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Photography Facts for Kids

Photography Basics for Kids - Easy Definitions & InformationPhotography Basics for Kids

Check out our photography basics for kids which feature a wide range of easy definitions and information. Learn what photography related concepts such as depth of field and exposure really mean in simple language that is easy to understand. Here are some words you may come across on your photography adventure:


  • Camera - The thing you use take photos, easy!

  • Tripod - A camera stand with three legs, great for keeping the camera steady!

  • Flash - A portable light source that helps illuminate the subject, many cameras come with built in flashes but they don’t always give a natural looking result.

  • Viewfinder - The part of a camera you look through to compose a photo.

  • Focus - The sharp part of an image.

  • Foreground - The nearest part of a scene in front of the viewer.

  • Background - The area behind the subject, farthest from the viewer.

  • Panorama - A wide view of an extended area, the top of a mountain is a good place for this kind of photo.

  • Macro photography - Close up photos of small objects like insects.

  • Pixels - The tiny dots that make up a digital photo, usually too small to see with the naked eye.

  • Lens - A combination of curved glass that light travels through before reaching the sensor or film inside your camera. Some cameras feature interchangeable lenses that can be swapped in various situations for a variety of different results.

  • Aperture - The opening in a lens that controls how much light passes into the camera. The size of the opening is measured in strange sounding fractions such as f/2.8 and f/22. f/2.8 is a wide opening that allows in lots of light while f/22 is a narrow opening. Don’t worry if this sounds confusing!

  • Depth of Field - This refers to the distance between the nearest and furthest objects in focus. Sometimes only a small slice of the scene is in focus while other times everything is in focus. A wide aperture of f/1.4 or f/2.8 creates a small depth of field while a wide aperture of f/16 or f/22 creates a large one.

  • Shutter - A device (think of it as a curtain) that opens and closes, allowing light into the camera for a certain amount of time.

  • Exposure - The amount of light that enters your camera, a combination of aperture and shutter speed. Overexposed photos appear very bright, while underexposed photos appear very dark. Modern cameras do a good job of automatically getting the exposure right but some people like to control it manually.

  • Noise - Some photos look a little ‘noisy’ with little dots or areas where the color isn't right. This usually occurs at high ISO levels (this is a measurement of sensitivity to light and yet another confusing photography term that you don’t need to worry about too much).

  • Focal Length - This is the distance between the center of a lens and the focal point (where light converges on the film or sensor). Different lenses have different focal lengths, a shorter focal length of 24mm for example has a wider angle of view than a longer one such as 200mm. Some lenses have a fixed focal length (prime lens) while others have a range (zoom lens).

  • ISO - A measurement of sensitivity to light. Your camera will be more sensitive to light at higher ISO settings, taking photos faster but creating ‘noisy’ areas that don't look right.

  • Disposable camera - As the name suggests, disposable cameras are designed to be used once. Although a cardboard camera was developed in 1949, it wasn't until the 1990s that disposable cameras such as those made by Kodak became popular. They are convenient options for underwater photography and fun snaps at events such as weddings.

  • Filters - Camera accessories used to alter light before it enters the camera. Typically attached to the front of the lens they can be used to block ultra-violet light, darken skies, reduce light, take black & white photos, change color balance and make other adjustments. Apps such as Instagram use filter effects to help give your cell phone shots a unique look.

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