4 MORE Jargon Terms BUSTED

Jargon Busting Photography!

This is part 2 of our jargon busting extravaganza.

We'll look at 4 more terms which can be extremely confusing to beginners.

Understanding these terms can not only stop your head spinning they can actually make a huge difference to how you see photography and how your image looks.

They are the cornerstone of the creative process.

If you scroll down there's a video to accompany this article, but you'll learn far more if you both read and watch. Scientific studies have been done on this - really! We're not going to give you the jargon term for that, but there is one.

4 MORE Photo Jargon Terms Demystified

1 Aperture

Aperture is the size of the hole through which light travels on it's way to your cameras sensor.

This hole is part of your lens, and you can control how big or small it is going to be when taking any given shot. The bigger the hole, the more light is let in at any one time.

Apertures are measured in f stops or f numbers as shown by this diagram. A small f number is a big hole, and a big number is a small hole. This is really confusing until you think in fractions. 1/2 is bigger than 1/22.

2 Depth of Field

Depth of field is the amount of space in front of and behind your subject which remains in focus.

With human eyes this depth of field tends to be fixed, so this can be a difficult concept to grasp. We're being asked to see and think differently.

Your camera can see a blur behind your subject, change the setting, and everything becomes sharp. This is because you are changing the depth of field. 

In this image the depth of field is approximately 3 squares. The square with the middle dog, and a square in front of and behind the dog is in focus. Beyond that the focus drops and things become blurry.

If the depth of field was 10 squares, all 3 dogs would be in focus.

The main setting that controls depth of field is your aperture, although this isn't the only thing in play. A large aperture creates a shallower depth of field and vice versa.

We cover depth of field and pretty much all these terms and so much more, along with their practical applications in out Fundamentals of Photography course.

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For now, know that the difference to your image between a large and a small aperture is this:

Large Aperture

Shallow depth of field has created a blurred background

Small Aperture

Large depth of field brings a large proportion of this image into sharp focus.

3 Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is the amount of time the camera's shutter remains open to take your shot.

A fast shutter speed will freeze action - like a lot flying dog in mid air. A slow shutter speed can be used to create motion blur - see the photographs below.

4 White Balance

Different conditions and sources of light create different colours of light. We refer to this as the "colour temperature", which we measure in degrees kelvin. Temperatures of around 2,200K-4,000K give orange/yellow - "warm" colours. Temperatures of 4,200K have a bluey hue - the "cooler" colours. See the chart below.

Our eyes don't see the difference in the light colour because our brains automatically adjust for it, but our cameras do. That is why we need to tell the camera what kind of light we are shooting in. Your cameras auto white balance will do a good job but won't always get it right.

The image below demonstrates how white balance can affect an image.

White Balance too cool

White Balance correct

White Balance too warm

Here's the video we teased...

Would you like to really master the photography basics?

We've just given you lots of photography terms but if you really want to learn how to use them all in practice you might like to check out our online beginners photography course: Photography FUNdamentals.

We have a whole module dedicated to camera craft which includes chunks on shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and the cool effects they can give you. We'll show you how to master your camera's modes so that for every scenario you'll know the best mode to pick and how to key the right exposure triangle settings. We also cover composition and kit.

It’s an online photography course with a difference. We try and make photography for beginners fun and easy to understand. You’ll find easy to follow graphics, cheat sheets, exercises an online learning community and so much more.

If you would like more information and help with photography for beginners, please click here to buy the course now.

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