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Questions about specific terms used within photography

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

25
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

What does pixels per inch mean, exactly?

I have not found anything using Google that actually contains a definition of this term. Most of the sites tell me that it affects the image quality, or something similar, and that more is better. So ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What do the measurements for colour depth mean?

Colour depth is often referred to as being X bits. What does this mean and how does it effect a photograph? What scale is used, i.e. is it linear, exponential, logarithmic, etc.?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What are screw drive lenses?

Are lenses known as screw drivers actually available?If so what are their features and why are they called so.Name some of the lens and their manufactures.
6
votes
2answers
5k views

How does a fly-by-wire focusing lens work?

I have learnt that fly-by-wire focusing is an electrical manual focusing system. But how does this focusing method work? How do you manually focus with fly-by-wire? What is the scope of this ...
17
votes
4answers
19k views

What are shutter actuations?

I was just reading the question How many actuations are "too many actuations"? and trying to figure out what a shutter "actuation" actually is. The only thing I can guess is that it's the number of ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is DRI? And how does it differ from HDR?

I recently came across the term DRI meaning Dynamic Range Increase. What exactly is it and how does it differ from HDR or High Dynamic Range (or is it the same thing just different terminology?
5
votes
1answer
343 views

Why would a photographer do focus stacking?

Recently, I come across the term called Focus Stacking where you combine different pictures with different focus points. My question is, why do the focus stacking? Are there any benefits from the ...
1
vote
3answers
223 views

What are IS modes and what are their purposes?

After reading the answer by Bill to this question became curious about IS modes. So, What is basically IS mode? Does all lens comes with various IS modes? And what are various situations to use these ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

How does exposure fusion work?

I understand that "exposure fusion" is a method for combining different exposures into a single image. How exactly does it work, and how is it related to HDR?
10
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the 'Maximum Reproduction Ratio' of a lens?

A review of a Sigma 19mm f2.8 lens contains the following line It has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm /7.9in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:7.4. So, as in the title, what is 'maximum ...
3
votes
2answers
530 views

What is this “lines in the sky” effect called?

I see a lot of pictures with those "line" effects in the sky and I'm wondering how this technique is called (so I can google how it's done). http://500px.com/photo/3464783
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a focusing screen?

I've seen a couple other questions such as this one talk about focusing screens. What is a focusing screen? Where is it located?
11
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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., ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the difference between a soft and sharp image?

I have seen several questions talking about images being soft or sharp. What is the difference? Is soft simply the opposite of sharp in this context, or is there something more to it? Sample images ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What is Canon's Super Spectra Coating?

In the Canon EF 25-105mm f/4 L USM IS lens specs, it says that the lens coating is "Super Spectra Coating". What is the Super Spectra Coating and how it differs from other types of coating?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “lifted blacks” mean?

What does "lifted blacks" mean? How does it affect your image? How do I do it in Lightroom?
5
votes
1answer
314 views

Why do people say they like “art” and “photography”, instead of just “art”?

Always puzzle me to hear people list photography (in the context of it being art) and something different than art. Is there a reason for this historically?
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the different categories of photography?

After reading some questions, I am getting lost with stage photography, curtain photography? etc.. I only know portrait, landscape, street, sports etc..is there a standard lingo somewhere?
4
votes
1answer
277 views

What are Medium Format and Large Format cameras?

What are they and what are they used for? And how are they different from regular SLR or DLSR cameras?
22
votes
4answers
5k views

What is focal length and how does it affect my photos?

What is focal-length? Are focal-length and zoom synonymous? How does the focal length of a photo affect it?
8
votes
2answers
717 views

What's the difference between a wide angle lens and a landscape lens?

Question pretty much says it all. Seems like when I look around people are asking "what's the best wide angle lens for landscape?", but on sites like LensHero they categorize wide angle and landscape ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What is “exposure safety shift”?

I ran into the term "exposure safety shift" in this answer. What is exposure safety shift, and what is its intended purpose?
7
votes
3answers
229 views

Why is the amount of light a lens lets in called the 'lens speed'?

It seems very counter intuitive that the amount of light let in by a lens is referred to as the lens speed. This term confused me for a while because I couldn't logically see how a speed would be ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How does the quantity of elements and blades in a lens affect the optics?

I am trying to get a greater understanding of how lenses work. Basically I bought this lens, the Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6: The construction has really fascinated me. 14 Elements in 10 Groups?! What ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “Non-Mfg Zoom Lens” mean?

When I was surfing keh I found "Non-Mfg Zoom Lenses" and "Non-Mfg Fixed Focal Length Lenses"? What is the meaning of "Non-Mfg"?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to figure out whether the colours in a photo are warm or cool, and how does that matter?

