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Do you notice how easy it is to feel stuck when you read something you don't understand? Your eyes may continue moving along the words but your brain is still "back there" attempting to figure it out. This page is to help you understand basic digital photography terms and lessen the confusion you may feel from time to time. If there's a term you would like mentioned here please drop me a note by using the contact me form. Compression. Compression, relating to image quality,results in some file formats which actually compress images. If you use a lower quality image setting the file size be smaller causing a higher level of compression to take place. During the process of this compression some of the information is actually discarded as the file size needs some means of becoming smaller. Digital cameras allow one the luxury of changing the quality for each image, if desired. When using a lower quality setting you will notice that the memory card will be able to store a greater number of images. Formatting. Formatting, or initializing, is relative to digital photography terms and the memory card. To format the memory card is to basically ensure the card will work with your camera and prepare it for use on a regular basis. It also helps keep the memory card "healthy," thereby reducing the possibilty of card corruption problems. Additional information about formatting is available on the page about the memory card. Image Quality. Your camera will have a feature allowing you to adjust the image quality. Image quality affects the end result of your work and if it's set too low you may well be disappointed. Why? Depending on the setting there is a difference, literally, in the quality of the finished image. If the setting is too low the image will not be as good, for exampl, than if you shoot on a high setting. The setting will be found by scrolling through the camera menu choices. What affects the quality? Some file formats will compress the image and this is why you can store more images on a memory card using a lower setting. However, my suggestion is quality over quantity.
Photography definitions and digital photography terms can be downright confusing at the best of times! Are you sometimes feeling stuck because you have no idea what a specific photography term means? You are definitely not alone!
" Aperture and depth of field is represented by numbers such as f/3. For example. Aperture. What can the affect be? Seeing shadows on the face of your subject is one way. On the page What Does SLR Stand For is an explanation about what's happening with a "fast lens.5. Simply put." relative to aperture. Aperture partners with shutter speed to create the correct exposure. The smaller the aperture the larger the number which creates greater depth of field. enough information is then received to make a decision or to understand a concept. Have you seen photos with a blurry background? This can be created with a larger aperture. is letting in more light. using the contact me form. Common photography definitions to help you along the way. Ultimately. You may realize that . your photography passion with a film or digital camera there are specific photography definitions which certainly apply to both. which. The other challenge is when you don't know what you don't know. To see examples please visit the fast lens page." you may be thinking? To begin with. although the number is smaller. Aperture is also referred to as f-stop and it relates to the amount of light hitting your sensor. In this situation f/16 would be more suited. "How do I find the photography definitions when I'm confused. shutter speed and aperture will build a good solid photography foundation using either photography format. or continue. Huh? What if you're calling "it" something different and you're not sure of the photography definitions? Please feel free to submit your comments if I can make it easier for you to find what you're looking for. See examples below. This page is designed to help you along the way rather than for great indepth photography definitions explanations.5. which you may find helpful.8. understanding composition. The term backlighting is common in the world of photography definitions. f/3. Often. Depth of field partners with aperture to create moods such as how much of your photo is in focus.Regardless of whether you began. f/16 for example. Backlighting. meaning more of your picture is in focus from front to back. f/8. such as f/2. they are listed alphabetically but how does that help you if you don't know what to look for? The camera manual can be a resource and if I can get creative enough I'll include suggestions to help identify the real thing. backlighting occurs when the light is coming from behind your subject.You may have heard the phrase "aperture and depth of field" or "shallow depth of field. or film. even an introduction to a subject will then lead to being able to ask questions which then leads to further answers and questions.0. What exactly does this mean? Because aperture relates to the amount of light this can also affect your depth of field.
