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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

10
votes
1answer
445 views

Is there a name for the type of portrait composition where the subject is looking out of the frame?

I'm wondering if there's a specific term to describe a portrait where the main subject is looking at something outside the frame that we (the viewer) can't see. I like it as a composition technique: I ...
10
votes
4answers
17k views

What is USM, and what are its pros and cons?

My Canon lenses have the designation USM on them, which I assume is for the same reason that they say "Ultrasonic". What does this mean, and why or why do I not want it?
4
votes
1answer
504 views

Does the liquid effect in these photographs have a specific name?

I aspire to become a fashion and wildlife photographer, and I am starting out in that mission today. Lucky me, and the first photographer whose works I came across is Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz. His ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

What is the technical term for the time taken to see the final image on an IP security camera's screen? [closed]

What is the technical term for the time taken to see the final image on an IP camera's screen? Is it dependent on some parameter which I can look for? Actually this website has listed various ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

What is white or black “clipping”, and how does one avoid it?

I have been told that this photograph has "white clippings"? What are they, and which light sources should be placed in what way to avoid that?
19
votes
6answers
5k views

What is one “stop”?

I always hear this term, e.g., I had to go down one stop Increasing X by Y raises Z by one stop I turned down the flash/the light two stops This lens/sensor/strobe/Photoshop tweak raises X by ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

What is “pixel density”?

Apparently megapixels aren't a good way to measure the camera quality, so some people are referring to a relative measuring system called "pixel density". What specifically is this? What information ...
5
votes
2answers
326 views

What is an independent flash called?

By "independent flash" I mean a flash which is not attached with the camera by default. What is the technical name for it?
6
votes
2answers
5k views

What is CLA service?

I've seen the term used in used lens listings, e.g "recently CLA'd". I have a few questions, but I think they're related enough to only warrant one post: What does CLA stand for, and what is it? ...
9
votes
3answers
13k views

What is flat light and how to counter that?

I have often heard people saying that the light in the picture X is appearing "flat". I want to understand what exactly does that mean, and what are the possible ways to counter that?
10
votes
2answers
244 views

What is “photometric exposure”?

What is "photometric exposure," and how is it related to what is commonly called "exposure" and "exposure values"? I have also seen the term "radiometric exposure" used to describe a similar ...
8
votes
3answers
840 views

How can a 24-70mm and a 10-22mm both be “wide angle” lenses?

I've been looking at a 10-22mm lens for my Canon T2i. I've also come across some other "wide angle" lenses, like the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8. I don't understand how a wide angle lens can have such high ...
6
votes
2answers
381 views

Do they make a single-leg stabilizer, similar to a tripod but with only one leg?

I'm looking for something that I can attach to my Nikon D5000 that will allow me to hold the camera steady, similar to a tripod, but MUCH lighter and easier to setup. I'm thinking it could also dub ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a parfocal lens and how beneficial is it to photography?

I heard someone say that after using a parfocal lens for the first time, they would never switch back. What is a parfocal lens, how is it different from any other lens, and what are the advantages and ...
6
votes
3answers
672 views

Why is the Nikon 35mm f/2D AF considered a Wide-Angle lens?

What makes the Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Wide-Angle Lens lens be considered wide-angle as compared to the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens which isn't advertised as wide-angle?
23
votes
2answers
5k views

What do Hue, Chroma, Saturation, Value, Tones, Tints, Shade, etc. mean?

I've read several online tutorials about color theory but I'm still confused about how to "visually" catch color concepts and use them efficiently. The only thing I seem to understand is "hue" which ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is “solid angle” and how does it relate to photography?

So, I was hanging out in the chat room, and hear mention of something called "Solid Angle". What is this, and how can it be important?
26
votes
3answers
11k views

What does the number of elements and groups in a lens mean?

All lens specifications include a statement of how many elements the lens contains, and in how many groups, for example: Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300 mm 1:4,5-5,6G: 17 elements in 12 groups (two ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a Nikon “Micro” lens and a “Macro” lens?

When it comes to macro photography and Nikon, what is the difference between a Micro and a Macro [Nikkor] lens? Is the answer as simple as to say that Nikon uses Micro in its nomenclature for its ...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

What do “Frontfocus” and “Backfocus” mean?

I've read those terms in a couple of lens reviews, and not even Wikipedia has an article about it. So my questions are: What is back/frontfocus? What causes back/frontfocus? Is there any preventive ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What do the AF-A, AF-C, and AF-S autofocus settings mean?

My camera has these settings for autofocus, and I don't know what they mean. I suspect "A" is "Auto", and "C" is "continuous", but I have no idea what "S" is.
0
votes
2answers
5k views

What do the lens parameter abbreviations mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean? Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II What does EF, II mean? Sigma 10mm/F2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM compatibil ...
12
votes
1answer
606 views

What's it called when two photographs are printed on triangles so you see a different one from different angles?

This is kinda hard to explain, but I've seen it several places before. I'm looking for a special way that two photographs are printed — they're printed so you from each angle can see just one of the ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What is a portrait lens?

I hear this term used pretty often. Does it refer to a specific focal length? Or very low F-number? What does a lens need to have in order to be considered "portrait lens"?
15
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a “fast” lens?

