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Terms For Photographers

There is so much to learn when it comes to photography. Lighting, posing, how to run a business and marketing only graze the surface of everything that a photographer needs to know in order to be successful. And with all of this new knowledge comes a lot of strange terminology.

To lend a helping hand to new photographers, Melissa Stottmann recently compiled a list of 41 terms, for the Clicking Moms website, that left her head spinning as a new photographer. Her full article can be read at http://www.clickinmoms.com/blog/41-photography-terms-for-new-photographers/.

  1. Ambient Light: Existing light within a room. This can be from the windows, lamps, or any items that glow.
  1. Aperture: Circular opening inside of a lens that lets the light pass through. The size of the aperture is shown as f/2.0 up to f/22. The lower the number, the more open the hole becomes. If the number is higher, less light is passing through.
  1. Aperture Priority Mode: Function of the camera that allows the user to set the aperture. The camera chooses the ISO and shutter speed.
  1. Aspect Ratio: The relationship of the width to the height within an image. Used for cropping (examples: 2:3, 4:3).
  1. Blown: When a portion of the image is so bright that the area has turned to pure white and lost all detail.
  1. Bokeh: The blur and out of focus areas of an image.
  1. Burn: A term that derives from film. Burning refers to darkening a portion of an image.
  1. Catchlights: The reflection of light in a subject’s eyes.
  1. Clipped: An area of an image that is extra dark or saturated to the point of losing detail.
  1. Chromatic Aberration: Color fringing of blues and purples that is usually found around the edges of items within an image.
  1. Conversion: Changing an image from color to black and white.
  1. Depth of Field: The range of focus within an image that is in sharp.
  1. Digital Zoom: A zooming effect that is not true zooming, but instead enlarging pixels within an image (typically seen with Point and Shoot cameras and mobile cameras).
  1. Dodge: A term that derives from film. Dodging refers to lightening portions of the image.
  1. DSLR: “Digital Single Lens Reflex” is a camera with a moveable mirror within and interchangeable lenses.
  1. EXIF: The data information stored within your image file. Holds information such as, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, lens, etc.
  1. F/stop: Lens aperture setting that relates to the size of the lens opening.
  1. Focal Length: The length of the lens, such as 50mm, 85mm, 105mm.
  1. Grain: Also referred to as‘noise’ is sand like dots on an image due to the sensitivity of the ISO setting used. The higher the ISO setting, the more grain is introduced.
  1. Gray Card: A gray card that, when used with a reflective light meter, can help produce consistent image exposure. It is also helpful when setting the white balance manually.
  1. ISO: Term began being used during film days and refers to the cameras sensitivity to light. Raising your ISO will allow you let more light in, but will also being to introduce grain.
  1. Kelvin: Color temperature of an image.  User can set their Kelvin temperature, in camera, to choose their preferred white balance.
  1. Macro: An extremely close up image.
  1. Manual Mode: A camera mode that allows the user to choose the aperture, shutter speed and ISO when shooting.
  1. Metering: Using a light meter (modern day digital cameras have them within) to determine the amount of light within a scene.
  1. Optical Zoom: Found with a zoom lens, optical zoom gives a true zoom effect, moving closer to the object in the image.
  1. Overexposure: An image that receives too much light often resulting in portions of the image losing detail in bright areas.
  1. Point and Shoot: Simple automatic cameras that require the user to press only one button to take an image.
  1. Prime Lens: A fixed focal length lens that does not zoom. Prime lenses are typically clearer, sharper and have a larger maximum aperture.
  1. RAW: Often referred to as a“digital negative”, a RAW file holds the most possible data and is unprocessed.
  1. Rule of Thirds: A means of composing an image with your subjects or important pieces on the lines created when breaking an image into thirds.
  1. Resolution: Refers to the pixels per inch within an image that determines the size.
  1. Shutter Speed: The amount of time that the shutter stays open inside of the camera. A fast shutter speed will let less light in but freeze motion.  A slow shutter speed will let more light in but can create blur or out of focus images.
  1. Shutter Priority Mode: Function of the camera that allows the user to set the shutter speed. The camera chooses the ISO and aperture.
  1. Speedlight: An external flash that attaches to the camera.
  1. Telephoto Lens: A longer focal length that magnifies an image bringing the subject closer than they appear to the naked eye.
  1. Vignetting: Darkening around the edges of an image. This can be caused by the lens used, obstruction, or purposefully created in post processing.
  1. Wide Angle Lens: A shorter focal length that is wider than the naked eye and can create distortion or a fish eye effect.
  1. White Balance: The camera’s attempt to make the white areas of an image ‘white’. The camera will often have multiple settings or can choose automatically.
  1. Underexposure: An image that receives too little light often resulting in portions of the image being too dark to be seen.
  1. Zoom Lens: A lens with a changing focal length, sometimes with a small range and others with larger ranges.