Posts Tagged ‘Terms’

We have seen different kinds of digital cameras on the wholesale digital camera. According to the common uses, the digital camera can be simply divided into DSLR camera, card camera, long lens camera, home camera and paraxial camera. The DSLR camera is the digital single lens reflex camera. There is no clear concept for the card camera. It’s usually the kind of camera which is small in shape, light in weight and fashionable in design. The long lens camera refers to the large optical zoom model. The larger the optical zoom rate is, the longer the distance can be.

Image resolution rate
The image resolution is the optional imaging size and the basic unit is the pixel. The smaller the pixel is, the smaller the image coverage. In practice, the large pixel can be used for the high quality and large coverage output. The length and width ratio is 4:3.

The exposure modes are usually divided into shutter priority, aperture priority, manual exposure and AE lock. The photo quality is related with the exposure value. And the exposure value is relative to the light time (decided by the shutter speed) and light coverage (decided by the aperture size).

The shutter and aperture priority
In order to get the right exposure volume, you need to make the right combination of the shutter and aperture. Large aperture is for the faster shutter. The larger the aperture is, the more light rays are. The shutter priority means to gain the F-number through the metering in the condition of manual user-selected shutter. The shutter priority is mostly used in the shooting of moving objects, especially in the sports shooting.

The unclear photo of moving object is mainly caused by the slow speed shutter. You can estimate the shutter value according to the specific object. 1/125 second is ok for shooting the walking people. The dropping drops require 1/1000 second.

Manual exposure mode
The aperture and shutter speed is left to the manual operation in the manual exposure mode each time. It’s convenient for the photographer to make different photo effect. If you want to take photos with the motion trace, you can longer the exposure time, faster the shutter and increase the exposure. If you want the dim effect, you should faster the shutter and decrease the exposure. Thought it is very initiative, it’s not convenient. And the time doesn’t permit you to catch the vanishing prospect.

AE mode
AE is Auto Exposure. There are modes of aperture priority AE, shutter speed priority AE, program AE, flashlight AE and depth-first AE. The aperture size is user selected and the shutter time is automatically selected according to the brightness of object and CCD ISO in the manual aperture and automatic shutter time mode. It’s suitable for the shooting of landscape, portrait and macro photography.

Multi spot metering
It’s a mode to reach the best shooting effect through the brightness from the different direction of the object and flash compensation. First, the user should meter the source object and make the AE lock. Second, do the metering of the backlight object. Most of the professional or semi-professional camera will do the analysis automatically.

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Photography Terms

The following photography terms can be very useful to anyone who enjoys taking photos. Yes, some of the definitions do talk about film. Some people may think that film is obsolete. While it is not in the mainstream of modern photography, it does still exist and some photographers still find it to be their medium of choice.

I, R. Dodge Woodson, have 30 years of experience as a pro photographer and am the owner of The Masters of Moments ~ Distinctive Photography, in Brunswick, Maine. Being an old-school guy, I did not turn loose of my film cameras easily. In fact, I did not let them go until about three years ago. While I admit that digital photography is where it is for mass photography, there is still a place for the use of film. For this reason, I have included some terms and definitions that pure digital photographers will have no interest in.

Aberration A lens fault where light rays are scattered and degrade a photographic image.

Abrasion marks Marks made on the emulsion of film that resemble scratches. They can result from dirt or dust on the film while worked with either in your camera or in your darkroom.

Acutance The objective measurement of how well an edge is recorded in a photograph.

Adapter ring A device that mounts on a lens to allow you to install further accessories, such as a gelatin filter holder.

Additive process When lights of different colors are combined you have an additive process. If a set of three primary colors are combined equally, the result will be white.

Aerial perspective You might think that this relates to aerial photography, but it doesn’t. It is the impression of depth shown in a scene that is conveyed with the use of haze.

Angle of view A measurement that has to do with the widest angle of light rays seen by a lens that forms a suitably sharp image at the film plane. To determine this measurement, a lens must be set at a focus level of infinity. In lay terms, the angle of view is what you can see when looking through your viewfinder. Or, in some cases, what the camera sees that you don’t. Not all cameras offer a what-you-see-is-what-you-get view.

Aperture A part of a lens that opens and closes to allow light to get to the film. You can see the aperture work if you look in a lens that is not mounted on a camera body and rotate the aperture ring.

Aperture priority When an in-camera meter takes its reading based on the aperture setting you have chosen, the camera is in aperture-priority mode. For example, if you want a diffused background, you would set an open aperture, say f-2.8, and your camera would choose the proper shutter speed to produce a good exposure.

ASA American Standards Association. It is a measurement of film speed and relates to the sensitivity of a particular film.

Available light Light that is on a photographic subject naturally, such as sunlight in an outdoor setting.

Back lighting Lighting that is placed behind a photographic subject.

Barn doors Hinged metal flaps found on photographic studio lights that allow you to control the volume and direction of lighting produced by the lights.

Base A term applied to the support material on an emulsion, which is usually plastic or paper.