It. whichever comes first. However. In that case you need to decide the mood and what's important to you. Depth of Field. A photo with a small area of sharp focus with the front and back intentionally blurred would be considered a shallow depth of field.9% of the time I shoot at 14. it also states the images will be saved with a JPEG Quality set to 1. the person.6 megapixels and the best quality setting. Bokeh. to the media card. or pictures.For example. is keeping your shutter button depressed so you're taking photos continuously. will cause the background to become overexposed unless you resort to a flash or reflecting light from a white surface to the subject. When you're shooting on the burst setting your camera will continually capture images until you release the shutter button or the camera buffer memory becomes full. in other words. my camera manual states I can take approximately 21 frames per second with a buffer capacity of approximately 115 pictures. how fast your camera can gather these images. Exposing for the subject. the photo is generally sharp throughout most of the scene and this would be considered a greater depth of field. In case you're wondering I rarely ever use burst shooting as I opt for anticipation to get the exact shot I desire."lighten up" the subject. is used to describe intentional out of focus and blurred sections in a photograph. Burst Shooting.6 megapixels regardless of my saved format setting. One way to control depth of field is with the use of the aperture. About the mood. Expanding somewhat on photography definitions an introduction to aperture can be found on the page index photography. This example is a common scenerio in a high contrast outdoor scene with backlighting. in simple photography definitions. In landscapes. Burst shooting. During this time the focus remains locked. it can collect and store before it needs to pass them on. To show details in the subject the exposure would need to be adjusted accordingly.Two distinct examples of depth of field are the comparison of the intentionally blurred background and a crisp focus image. It seems as though Bokeh is not a one to be found amongst the most common of photography definitions or beginning photography tips. as a photographer you may choose to create this affect in camera with creative use of aperture and depth of field. Users of photography digital software such as Photoshop or Lightroom may choose this medium to digitally creat Bokeh through post processing. card. Not only is the backlight coming from the sun but also reflected from the water. . or write. In comparison. When you have your subject in focus there will be a certain distance both behind the subject and in front of it which will be reasonably sharp.your subject appears as a silhouette if you do not adjust the exposure for the contrast of light. However. The memory card works in such a way that it writes information from a buffer to the memory. As I'm sure you can see there is a lot of bright light behind the subject caused by the direct light from the setting sun. or media. 99. The size of the buffer memory will affect how many files. too. In other words. In these examples a shallow depth of field is demonstrated by the dandelion and the blurred background. for example. Once you decide on the mood you wish to create you may find yourself really having fun experimenting with different examples of depth of field. In this situation backlighting is being used to intentionally create the silhouette.
the right photo depicts greater depth of field due to more of the scene in focus. At 100mm the subject will now fit differently in the picture area and will appear twice as wide and twice as high as compared to 50mm. especially if it's moving. you're all ready. relates to how much of your scene or subject fits into the picture area. A true macro lens will capture an image in what's referred to as a 1:1 ratio." Unless it's important to you to remember this the term ISO works just fine. including what to be cautious of. Also known as a prime lens. Fixed Focal Length Lens. what is ISO? Macro Photography. Due to many lenses for digital SLR's including a macro feature there can be confusion about what a true macro is. Without changing your position the focal length is adjusted to 100mm and another photo is taken. although still relating to focal length. meaning it's recorded at its actual size. This relates to the "mm" millimeter or zoom range of your lens. if you have a SLR lens and it's "a zoom" this zoom range allows for taking pictures at different focal lengths. If you were a film user at one time do you recall buying film referred to as ASA? For example. What is ISO relative to? It is the indication of sensitivity to light. a fixed focal length lens contains no zoom range.a bit extreme but an example nevertheless. In simply put photography definitions you are using the zoom feature. as an example. ISO. So. focal length will affect the size the subject appears. True macro allows the photographer to present images in a different perspective by magnifying small subjects. Let's pretend you have a lens which allows you to zoom from 50mm to 400mm. your subject is chosen and you take the picture with the lens at 50mm. This is explained in greater detail and with addtional photography definitions relating to macro on the page. ASA 200 or perhaps ASA 400. as explained. For example. Continuing on. First of all. Not only does focal length affect the range of the lens it also affects the scene in the picture area. Instead of having a lens with a zoom feature I will need to physically move farther away or closer to the subject whenever necessary. For example. In this situation ISO 100 will likely be just fine because there's lots of available light. instead of ASA it's ISO. in photography definitions just what does ISO stand for? ISO is named after the "International Standard Organization. you might purchase ASA 100. Why change the ISO? Depending on the light conditions this is a useful feature. If this is a problem another option is to change to a more suitable lens if it's available. making it either smaller or larger. simply put. Focal length. For a further introduction. If you change the ISO to 800 or even higher. here's an example. Let's pretend you're shooting outside in bright daylight. in simple photography definitions. Now. two thirds down the page look for. In addition. Considering tips for taking digital photography. this will help you obtain a faster shutter speed than the camera setting of ISO 100. depending on the circumstances. what is macro photography? . The benefit with digital is in the camera's ability to allow you to change the ISO at will.In comparison. Focal Length. How much or how little of the scene I include depends on where I'm positioned in relation to the subject. taking the scene with a 400mm focal length will now result in it being four times as wide and four times as high as compared to the 50mm photo. either film sensitivity or digital sensor sensitivity. is a fixed focal length lens. I have a 105mm lens which means the focal length will always be 105mm. or film. What if you return to the same location at dusk or perhaps you're now shooting inside with low light? It could be a problem to get the shutter speed as fast as you need for the subject matter. The exception.
