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Photo terminology every Photographer must know!

Are you tired of terms that seem to difficult to manifest while addressing photography? Don’t you worry, this article is akin to a simplistic dictionary along with a brief explanation of important terms and their concepts in photography! Especially, aimed at all you budding photographers to be used as a guide for your further exploration into this captivating world of visuals.

We at Picxy strongly believe in giving value to our community and what better way than knowledge — something that is everlasting and indestructible even when the whole world around you can break loose.

While all these terms deserve pages and pages of content in themselves, in the interest of the reader and time we have just introduced these terms along with a brief explanation of what it means and what is its influence on photographs.

We strongly encourage you to go out in the wild and explore these for yourselves by reading, experiencing and experimenting to get an intuitive understanding of these. You can find more details on these online and we would be happy if you would share them with us for the larger good of the community. With this, let’s delve into the basics of photography.

Aspect ratio — your frame’s width and height

Aspect Ratio, which is usually represented in the ratio format as A:B tells you the relationship between the width and the height of your picture. Common aspect ratios include 4:3, 16:9 and 4:5 ( popular in Instagram- vertical cropping )

Aperture — The opening of your lens

The opening through which light enters, measured in f-stops, affects the exposure and depth of field. It can be modified to control how much light enters and travels to the sensor.

Bokeh — the perfect background blur to your subject

The divine background blur which gives a surreal aesthetic finish to your photos is an optical phenomenon that is attained using a fast lens at its wide aperture. The number of blades in the diaphragm and the lens setting affect its quality. The more the blades the more circular the blur.

Bulb — your key to low-light aesthetics

This setting allows you to control the time the shutter is open giving you the opportunity to capture long exposures. This comes in handy in poor light conditions!

Blue hour — The blue shade from sunlight diffusion

This time of the day just after sunset or before sunrise characterised by the blue shade arising from indirect sunlight diffusion is just right to exhibit your mastery in the photography of any genre.

Burst rate — Consecutive shots with shutter mode

This is the number of consecutive shots a camera takes in continuous shooting mode. It is influenced by the image formats and speed of the memory card used. Images are stored in buffer memory before being transferred to the memory card.

Chromatic Aberration — an amalgamation of colours

When the colours diverge and create fringes for the elements of the photo over which you can infer that you have encountered this optical problem with your lenses.

Distortion — A sort of warping in frame subjects

This refers to the bending of light when the objects you intend to capture are at different distances from you. A typical occurrence is the capturing of the hazy effect of lights around a skyscraper or high-rise building on a tilt camera.

Depth of Field — between objects in the frame

Distance between the closest and farthest objects in your image. Varying focal distance, aperture and distance to the subjects results in different DOFs. It can help you pull the focus of the viewer to the objects you want to.

Exposure — The amount of light you’re exposed to

This is the amount of light that reaches the camera sensor, thus determining the lightness or darkness of the image. It is influenced by aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity (ISO) — the exposure triangle.

Focal length — the most fundamental characteristic

This the distance between the centres of the camera sensor and optical sensor. It’s a fundamental characteristic of your camera and it determines the magnification and angle of view of the subject. Lenses are categorized on this feature as wide angle (less than 35 mm), standard (35–70 mm), medium telephoto (70–135 mm) and telephoto (more than 135 mm)

F-stop — The aperture opening of a lens

In optics, the f-number of an optical system such as a camera lens is the ratio of the system’s focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. The F-stop is the factor in photography — the ratio of opening size of the aperture to the focal length. It determines the aperture value. A larger value implies a greater amount of light reaching the sensor.

The FPS feature — Frames Per Second

Frames per second (FPS) determines the speed at which camera takes photos. This is a crucial feature to photographers in the genre of high-speed photography applications like sports photography and wildlife photography.

Golden Hour — An important hour for Photography

This magic hour after the sunrise and before sunset lights up the field in a golden shade with the sun low on the horizon. It gives you no sharp shadows and a magical touch to your subjects in the photo.

ISO — International Organization for Standardization

This refers to the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light. It allows you to adjust the frame brightness without changing the shutter speed or aperture. The higher this value the more the information that can be captured and the less the time it takes to scan the image from the lens.

HDR — High Dynamic Range Mode

High Dynamic Range is a technique of combining different shots of the subject in focus at various exposures in post-processing that gives clarity and bright colours and shades in an optimized way producing images as perceived by the human eye.

We hope this was useful to all the readers. We want to get you started somewhere and felt that this could potentially be the start. If you liked this, let us know in the comments. We are looking forward to your valuable feedback. Stick with us and follow us to read more such articles and keep that shutterbug spirit alive!



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She/Her | Writer | Cook | Journalist | Love: Factual news, Animals, Photography, Cuisines, Films and Books.