Bellows A device used for close-up photography. It is a lighttight, extendable sleeve that is infinitely adjustable between its shortest and longest extent. Extreme magnification is possible when a bellows is used.


Bounce flash A procedure in which light from an electronic flash is flashed onto a reflective surface and then lights a subject. As an example, you might bounce your flash off a wall in your home to light the face of a subject in a portrait.

Bracketing A method in which you take more than one picture of the same scene using different exposures. Typically, the first picture is taken at what is believed to be the ideal exposure. Subsequent exposures are taken one stop faster and one stop slower to ensure a successful exposure.

Bulb setting A setting on a camera that allows the shutter to remain open for as long as the shutter release is depressed. By using this feature, you can produce timed exposures.

Bulk film Film that is purchased in a long roll and cut and loaded into canisters or other containers for standard use. Bulk film is cheaper than pre-packaged film containers, but it can be difficult to load. If the film is exposed to light during the loading process, it will be fogged and ruined.

Burning in A darkroom term that means you are increasing the exposure on a portion of a photograph by leaving it exposed to enlarger light while the rest of the picture is shaded or masked.

Cable release A device that allows you to depress the shutter button of your camera without touching the camera body. A cable release should be used when you are shooting at slow shutter speeds. By not touching the camera, you reduce the risk of camera shake and distorted images.

Cassette A container that 35mm film is loaded into when it is prepared for use in a camera. Another name for this container is magazine.

Changing bag A lighttight bag equipped with openings for your hands and arms. A changing bag can be used to load film into film tanks or cassettes without the need for a darkroom.

Coating A thin layer of material placed on the surface of a lens to reduce flare.

Color compensating filter A filter used to alter the color of light under various circumstances. Many ranges of compensating filters are available for all types of occasions.

Color contrast The subjective impression of the difference in the intensity between two close colors.

Color head A darkroom device used as part of an enlarger. It is an illumination system that has built-in, adjustable filters or light sources that are used when making color prints.

Complementary colors Colors that when combined produce white light.

Composite image An image that is made from more than one image source. For example, a multiple exposure is a composite image; so is a sandwiched image.

Compound lens A lens that is made with more than one element, allowing for optical corrections to be made.

Contact sheet A sheet of exposed, developed photo paper that contains images from all negatives produced from one roll of film. Contact sheets are used to preview exposures in a darkroom and to allow evaluation of various darkroom exposures.

Critical aperture The point of aperture opening where a lens produces the best image quality. The setting is usually somewhere around the middle of the range of settings.

Cropping A procedure where unwanted items are deleted from a picture. Cropping can be done before a picture is taken by using a zoom lens, switching to a longer lens, or by moving closer to the subject. It can be done after a photo is taken by enlarging the image in a darkroom.

Dedicated flash An electronic flash designed to work with one particular camera. The flash is connected to the camera with a sensor that allows for automatic flash exposures.

Depth of field The distance at which subject matter remains in sharp focus during the picture-taking process. Open aperture settings reduce depth of field. Closed-down apertures extend depth of field.

Diffuser A material that breaks up and diffuses incoming light.

DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm. It is a method of identifying film speed and sensitivity.

Diopter Refers to the light-bending power of a lens.

Dodging A term used in connection with darkroom work. It is when a portion of photo paper is shaded during an enlarger exposure. This allows the unshaded areas to be exposed longer, giving a different type of contrast and look.

Electronic flash A portable, artificial light source used to illuminate photographic subjects. The light output from an electronic flash is perceived as daylight by film, so no corrective filters are needed when using daylight film.

Emulsion A light-sensitive material composed of halides that are suspended in gelatin. It is used in the making of both film and photographic paper.

Exposure This word relates to the amount of time that film or photographic paper is exposed to light.

F-stop Aperture settings are rated in f-stops. A low numbered f-stop, such as f-2.8, is an open aperture, and a high f-stop, such as f-16, is a closed-down aperture.

Film speed rating A measurement of a film’s sensitivity to light. It is most often referred to as either an ASA or ISO rating, each of which will be the same. A film with an ASA rating of 200 will have an ISO rating of 200. Another scale used for rating film speed is the DIN rating.

Filters Devices that are placed over lenses on both cameras and enlargers to alter light and images. They can be used for corrective purposes or to create special effects.

Flare Light that is scattered or reflected and that does not form an image. It can be reduced with lens coating and lens hoods.

Flash guide number A unit of measurement that allows you to determine the proper aperture setting for your camera when electronic flash is being used as a light source.

Focal length The distance between the center of a lens and its focal point.

Focal plane The point at which a lens forms a sharp, crisp image.

Focal point The point on either side of a lens where light enters parallel to the axis of coverage.

Focus The point where light is converged by a lens.

Gelatin filters Filters that are made from dyed gelatin. They are inexpensive, but scratch easily.

Grain A light-sensitive crystal that is normally made of silver bromide. The faster a film is, the more grain it has. For the clearest pictures, a slow film speed should be used to reduce the effect of grain in photo enlargements.

