Glossary

The Concept {as related to this site}: The physics behind photography. How light travels, the colour spectrum, how an image is made, ect… (coming from a non-math mind, the physics behind photography is actually pretty interesting. Stay tuned!)

Photography {as related to this site}: The creative aspect to photography. Composition, pattern, colour, and all the choices you make behind the camera to capture that perfect (or emotionally perfect) image.

Camera {as related to this site}: The technical aspects to photography. Shutter speed, white balance, flash, modes, and everything to do with all the features on your camera.


Adobe RGB: A colour space that encompasses more colours then the commonly used sRGB

Aperture: (or f-stop) the adjustable opening in a lens that determines how much light reaches the sensor. Also directly effects the images depth of field.

Artifact(-ing, -s): Often created by compression or low-quality glass (filters/lenses) artifacts are distortions within an image. These artifacts are often seen as, or some combination of, patchy areas instead of a smooth colour gradient, halos, moiré, and light leaks.

Bokeh: Areas of soft focus with in your frame that create little (often overlaping) blurry circles. Different lenses and techniques can change these “circles” to anything from a circle – to and octogon – to a heart.

Bracketing: Multiple frames of the same image taken at slightly different exposures. Often done in sets of three (one exposed for the shadows, one for the midtones, one for the highlights). These frames will then often be blended into an HDR.

Clip(-ped, -ing):  When you’ve lost all detail in the highlights/shadows and are lefts with white (when clipping highlights) or black (when you’ve clipped your shadows) textureless areas.

Colour Aberration: A distortion of colour typically seen in high contrast areas of a photo (ex. a slight purple or blue “border” where a black building meets a blown out white sky), or inconsistencies as colour nears the edge of the frame.

Colour Temperature: A measurement of the colour of light.

Compact Flash Cards (CF cards): A solid state memory storage device. The first commonly available digital cameras used CF cards. Bigger in physical size then the now more popular SD cards, CF cards are still used today in professional cameras.

Continuous Shooting: When you hold the shutter down to take as many frames per second as possible to capture everything happening in that moment. A camera’s continuous shooting capability will often be referred to as ‘# of frames per second (FPS)’ or ‘burst rate’.

Crop Frame: A sensor size. Also known as DX or APS-C, crop sensor cameras are incredibly common and are typically found in the entry level to prosumer DSLR’s and mirrorless lineups. Crop sensors are about half the size (23.6×15.8mm) of a full frame/standard 35mm film and a 1.5x (in Canon’s case a 1.6x) crop factor can be applied to the focal length of a lens to determine it’s equivalent reach on a full frame camera.

Depth of Field (DOF): Literally how large or small the area of focus is in a photo.

Digital Zoom: Mostly seen in lower end DLSRs and commonly seen in point and shoots, digital zoom is no longer using the lens to zoom in and simply enlarging the pixels of your photo to give the impression of “getting closer”.

Dynamic Range: The range of tone, colour and light represented in an image between the darkest shadows and lightest highlights. Cameras with more dynamic range will allow, in the same image, more detail to be captured in the shadows and highlights.

EXIF Data: Information that is attached to your photo as soon as you take it. EXIF data commonly includes your exposure settings (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, ect…) and sometimes includes things such as your location, or copyright information.

Exposure: Light hitting your sensor (or film) to create an image. Proper exposure typically means that you can see all the details in your midtones, and some detail/texture in the shadows and highlights of said image.

Exposure Compensation: Setting your camera to expose an image properly, then before taking the image,

Focus:
Continuous: The camera locks on a subject and automatically tracks them, adjusting the focus accordingly as the subject moves within the frame.
(Also known as AF-C, Al Servo, & C-AF)
Single: For stationary subjects. The best mode to use when focusing and recomposing as moving the camera wont readjust the focus on you like it will in continuous focus mode.
(Also known as AF-S, Single Servo, S, & One Shot)
Hybrid: An “auto” focus mode. The camera decides if the subject is stationary or moving and chooses AF-C or AF-S accordingly.
(Also known as AF-A & Al-Focus)
Manual: The photographer uses the focus dial on the lens to adjust the focus.

Gear:
Hard gear: Typically, electronic items that are most essential to creating an image. Examples include the camera body, lenses, and flashes. Items like light meters, microphones, and monitors are normally considered hard gear as well.
Soft gear: Typically, non-electronic items but ones that make a photographer job that much easier/enjoyable. Bags, reflectors, filters, straps and much much more falls under “soft gear”.

Image Stabilization: Technology that cancels out any unwanted camera shake as an image is being taken. Allows photographers to take photos at slower shutter speeds. Image stabilization can happen in camera (where the sensor is mounted on a floating stage that shifts in the oposite direction of the cameras movement) or in lens (where a floating element shifts in the opposite direction from the lens’ movement). Various brands call image stabilization a variety of things, including but not limited to: Vibration reduction (VR), Optical Stabilizer (OS), Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.), Vibration Compensation (VC), Optical Steady Shot (OSS), ect…

Viewfinder:
– Electronic Viewfinder (EVF): A screen within the traditional viewfinder area that shows directly what the camera sensor is seeing. At this time EFV’s are only found on mirrorless cameras. An advantage to EVF’s is that you can see your image’s exposure in real time, of example allowing you to decide right away if your image is over/underexposed. Although older electronic viewfinders tend to be grainy and the image would lag as you redirect the camera.
– Optical Viewfinder: A series of mirrors, glass, and prisms, that allow you to see your subject through the lens of your camera.