I've been reading lots of camera reviews lately and have ran across several references to "fast" lenses. What exactly is a fast lens and what are its advantages compared to other lenses?
9
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the difference between depth of field and depth of focus?

Reading this answer I realized that I didn't know the difference between the two depths (of field and focus). Browsing related questions didn't reduce the blur (!) between the two... Wikipedia ...
1
vote
5answers
339 views

How do I navigate the particular camera model number structure of manufacturers?

How can I tell whether I'm going up or stepping down in model quality based on the model of camera I'm considering? With the more recent consumer Nikons, this is relatively simple because "Bigger ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

What does the magnification ratio number mean on a macro lens?

I'm looking for a macro lens. I have 28-105mm Nikkor which gives me "1:2 Magnification Ratio" (whatever that means). I found another lens, Tamron 90mm Macro, which has magnification ratio of 1:1. ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What does it mean for light to be soft or hard?

I've heard of "soft lighting" and "hard lighting". What do these mean? How can I control how soft a light is?
11
votes
4answers
885 views

What does 'Equivalent to 1.6x the focal length of the lens' mean?

In the specifications of Canon 550D, about the lens the following is mentioned LENS Lens Mount EF/EF-S Focal Length Equivalent to 1.6x the focal length of the lens Now this is really ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What is decentering?

I have heard of a condition in imperfect lenses known as "decentering". What is decentering? When a lens is decentered, what exactly is wrong with the optical elements? What are its symptoms and ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

What is “micro contrast” and how is it different from regular contrast?

What is micro contrast, and why is it important? How is it different than regular contrast? Matt Grum mentioned it in his answer about larger-format cameras: There are other advantages to medium ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the difference between a telephoto lens and a zoom lens?

Looking at the product page for Nikon lenses, I notice a distinction between telephoto lens and zoom lens. What is the difference between the two? Why would I want one over the other? I wiki'd ...
12
votes
6answers
970 views

What makes “fine art” fine art?

I've always been shy to refer to any of my work as "fine art"... preferring instead to call it "still life". But I recently had an interesting conversation with an Art History major who said that my ...
32
votes
5answers
8k views

What does it mean for a photograph to be “high key”?

As I learned the term, a high-key image is one where the shadows are effectively eliminated, and the mid-tone detail pushed into brighter zones. My question is simple: is this an accurate definition, ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the difference between luminance and illuminance?

The more I read about this, the more confused I become. Illuminance, as I understand it, measured in lux, is the perceived brightness of light on a surface. It's what you'd measure with an incident ...
7
votes
2answers
227 views

What is the Term for “Positional Photography”?

I’m wondering if there is a term for the kind of photos where the subject and the background together form an optical illusion that they are connected. The classic example is a photo of a person ...
0
votes
2answers
198 views

Is there a term for the people who always compliment your work? [closed]

I'm not talking about chimping in particular. I'm talking about how some photographers will post their photos only to look for compliments and they'll show it to people who usually just tell them ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What is color temperature and how does it affect my photography?

I have seen color temperature mentioned with regard to white balance, mixing different sources of light, etc., but I haven't come across a clear explanation of what it means to talk about the ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How can aperture be f/11 on a lens with an aperture range designation of 3.5-5.6?

I made a series of outdoor shots with Nikon D5000, with the 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens. On some shots, I see in the EXIF info f/11, and in another shot, f/9. How can that be, that the f-number ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are effective pixels greater than the actual resolution?

This page compares Canon EOS 550D and Canon EOS 500D cameras and mentions 18.7 million effective pixels for 550D. However the best resolution possible using this camera is 5184 * 3456 = ...
5
votes
5answers
479 views

What is it called when multiple photos are adjusted for further blending?

I have taken a series of noisy photos without a tripod. I want one less noisy version, so I need average them down to one photo. But details of the individual images do not exactly match, so that ...
8
votes
3answers
910 views

Image processing & editing: what is an “unmanipulated” image?

What is considered an "unmanipulated" image? As defined by photo.net: Unmanipulated a single uninterrupted exposure cropping to taste common adjustments to the entire image, e.g., ...
45
votes
4answers
3k views

What exactly determines depth of field?

There are several questions here about the definition of depth of field, about focal length, and about subject distance. And of course there's the basic how does aperture affect my photographs. And ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the meaning of “stopped down”?

Was reading this answer (emphasis mine): It also tells us that the lens was stopped down, as if it were wide open there would be no corners to cause diffraction, regardless of the number of ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Where does the term “f-stop” come from?

Does anyone know the origins of the term?
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What makes a camera an “SLR”?

My question, specifically: why is the Fujifilm HS 10 not an SLR?
10
votes
4answers
893 views

Do any other manufacturers other than Canon use the terms Av and Tv?

Canon uses "Av" (aperture variable) for the automatic exposure mode that entails the user choosing the aperture and the camera body choosing the shutter speed. This mode is called "A" by Nikon, and I ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the acronym SLD stand for?

In this answer a reference was made to SLD cameras, also "called Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras". I realise that this is a synonym for "EVIL" cameras such as the micro-Four-Thirds cameras and ...
16
votes
2answers
8k views

What is a kicker?

In lighting, what is a kicker and when should I use it? (And is it any different from hair light?)