Category Archives: Photography Books, Tips, & Ideas 2013 – 2014

Photography Vocabulary Lesson Part 2

Yesterday we began a little lesson in photography terms; a vocabulary lesson if you will. As you recall we numbered our pages from 1 to 40 but only filled in the first 20 terms. It’s time now to open those Big Chief tablets, and sharpen those no. 2’s once again because here we go with the second half of our list.

21.  EXIF – Exchangeable Image File Format – embedded information about the camera used, time and date the image was taken, and exposure information such as shutter speed and ISO setting for each image. Most photo editing and graphics programs can read this information. [Also called metadata.]

22.  Exposure – the amount of light that hits the sensor. The exposure is controlled by the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

23.  Fixed Aperture – this means that the aperture remains constant regardless of the lens’ focal length.  The Canon “L” series lenses have a constant fixed aperture when zooming.

24.  Focal Length – the lens’ angle of view. Such as wide angle, standard or telephoto. Focal lengths are usually specified in millimetres (mm).

25.  Histogram – a histogram is a bar graph tool that maps out brightness values in a digital image they are used to give you information about your exposure.

26.  Hot Shoe – the flash connector found on the top of the camera that lets you attach an external flash.

27.  IS – Image Stabilization – an optical or digital system built into a lens for removing or reducing camera movement, most effective with telephoto or telephoto zoom lenses. IS can be found in many of Canon’s mid-range and “L” series lenses .

28.  ISO – International Standards Organization – the speed or light sensitivity of a captured image is rated by ISO numbers such as 100, 400, 800 etc. The higher the number, the more sensitive to light it is.  Higher speeds usually bring on more electronic “noise” so the image becomes grainier.

29.  Megapixel –  the CCD or CMOS resolution of one million pixels. Digital cameras are commonly rated by megapixels. To get the total pixel count you would multiply the horizontal resolution by the vertical resolution.

30.  Metering – calculating the exposure from the current light conditions.

31.  Noise – relates to pixels in your image that were misinterpreted. This normally occurs when you shoot a longer exposure or when using a higher ISO setting. It appears as a grainy texture in your image; like tiny dots that don’t belong there.

32.  Prime Lens – a lens that has just one focal length.

33.  RAW – RAW files store the unprocessed image directly from the camera’s sensor to the memory card without the compromising qualities of a JPEG. RAW files, which contain much  more information than JPEG, must be opened and initial processing done with special software before they can be viewed or printed.

34.  Sensor – the part inside the DSLR that turns the incoming light into digital data. It’s the digital equivalent of film.

35.  Shutter – the device that opens and closes to let light hit the image sensor.

36.  Viewfinder – the tiny “window” on the back of the camera that you look through to compose an image.

37.  Vignetting – this term describes the darkening of the outer edges, mainly in the corners, of the image. This is more noticeable when the zoom lens is in full wide-angle. It is also sometimes used as a special effect in the photo editing.

38.  White Balance – the adjustment of the brightness of colors in an image, so that the brightest object in the image appears white.

39.  Wide-Angle Lens – a lens that has a shorter focal length and a wider field of view than a normal lens.

40.  Zoom Lens – a variable focal length lens. Zoom lenses include [for example] 24-70mm, 70-200mm and 100-400mm.

Is that every photography term out there? No. Not by any stretch of the imagination but it’s a good start; so study up kids. There could be a pop quiz later.


Photography Vocabulary Lesson Part 1

Early last week I shared a few thoughts on Choosing That First DSLR Camera; either for yourself or as a holiday gift for a loved one. As a follow-up to that I think it is time for a little photography vocabulary lesson.  As a new photographer you’re going to see and hear so many new terms, phrases, acronyms, numbers, and even number-letter combos that it could make your head spin! So take out your Big Chief tablets and pretty yellow pencils; number your page from 1 to 40 and here we go…

  1. AE Modes – Auto Exposure Modes – camera modes that will automatically chose the required settings for your image. This includes aperture priority, shutter priority, and program modes.
  2. AF – Auto Focus –  modern cameras from cell phones and point and shoots to high end DSLRs have auto focus capabilities. This means that the lens automatically focuses on the subject. The difference between your cell phone and that high end DSLR is that with the DSLR you can also select manual focus when necessary.
  3. Aperture – the lens opening [formed by a diaphragm] that allows more, or less light onto the sensor.  Referred to as f-stops such as f/2.8 or f/22.
  4. Aspherical Lens –  a lens with flattened edges. This type of lens produces a much better image.
  5. AWB – Automatic White Balance – digital cameras have this feature it allows the camera to set the white balance. They also allow you to change this setting to other choices to suit your needs.
  6. B & W – abbreviation for black and white.
  7. Back Lit – means the subject is lit from behind.
  8. Barrel Distortion – a common lens distortion that causes an aquired image to “pucker” towards the center and be rounded along the outside edges.
  9. Blown Out – a term used to describe an image or part of an image that’s over-exposed with no detail.
  10. Bokeh – the quality of the out-of-focus areas of an image.
  11. Bracketing – applies to flash or exposure. It is used to create  multiple images [usually 3]; one exposed by the cameras meter automatically, one under exposed and one overexposed by a predetermined number of stops. Also called “exposure bracketing”.
  12. Bulb – a term used for a long exposure setting [normally more than 30 seconds]. The exposure is started by pressing the shutter and only ends when the shutter is released.
  13. Burst Mode – also know as continuous mode; this refers to shooting several frames in rapid succession.  DSLR’s have bust modes of up to 8 frames per second.
  14. CCD – Charged Coupled Device – an imaging system with a light sensitive chip used in digital cameras. CCD’s are analogue sensors, the digitizing happens when the electrons are passed through a converter. This Analogue to Digital converter converts the analogue signal to a digital file.
  15. Chromatic Aberration – also known as purple fringing. Fringing is fairly common in lower mega pixel cameras, especially when used with a long telephoto lenses. You can see it when a dark area of the image is surrounded by a highlight. In between the darker and lighter areas it shows up as a band of purple pixels that shouldn’t be there.
  16. CMOS – Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor – another imaging system used by digital cameras. These produce lower amounts of power consumption than the CCD systems.
  17. CRW – the RAW CCD file format used by Canon digital cameras. It stands for Canon RAW.
  18. DOF – Depth of Field – the amount of items that are in sharp focus in an image. DOF is controlled by the focal length and aperture opening of a lens. A large or wide aperture gives a shallow depth of field (not much in focus) and a smaller or narrow aperture gives a larger depth of field (more in focus).
  19. DSLR – Digital Single Lens Reflex. A digital camera with interchangeable lens.
  20. E-TTL –  stands for Evaluative Through The Lens – Canon’s exposure system that uses a quick pre-flash before the main flash in order to calculate the correct exposure.

Oops! That’s all the time we have for today kids. We’ll have to pick this up again tomorrow.