Glossary of Photo Editing Terms – Aperture!

Many people don’t use Photoshop to process my images. Instead, many use Apple’s Aperture to make some minor adjustments to them. It’s a great photo editing app for iOS users. 

It takes a while for everyone to get to grips with the app and Photo Editing Terms. And to fully understand how to use the software and figure out what all the crucial settings do.

If you are new to the world of photography and photo editing, knowing the post-processing and photo editing terms plays a very significant part in your career.

If you are a professional, you may not require this article. Still, you can go through it to revise the terms and get a different perspective. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to use each step to your advantage, and what each step does.


First of all, open the app and have a look at what Aperture looks like when we open it up – notice the order in which the different aspects are present.

The order of the visible settings which you can see in the list is not random. They’re present in this way as certain adjustments will affect others. You’ll find out that other photo editing software such as Adobe Lightroom uses a similar order.

It is best to stick to the order in which they’re present in the interface – the order in which we’ll be learning about them. Adjusting the white balance is difficult if it is after exposure in the list. It will confuse you.

Before we look at what each setting does, I want to say something. Take an original photo and have a look at it as a point of comparison for each adjustment.

Undo each adjustment after each step so that you can see what happens to the photo. It will help you to understand the concept better.

White Balance

This first is White Balance on the list because it manages the overall colour of the image.

You also have a temperature gauge in the list to work with. You can make the photo warmer (yellow/orange) or cooler (blue) depending on how you want it to look. 

Observe what the photo looks like if you turn up the heat. You also have a “tint” tool which tints the colour from green to pink for smaller manipulations.

photo editing terms


This will have the same effect as exposing your photo for a longer or shorter length of time on your camera. I think photo-editing came into being after photographers started regretting that they could have increased/decreased the exposure to make it look better!

Jokes apart, it’s almost similar to changing the brightness, but in a much more intelligent way. It treats the whole photo equally. Turning up the exposure lightens up the image.


Recovery is a very useful tool for repairing overexposed areas in the photo, like the sun in the sky.

It’s pretty good at recognising which parts are blown out but it is very rarely of use. 

Black Point

When you use the black point, you’re effectively making the dark portions even darker.

You can turn this the other way but again, people very rarely use that.

You’ll notice that the graph on the histogram is moving towards the dark side. Be careful not to let it go the whole way or you’ll start losing definition. 


This makes the brighter regions even brighter, much like what black point does for the darker regions.

Again, you need to watch your histogram to make sure that you’re not losing details but you should be able to do this without looking really. Both of the above are subtle contrast settings


The photo should stand up on its elements, not rather than editing.

The contrast makes the dark areas darker and the bright parts lighter.

This comes handy when you want the images to be more punchy but don’t overdo it – it can look unrealistic.


It defines some of the details in a similar way to sharpening, only it tends to work best on underexposed parts, making them stand out. Prefer using the brush on sharpness where you need it.


This is a very useful tool which can make the colours much more punchy and, it can look really good.

On overcast days, this tool can prove invaluable as you can turn drab and uninteresting photos into something much more appealing.


This is another form of saturation which helps to make the colours more interesting and punchy. This effect is much more subtle than using the saturation slider and the photos end up looking more natural.


It’s a good way of recovering overexposed regions of a photo, to bring the details.

The only problem with this tool is that it is preferred to be used on a certain part of a photo like just the facial features, rather than on the whole image – Still though, it’s a very powerful tool to have.


It will make the shadows of the photo brighter, by providing more details. A good tool but to be used.

When you overuse it, tends to look too like an overdone HDR photo.


After reading this article, I hope you would be able to understand all the basic terms regarding photo editing. When you open the app, you will find every bit of it extremely familiar. 

Comment your opinion!

Happy Editing!

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