February 20, 2013

8 Photography Terms You Must Know

Though we have covered almost all the basics of digital photography on DCP, but i believe that recapitulating all the important terms together will be a treat, especially for those who have just started out with photography either as a hobby or as a career.

1. Aperture

Aperture is the opening of your camera. Thus, It is the aperture only which decides the amount of light that can pass through your camera lens. Obviously,  the larger it is, the more light can pass through your camera lens and the smaller it is, the less light can pass through the lens. Controlling the aperture size of your camera is directly related to f-stop values (please refer term #6)

Usage - Its usage comes handy when shooting under varying light conditions. For example - while shooting under bright light, as when shooting under a full blown sunshine, a lower value of aperture OR a higher f-stop value is usually preferred.

2. Shutter Speed

It's the measure of how fast or slow your camera snaps the subject. Technically speaking, It's the measure of the time for which the camera lens is let open to snap the subject. Quite obviously, shutter speed is measured in seconds. It can be 500th of a second, 20th of a second, 10 seconds or even 25 seconds (it all depends upon your camera)

Usage - Shutter Speed is mostly used to simulate the motion of an object. For example - if you would like to simulate the motion of a fast moving train in your picture, you should reduce the shutter speed. Likewise, to freeze the motion of an object, you will have to increase the shutter speed. It's no more a secret, doing long exposures is actually based upon the concept of controlling shutter speed.

3. ISO

It is the measure of how sensitive your camera is towards light. For point-and-shoot cameras, ISO is the key element that controls the shutter speed since you don’t have any access to modify the f-stop values there. That’s probably the biggest limitation of having a point-and-shoot! Learn more about aperture, shutter speed and ISO here.

4. Depth of Field

It's an art of simulating the selective focus of your eyes to your digital camera. Do this little fun experiment - close one of your eyes and try to focus on your finger by bringing it closer to the other eye. You will find that your finger is focused against a soft or blurry background. This is called natural depth of field and you can very easily simulate this natural optical phenomena with your digital camera! Learn more about depth of field in detail here

This is a shot i took with my camera last year and it is a perfect example of shallow depth of field:

shallow depth of field

5. Rule of Thirds

Or the rule of composition. According to this rule, if you want to achieve perfect composition in your photos, then you have to divide your frame into 9 imaginary equal squares (two equally spaced parallel lines running horizontally and two vertically). Then place your subject on either of these lines or on any point of intersection (obviously by moving your camera)…This video explains it very well ;)

6. f-stop

This is perhaps the most confusing term in the world of photography. I will keep it as simple as possible -The f-stop number inversely controls the aperture size (the opening) of your digital camera. The higher the f-stop number is, the smaller is the aperture size of your camera and vice-versa. Thus, it indirectly controls the amount of light and depth of field of your camera (refer term #4)

aperture and f-stop relation

7. Exposure

Casually speaking, Exposure is the amount of light being superimposed on your camera’s sensor while it snaps a picture. High exposures make them look washed out while low exposures make them look dark.
It has a direct relationship with the aperture and shutter speed of your camera as both of them control the amount of light entering the sensor of your camera.

8. Bracketing

Bracketing is the art of capturing 3 or more than 3 photos (of the same subject) with varying levels of exposure (usually low, neutral and high). This is usually done to merge all those photographs into a single vivid HDR using post-processing techniques.

Did i miss something OR is something still not clear? Feel free to comment on this post below…