Underexposed. how long it takes the camera to record the image. 125. or thirtyy second exposure? The number will be accompanied by one set of quotation marks or the symbol for inches in measurements. 90. 250. has a light "washed out" appearance. how do you know if it's half a second. . Shutter speed is generally in numerical fractions of time even though your camera may not display it this way. Let's pretend the duration of time the light hits the sensor or film is three seconds.Overexposed and underexposed have been included together to help make the visual and the connection easier to remember. loses its detail in shadows or in being too dark. composition and the subject. and simply put. While it does make sense you may find you need to stop and think it through from time to time. numbers such as 30. Underexposed is when the subject. Rule of thirds is suggesting there are guidelines to follow which enhance the recorded end result based on how you choose and place your subject in the frame. In other words. To view examples and gain a basic understanding of these above mentioned photography definitions please visit this page on. For helpful tips please visit the page for the introduction to shutter speed. In comparison. So. Shutter Speed. These suggestions and guidelines simply open the mind to paying attention to the scene. 500. How often have you seen. or scene. photos where the subject is smack dab in the middle? Even a simple adjustment here and there will make a noticable difference. does it seem like your camera shutter is going "click" or "cl i i i i i ick?" It partners with aperture to create the correct exposure. Thus 3". the subject and putting some thought into the desired end result regarding good composition. or scene. or perhaps taken. a one second. The rule of thirds may also be referred to as photography rules of composition. Creative use of shutter speed to blur action in this waterfall example or "freeze" action capturing the hockey puck in mid air. Rule of Thirds. Shutter speed relates to the duration of time light hits the digital sensor or film. 1000 are actually fractions of time according to film and digital photography terms. Overexposed is when the subject. For example. if you take a picture and see the number 125 it actually means you took the photo in 1/125 of a second. Therefore. Why is it valuable to know about shutter speed? Shutter speed creates options for lighting control and also helps create mood with moving subjects.
once you try everything out on the actual camera. and registers an image. it will all start to make sense. DSLR is another term you will very likely come across and indicates a digital SLR. In film or digital photography termst this may seem a rather confusing concept and more indepth information may be found on the page "what does SLR stand for?" Underexposed. Just remember to change back to auto white balance or your preferred setting if you go from gymnasium on Tungsten to outdoor sunlight. A photograph is basically a chemical process in which light is exposed to film. thereby passing by the automatic mode. The different aperture settings are called f-stops. for example. Nowadays there is still some film capture although digital is so popular most storage is. Fluorescent. White Balance. However. have you found yourself attempting to figure out how to take good pictures in places such as hockey arenas and gymnasiums? If you have a problem getting the white in a scene to appear white in your photos experiment with the white balance setting in your camera. SLR is a term which can be applied to both digital and film cameras. A Beginner's Guide to Simple Photography Concepts: ISO. If you have a digital camera it can automatically set the white balance for you. . Shade and which may be accompanied by a small descriptive image. and Shutter Speed by redsunphotography There are 3 things that affect your image quality in photography. therefore. an f-stop of f1. aperture and shutter speed. while an f-stop of f16 would be very small. which is directly connected to aperture. the smaller the aperture. most consumer lenses have a range of f2 to f16. so for example. Typically. There’s a device in the camera called the diaphragm. above. the SLR camera allows for three basic options: 1) A wide range of different lenses may be used with the camera body. More information is available on the page about the memory card. A memory card is a small portable unit serving as a storage medium for your photos. Don’t be overwhelmed by the technical terms and numbers and things like that. scroll through the menu options or check for a small button on your camera body.4 would be very large. Memory Card. The larger the number. Cloudy. That’s when it all made perfect sense. ISO. When I first went over the module on this it was all gibberish to me. until I actually took some pictures trying all the different settings. or a sensor in digital cameras.SLR. Regardless of whether you use a Digital SLR or compact point-and-shoot you should be able to find optional settings. 3) The scene is viewed directly through the lens and the use of the viewfinder is implemented to accomplish this. and are represented by the numbers you see on the image. If you're not sure where to find it check your manual. Simply put. The memory card compares to the use of film in that it records your images. Aperture. 2) The photographer usually has the option of switching to manual mode. Please see example and photography definitions with overexposed. All 3 of these things depend on one other factor which is light. White balance has to do with color temperature although for this description I'll keep the photography definitions simple. on a memory card. Look for photography definitions and options such as Tungsten.