On 1x some people have said that this picture has warm colours. I wish to understand what qualifies to be a warm colour, cool colour, and how does that matter? Warm means bright? and Cool means ...
5
votes
2answers
403 views

How is the term Gaussian blur used?

Is the term Gaussian blur used strictly in post-production, or can it also be used as a term for an out-of-focus area in your image when you-re taking the picture? I'm pretty sure that bokeh is used ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the “visual center” of an image?

I've heard that one of the tricks designers use for a more effective result is placing an object in the visual center. Where is the visual center in an image, why is it important, and how could it be ...
7
votes
3answers
8k 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
1answer
133 views

If shoot pictures in 10.0 mode or 12.0 what is quality?

If my camera is shooting in 10.0 or 12.0...what will my megapixels be? I am a beginner and I know I need them to be at least 1600x1200 for my purpose.
11
votes
1answer
5k views

What does “viewfinder magnification” mean?

Viewfinders (both optical and electronic) typically come with two stats: magnification and coverage. The latter measuring how much of the actual exposed area (film or sensor) one sees. But what is ...
2
votes
3answers
362 views

Are these Nikon 16-85mm lenses actually the same?

I just ordered the D7000 with three lenses, one of them was the Nikon AF 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 DX G AF-S ED. Now I found that they sell a package "D7000 with 16-85mm, AFS G VR" for $100 less. I can undo ...
4
votes
1answer
791 views

What is an auto-focus motor?

I recently bought a Canon 550D, and I read it has an auto-focus motor, which not all cameras possess. I'd like to know what it is, and what I can do to keep it running smoothly; AFAIK the manual ...
12
votes
6answers
5k 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?
2
votes
1answer
263 views

What does “Signing off attribution” mean?

I'm about to sell a range of images to a client and he asks me for a document to "sign off attribution". What does this mean and where can I find sample contracts?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How important is ISO speed?

My wifes Canon EOS 450D has various speed settings and an auto mode. The quickest one is 1600. She photographs mainly birds, both stationary and in flight and mainly still insects. What are the ...
1
vote
4answers
173 views

Is it ever correct to describe a flash diffuser as opaque?

I've seen product listings online for flash diffusers where they are described as opaque. Is this an incorrect description? Should it be semi-opaque or is that assumed? How does opaque make sense in ...
2
votes
4answers
340 views

What do you call the symbols that you can see on the edges when you look into your camera viewer?

I'm talking about the tiny and sometimes quite useful symbols/indicators for this: http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/PentaxK10D/Images/Features/viewfinderview.gif is there a general name for the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What does it mean to “mount” slide film for processing?

I just finished my first roll of a 35mm slide film and it is time to get it processed. I checked few places online and the options are to get them processed "mounted" or "unmounted". So what do ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the “Dust-Off Reference Photo” on a Nikon DSLR?

I have seen this in my D700 menu and just saw it again on Nikon's tech sheet for the new D4. Is this the same tech that Minolta is using to clean their sensor of dust or is it something else? How does ...
2
votes
2answers
389 views
9
votes
1answer
300 views

What is lighting ratio?

What is lighting ratio and how is it calculated?
6
votes
1answer
722 views

What does “distortion <XX%” mean in lens specs?

I'm going to buy a lens and I would like to understand what "distortion <XX%" means. It's a vari-focal 10-60mm lens, and mentions distortion <12-1%. According to my understanding, at 10mm focal ...
2
votes
2answers
302 views

How is this lighting and colouring effect achieved?

A few days ago, I saw this picture linked here on 500px and was wondering how the coloring technique is called. On a first glance, it looks like a high key shot, but it is unusual as it has no light ...
3
votes
3answers
624 views

Do Professional and Semi professional cameras have “steadyshot” technology?

Do professional and semi professional cameras have good optical image stabilization, sometimes called steady shot?
0
votes
1answer
711 views

What does “pop & drag” mean in low light photography?

I came cross this term "Pop & Drag" being used in low light setting. What does that mean? Is it the same as term as "dragging the shutter"? Can anyone please show some examples of "Pop & ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the meaning of single focal length?

The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G is described as a single focal length lens: http://www.nikon.co.in/products.php?categoryid=1014. What does that mean? What are its disadvantages as compared to ...
0
votes
2answers
14k views

What is the difference between DX format and FX format lenses, and which to choose for what purpose?

http://www.nikon.co.in/products.php?categoryid=1011 What is the difference between DX format and FX format lenses, and which to choose for what purpose? What are the pros and cons of both?