. Aperture is measured by the f-number scale, the lower f-numbers indicate a WIDER aperture. Tip: For great portraits with shallow depth of field use wide aperture / lower number.

Shutter Speed - How long your camera collects light. Motion blur is created when your camera collects light for a long time. This can be a beautiful effect under a night sky on a tripod, writing with sparklers... however when trying to take family portraits or action shots during an event you want a fast shutter speed. The shutter speed measurement 1/125 means the shutter is open for one 125th of a second.

ISO - A higher ISO means a brighter image. Ideally you actually like a lower ISO because in our modern digital cameras a high ISO will generate discoloration and noise. It is what cause the unattractive speckling effect in low-light pictures.

White Balance - This is typically on auto, but you really should check it out your cameras options! If you are under incandescent lights they cast a yellow hue which can be fixed easily buy switching your white balance to "incandescent."

Composition - the way you are intentional in cropping in camera. Keeping in mind what is in the background. Keeping in mind the little things that add to your subject, or removing things that take away focus from your subject. Composition is very personal to your taste. The exact definition is "the manner of being composed; structure:"

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You can go very in depth on the terms, I'm giving you the basics. The Verge has a great article that expands more on basic terms and buying cameras, goes in depth on sensor sizes. I highly recommend you read it if you are on the market for a new camera or wanting to learn more! Read the post here.


1. In our Facebook community share the gear you are working with and if you have had any issues reach out with questions on our Q+A this afternoon! I will be able to answer question live this evening at 9pm.

2. If you have an phone do some research on apps that can expand your photography capabilities. Share if you find any great new ones or share your favorites. If you haven't already check out the APPS on our sidebar. VSCOCAM and Facetune are especially going to be important on our editing day!

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
— Ansel Adams