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5 Important Terms I need To Know About Photography

I must admit,I don't know everything single bit of technology that is being used by every single person on this planet. Yes, I know a thing or two about computers, but technology applies to a vast spectrum, software, mobile devices, audio, etc, there is so much to grasp and learn. There is one technology admittedly is still learning and have not really grasp all of its concepts and terminologies, and that's digital photography. 

Now you would think I would have a general knowledge in photography being that there are a mass abundance of devices this present day that you can use to capture a image,from smartphones to DSL cameras . Yet many like myself still don't know all the technical terminologies that I need to know that involves photography. I'm a go on the record right now and say I own a DSL camera ( Canon EOS Rebel 5 to be exact) and admittedly  up until now, I don't know what exactly is a aperture, hey as I stated before technology is such a vast spectrum, there is so much to learn willingly. 

Learning and mastering these photo terminologies can make a big impact on your pictures come out. With diligent research and some practice,I thus far gained knowledge of 5 key photo terminologies. Now there more to learn and master, but here's what I've learned thus far.


Can you guess which image has the normal exposure?

Can you guess which image has the normal exposure?

This form of technology refers to the amount of light recorded on the cameras sensor. When using a camera,you want the right amount of of exposure to capture an image your viewing from your eyes. A great example of how exposure operates is shooting daylight scenes with your camera. An over exposed image suggest that too much light is hitting an overly high ISO sensor for a long period of time, this ends up being a overly bright, glaring image that looks grossly unrealistic, you know that bright foggy look you see in some pictures. On the other side of the token, small aperture with a low amount of ISO and very short shutter speed can make images appear dark and murky.

To avoid having a over exposed picture as a finish product, ,there must be a balance between shutter speed, ISO and aperture to get the right amount of exposure.


Speaking of which, this brings us to aperture, now you can't talk about aperture without mentioning F-Stop, because these two terms are closely related. Aperture generally refers to the opening in the lens which allows light to shine through directly when you take a photo. Larger aperture means the lens will take in more light. With F-Stop, its simply a technical measuring stick that all photographers will use to describe different size aperture.

As you can see for yourself, higher f-stop numbers means the lens is more closed taking in little light

As you can see for yourself, higher f-stop numbers means the lens is more closed taking in little light

No matter if its a smartphones or actual camera, you might have seen F-Stop featured in the cameras listed specs, usually its being given as "f/8" or "f/22". Those numbers can range from less to as great as f/128. Higher F-Stop will indicate a much smaller aperture this means less light will enter the lens. F-Stop is a clear indicator on a standard scale in each increase represents an aperture that allows half amount of light that gets through. Here's an example, f/8 allows more light to get through than a f/5.6. Standard settings lie between these f-stops looks like this on a camera: f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64, f/90, f/128

Light manipulation in photography can not be made possible without the aperture. Proper f-stop lighting conditions is a major factor in a good quality photo.

Depth of Field

Notice the depth of field image, crispy BB-8 Droid up close,fuzzy back ground

Notice the depth of field image, crispy BB-8 Droid up close,fuzzy back ground

You ever notice when you snap a picture of a object up close, there is a nice crispy focus of that object,but the background has that very soft and fuzzy look. This is a direct result of a camera limited depth of field. Depth of field can range from, for an example a  extreme narrow object of a bush in which you only get to view one or two leaves, on the other hand, you have a infinite landscape photo where everything is included in the image that's crisp and clean.

What effects depth of field is the camera's aperture setting ( yes there goes that aperture word again) . Much larger aperture with a smaller f-stop number will lend to a much narrower depth of field, while smaller apertures with much larger f-stop numbers will result in a larger depth of field. Depth of field has a strong affect on focal distance, the type of lens you use reflects entirely on how close the subject is to the camera.


The main functions of the camera's lens is its ability to focus and the current setting of the aperture setting ( see once again aperture comes into play). Take any object that's in focus you'll have a nice crispy clear image, if its out of focus it will appear very blurry. Users of any camera have several ways to control and adjust focus. Usually professional Photographers much rather manually focus on a shot by using the provided focus ring . Some smartphones and most point and shoot pocket camera's uses auto focus, this features is built right into the camera which basically allows the camera's sensors to detect the object or the subject distance, the motor with no aid from the user  automatically adjusts the focus. Auto focus comes in handy with mobile devices and small compact point and shoot cameras, but there are some limitations when shooting subjects that is in motion or in variance distance from the camera.

Once again,lets play this game, which photo has the correct focus? Left,middle or right? 

Once again,lets play this game, which photo has the correct focus? Left,middle or right? 

The more expensive cameras have continuous focus, this feature will actually  motion track any moving objects and keep it in focus no matter the placement of the subject.

Shutter Speed

This is what images shot with a camera using slow shutter speed looks like, see those lights?

This is what images shot with a camera using slow shutter speed looks like, see those lights?

You can't mention aperture without talking about the Shutter Speed, Its part of the cameras exposure realm. Shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open so that light is allowed through the lens. Shutter speed is measured in a fracture of a second, standard shutter speed time on a camera shoots at 1/500. 

The key science behind shutter speed is the light hitting the cameras sensor, slower shutter speeds will not allow enough light through the lens can cause a image to be blurry. As I stated before, light hits the sensor when the shutter is open, any object in motion during that time will always appear to be blurry. Perfect examples on how shutter speed works is seeing images of moving cars in traffic at night, notice the moving lights showing up as illuminated streaks as the cars move, that's a result of the camera capturing the image at a very long shutter speed.

To eliminate the blurred images, you have to hold the camera in place by using a tripod which keeps the camera nice and steady.

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