Haze A vapor of fog, smog, or smoke in the air. Photographically speaking, haze can be created by harsh light falling on the glass element of a lens.

Hyperfocal distance The minimum distance at which a lens can record an image clearly while the lens is set on a focus range of infinity.

Incident light Light that is falling on a subject, rather than light being reflected off of a subject.

Incident light reading A light reading taken with a light meter that shows the amount of light illuminating a subject.

Infinity A point in distance when light rays from objects are parallel.

Internegative A negative that is made on special color film for making copies of prints or for making prints from slides.

ISO International Standards Organization. A standard rating for film speed and sensitivity.

Joule A unit of measurement for the output of an electronic flash. It is equal to one watt-second. By using this form of measurement, you can compare the power of various electronic flash units effectively.

Kelvin When you see temperature ratings given in Kelvin degrees, you are seeing the standard unit of thermodynamic temperature. It is arrived at by adding 273 degrees to a centigrade temperature reading.

Latent image An invisible image that exists on exposed emulsion. Once the emulsion is developed, the image becomes visible.

Lens flare The result of scattered or reflected light that is non-image forming that reaches an emulsion. It can be reduced with lens coating and lens hoods.

Lens hood A device on the front of a lens that protects the lens surface from unwanted, non-image forming light that can cause flare. Some lens hoods are built-in on lenses, and others are accessories screwed into the filter threads of a lens.

Luminance The amount of light emitted by or reflected from a surface.

Macro lens A lens that gives high-quality performance when shooting close-ups. Some manufacturers call them micro lenses.

Masking A technique where a mask is used to block light from part of an emulsion. Masks can be used in filter holders for special effects when taking a picture. They can also be used in a darkroom when making prints with an enlarger.

Negative A photographic image that is comprised of reversed tones. In other words, light objects are dark and dark objects are light when looked at on a negative. When a negative is printed, the colors become positive and appear normal.

Negative carrier A holder that works in conjunction with a darkroom enlarger to hold a negative or slide.

Normal lens A normal lens is one with a focal length equal to the diagonal of the film format. What this amounts to is that a normal lens produces a picture that has a normal or everyday perspective and angle of view. Wide-angle lenses and telephoto lenses distort these qualities and are therefore not normal.

Open flash When a camera shutter is held open with a timed-exposure and flash is fired periodically on a subject, the process is known as open flash.

Panning Moving your camera in a smooth arc to follow the motion of a moving subject while keeping the subject in the same position in your viewfinder.

Photo lamp A tungsten lamp used to light photographic subjects that gives a color temperature of 3400 degrees Kelvin.

Primary colors Red, green, and blue are primary colors, so are cyan, magenta, and yellow. Primary colors are colors that when grouped in threes can be used to make any other color. When mixed together in equal proportions by the additive process, they make white. If the subtractive process is used, they make black.

Pulling film A process where the development time for film is shortened.

Pushing film A process where the development time for film is extended.

Reciprocity failure Light-sensitivity lost during exposures that are either very short or extremely long is known as reciprocity failure.

Resolution The capability of a lens to distinguish between items placed closely together. The higher the resolution of a lens, the better the lens is.

Ring flash An electronic flash that is shaped like a doughnut and attaches to the end of a lens.

Safelight A light that can be left on in a darkroom without affecting light-sensitive materials. Most safelights are either red or amber in color.

Sandwiching When two or more images are combined to make a single image. This process is usually done in a darkroom with an enlarger, but accessories can be purchased that allow you to sandwich slides and shoot the composite picture with your camera.

Scrim A screen placed in front of lights to reduce their output.

Shutter priority One form of an automatic camera. When an in-camera meter takes its reading based on the shutter-speed setting that you have chosen, your camera is in shutter-priority mode. For example, if you want to stop the motion of a Ferris wheel, you would set a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second and your camera will choose the proper aperture setting to produce a good exposure.

Single-lens reflex camera A camera that uses a mirror to allow photographers to see exactly what is focused on their film.

Slave unit A device used with multiple flash setups that allows independent flashes to fire in unison with the primary flash that is serving a camera.

Snoot A device that is fitted to the head of a photo lamp to narrow its beam of light. Snoots are often used when lights are intended to highlight a modelÕs hair.

Spot meter A handheld, independent light meter that takes reflective light readings from very small portions of a subject. It is the most accurate reflective light meter you can own.

Stepping down This means that you are reducing the aperture size or the shutter speed for your exposure.

Subtractive process When the combination of primary colors, dyes, or filters that absorb light are used to produce a black image.

Thick negative A negative that is dark or that has a dense image.

Thin negative A negative that has a thin density and is pale.

Transparency Another name for a photographic slide. It is a positive image meant to be viewed by transmitted light, such as that from a light table or slide projector.

Tungsten light Light that is created by heating a filament of tungsten to a temperature where it emits artificial light.

Vignetting The gradual fading of the edges of an image to either black or white.


As The Master of Moments, I hope this article has helped to answer some of your questions.


R. Dodge Woodson