Photography Jargon

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Here is some photography jargon used in camera clubs, I hope this helps enlighten you but if your still having trouble then please ask another member im sire they would. be only too happy to help you out.

A term that relates to how much light enters the camera through the shutter. Measured in fstops, the smaller the f-stop number, the more light that is admitted.

A lens system that automatically focuses before the exposure is made. A delay of a second or
so is required before the shutter opens, enabling the camera to gauge the distance to the
subject and focus the lens.

Automatic flash
A flash system that automatically determines whether an image requires a flash and provides
the correct amount of light; a typical feature on most digital cameras.

Automatic white balance
An HP Real Life technology that automatically adjusts white balance (the color of light) to an
optimal level.

A photographic environment in which the main source of light is behind the subject.

Blue hour

Blue hour is the short period of time before sunrise or after sunset when the sun is just below the horizon. Indirect sunlight is evenly diffused and takes on a blue shade. The duration on the blue hour varies depending on the location, but generally lasts less than an hour.

A trick used by photographers to ensure proper exposure without a meter, or to ensure a
more precise exposure when a meter is used. The photographer takes a series of images, one
at the estimated or metered exposure, one slightly over, and one slightly under.


Photographic composition can be defined as the
arrangement of elements of design (line, shape, value, color, texture,
and space) to create an image that is interesting to look at and clearly
express an idea.

An image-editing technique whereby a portion of a photograph is removed, usually from the
outside of the image, to eliminate unwanted details.

Depth of field
The area in front of and behind the main subject of a photograph that remains in focus; can
be affected by aperture, distance to the subject, and focal length.

Dots per inch; standard of measurement for the resolution of images. The higher the DPI, the
higher the resolution.

A mathematical formula applied to a digital image. Most image editors offer filters that can
make dramatic changes in the appearance of a photograph.

Blown Out

Overexposed areas in your image that have received an abundance of light are considered blown-out as all detail is missing.

Fixed focus
A lens system that doesn’t require focusing. Most point-and-shoot automatic cameras have a
fixed-focus lens.

Golden hour

Golden hour, also commonly referred to as ‘magic hour,’ is the period right before sunset and after sunrise. During this time, the sun is low on the horizon so light takes on a redder shade than when it’s higher up in the sky.


ISO, International Organization for Standardization, represents the sensor’s sensitivity to the light. The higher the number, the most information will be captured. Higher ISO numbers are used in low-light situations such as astrophotography. Digital cameras allow photographers to easily change the ISO, while each film roll has a predefined number.

Macro lens
A lens especially made for extreme close-up photography; lets you focus on a subject a few
inches or less from the lens surface.


Overexposure occurs when the exposure value is higher than it should be, resulting in a loss of information over highlight areas.


RAW is a file format that saves the image as it was captured by the sensor, with minimal processing and no compression. This allows photographers to take complete control over the creative edition of the photo. On the downside, RAW files are much larger than JPEGs and other compression file formats.

Rule of thirds
A photo-composition rule that divides the frame into nine equal areas. Subjects could be
aligned along one of the lines or appear at an intersection.

The device at the front of the camera that opens when you press the shutter release button. It
admits a specified amount of light into the body of the camera for a specified amount of time.

Shutter speed
Shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open; it controls the amount of time light is
allowed to reach the film. Short shutter speeds are good for action and sunny-day photos.
Slow shutter speed is good for low-light situations, a slow shutter speed will also allow you to capture blur and a faster shutter speed will allow you to freeze motion.


Underexposure means that the exposure value was lower than necessary, resulting in a photo that is too dark to produce normal contrast.