and at 1600 ISO. a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second is the slowest you can hand hold the camera before experiencing blur due to camera shake. called grain. see the below image. All light has a temperature in degrees Kelvin. while the ISO was changed. and the aperture set to f5. At 400 ISO. is to light. the less you have to worry about a blurry image. the less sensitive it is to light. Now remember. the more sensitive it is to light. The ISO is simply how sensitive the film. If you are photographing a still object. the faster your shutter speed can be. Shutter speed is always measured in seconds. In the next image we see something new. the picture is better. You see. and a slower shutter speed will need a smaller aperture to prevent too much light from getting in. Each photo was taken at 1/250th of a second.Now. the more sensitive the film/censor will be to the light. the picture is quite dark. The type of light will also change things. sometimes. but that gets more complicated. that at 100 ISO. or a slow moving object. The faster your shutter opens and closes. let’s talk a little about why shutter speed is important. You can see from the photo. Now. right? The correct answer is. a fast shutter speed isn’t as important. The higher the ISO is. The lower the ISO is. a fast shutter speed suddenly becomes a necessity most of the time. . the picture is far too bright. For most people. usually a faster shutter speed will require a larger aperture to allow enough light into the camera. shutter speed is how long the shutter is open to allow light into the camera. Depending on the ISO you are using.6. So one might think it’s best to always use the highest ISO possible. as it’s a little more advanced. It’s pretty simple. The more light that is available. If you are photographing a fast moving object. the higher the ISO. or censor in a digital camera. I won’t get into that yet. To demonstrate the effect of ISO. which also affects things. your shutter speed will have to be adjusted to allow the right amount of light for what you want to achieve. actually.
Let’s start this time by looking at a picture. well. As you can see. In the last frame. the back round became less blurred the smaller the aperture. It gets more complicated of course if you’re looking at it from a professional level. but a little distracted. the size of the enlargement will be limited before it starts to look bad. Anything in front of. we get to what most people get lost on..Grain is essentially how nice your photos look. and I may get into that another time. in the first frame. depth of field is essentially the area in front and behind the object that is in focus. but both the shutter speed and aperture were changed. The higher the ISO. The entire time I kept focused on the figurine. The further away something is. the more limited that becomes. The closer something is. if you ever have a photograph you’d like to enlarge. Most of the time. your eye is attracted to the figurine. one at 100 ISO and the other at 1600 ISO. For example. but no matter what lens or camera you have. Each photo was taken with the same ISO. But even an amateur will sometimes get that one perfect shot they just would love to hang on their wall. or using a high ISO setting on a digital camera. or behind the figurine would appear blurry. while the second looks. the more limited the depth of field will be. Finally. Most consumers won’t need to be making a lot of enlargements. you can have the insect in focus. This is because the back round is blurred. the more infinite the focus can be. Below I cropped just the face of an image. the grainier your photo will look. So as you can see from the pictures. You can set things up however so that your depth of field is infinite (to a degree) and everything is sharp. Unfortunately. 400 ISO is best. I find for the average every-day John and Jane Q. if that perfect shot was taken with a high ISO film. The first photo looks smoother. Normal. and unobtrusive. so this doesn’t always matter. you’re distracted by the box in the center. Depth of Field. . your eye was probably drawn first to the red box. if taking a macro photo of a small insect. The closer it is. you can focus on both the insect up close and mountains in the distance. grainy. you won’t be able to tell the difference in grain at standard print size of 4x6. Most likely. In the second frame still focused on the figurine. ISO suddenly becomes very important. and when you look at the figurine. However.
exploring things like image placement. You’ll have to consult your manual for help on where to find them and how to set them on your camera however.com/page. while a wide angle lens will be less obvious. fully manual film camera.pl?letter=! http://www. This is a very helpful function to have. that will show you in the viewfinder how the depth of field will look. a telephoto lens will have a more sensitive depth of field. The best thing to do is buy or rent an old. It’s easiest to tackle this one factor by taking your camera out and just trying the different aperture settings and distances from objects.org/cgi-bin/view. I will talk about the basics of composition. The biggest problem most beginners face is the ease of automatic features. The settings for all these functions will be available on most digital cameras. My 2 favorite manual cameras are the Pentax K1000 and the Canon AE-1 (But do not get the Canon AE-1 Program. trial and error must be used for the beginner. For example. it will have the right functions. as it is largely automatic if you want it to be).photographytips.cfm/1589 . not just SLR’s. http://photonotes. but if not. Some cameras will have a depth of field preview button.Depth of Field is probably the most confusing to beginners. Chances are if your camera is 3 megapixels and up. Buying a fully manual camera forces you to learn these beginner concepts. Next time. which will aid greatly in how all you photographs will look in the future.com/multimedia/photography/articles/22324.aspx http://www. because reading about it can be complicated. shapes and perspective. as there are many different factors that will affect your depth of field.brighthub.org/articles/beginner-faq/ http://photonotes.
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