Terms Used In Photography

holding a cameraPhotography was invented in the nineteenth century as a method of capturing scenes by exposing photosensitive screens to light. Presently, most photography is done using digital cameras which use sensors to record images and saves them as digital files. Today, photography is within everyone’s reach since even the cheapest cameras can still take photos of excellent quality.

Terms to Learn

However, even the most stylish cameras need to have good photographers operating them. Even though cameras have changed considerably in the past century, the principles and terms of photography remain the same. The following photography terms will help you quickly learn the terminology used in photography.

1. Exposure. This basically refers to the amount of light that a film or sensor records. It has to be correctly adjusted for different light conditions, it is increased for low light scenes and reduced for bright settings.

2.  Aperture. This is the hole through which light passes as it enters a camera. It is important because it regulates the amount of light hitting the sensor. Too much or too little light can spoil a picture. It is normally given an F-stop rating in the format f/24, the number can range from below zero to hundreds.

3. Depth of field. This describes the phenomena where objects closer and further away from the camera vary in their crispiness and fuzziness. It is achieved by manipulating the aperture settings to give a narrow depth which focuses on only the closest objects and a wider depth which focuses on the distant objects.

4.  ISO number. This is the light sensitivity measurement of a sensor and film. In traditional cameras, changing the ISO involves changing the film while in digital cameras, it can be changed in the settings menu.

5. Shutter speed. This is the amount of time that a shutter remains open when taking a photograph. It is measured in the fraction of a second. Very slow shutter speeds cause blurring by allowing excess light through.

6.  White balance. This is the process of compensating for the color difference that occurs when a photo is taken under colored conditions such as blue. A white object captured by a camera under bluish conditions will appear to the camera as blue, therefore, adjusting the white balance settings can help compensate for this.

7. Angle of view. This is the total area of a scene that can be captured by a camera. All the objects in this area are automatically recorded by the film or sensor.

8. Aspect ratio. This is the ratio of the width to the length of photographic print outs. It is normally 4 by 6 inches.

9.  Auto-focus. This is the system by which a camera lens focuses on an object in the field of view automatically. It is commonly used in single lens reflex cameras.

10.  Diffuser. It is an opaque material placed in front of a source of light such as a flash so as to soften the light hitting the field of view.

11. Metadata. This is the extra information stored by a camera when taking a photograph. It usually entails the time the photograph was captured, the name, shutter speed among other things.

12. Pixel. It is the smallest dot in a photograph whose color can change. Pixels collectively make up a complete image.

13. Resolution. This is the total number of pixels available on a sensor.

Anthony Robert is passionate about cameras and photography. He provides great insights and advice. He started out by learning a few glossary of photographic terms .