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  • Photography Terms You Should Be Familiar With

    Posted on May 25th, 2011 Staff Writer

    Today we are going to cover a few photography term you should be familiar with it comes to your camera or talking to other photographers.  Photography has its own language basically and you can get lost quick. Here are some terms we think will help.

    Aperture – A small, circular opening inside the lens that can change in diameter to control the amount of light reaching the camera’s sensor as a picture is taken. The aperture diameter is expressed in f-stops; the lower the number, the larger the aperture. Aperture affects depth of field, the smaller the aperture, the greater is the zone of sharpness, the bigger the aperture, the zone of sharpness is reduced.

    Aperture Ring – A ring, located on the outside of the lens usually behind the focusing ring, which is linked mechanically to the diaphragm to control the size of the aperture; it is engraved with a set of numbers called f-numbers or f- stops.

    Camera Shake – Movement of camera caused by unsteady hold or support, vibration, etc., leading, particularly at slower shutter speeds, to a blurred image on the film. It is a major cause of un-sharp pictures, especially with long focus lenses.

    Contrast – The difference between the darkest and lightest areas in a photo. The greater the difference, the higher the contrast.

    Depth of Field – Depth of Field (or DOF) is decided by the given lens opening (aperture) or f/stop. A small aperture (large f/number: f/16, f/22, etc.) will give a large depth of field; the image will be sharp/in focus from the foreground to infinity. A large aperture (small f/number: f/1.8, f/2.8, etc.) will give a shallow depth of field.

    ISO – International Standards Organization; the number represents the film’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO number indicates the film is more sensitive and requires less light for a proper exposure.

    RAW – The RAW image format is the data as it comes directly off the CCD, with no in-camera processing is performed.

    Shutter speed – The camera’s shutter speed is a measurement of how long its shutter remains open as the picture is taken. The slower the shutter speed, the longer the exposure time. When the shutter speed is set to 1/125 or simply 125, this means that the shutter will be open for exactly 1/125th of one second.

    White balance – A function on the camera to compensate for different colors of light being emitted by different light sources.

    These are just a few of the most often used terms we hear when speaking to other photographers. There are many more term that can be used but this should get you going in the right direction.

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