A Coffee Break Photography Quiz

A Coffee Break Photography Quiz

How well do you know photography? Here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of all things camera-related. I doubt anyone else can get them all right apart from you. Settle down with a cup of coffee and give it a go.

Here in the UK, there are young men and women just finishing sitting their school exams. Exam conditions are a totally false environment with little relation to real life. At no other time do we have to sit down in a totally silent room, isolated from others, and recall information without discussing it with our peers. Exams have little to do with how we will perform or work in our future lives. The plight of those students inspired me to put together a quiz for my fellow photographers.

Unlike the school exams, there is no 2-hour time limit. You don't need to isolate yourself on a table two yards from the next person. There are no qualifications to gain and no prizes to win. It won't change your future for the worse if you get any wrong. It’s just a bit of light-hearted fun. Some questions are easy, some need working out, some are cryptic, and some require research. There may be a deliberately ambiguous trick question in there too.

Pop your answers in the comments. I’ll put the actual answers here in a week or two, depending upon how many people take part. Feel free to discuss people's answers, but please be kind and helpful if you disagree.

Good luck.

The Quiz

  1. If your starting shutter value is 1/125, and you add an ND1000 filter, how long would your resulting shutter value be?   
  2. Where is Ammonium Ferric Citrate commonly used in photography?    
  3. Place these in photographic chronological order.
    A. Daguerre, B. Wedgewood, C. Schulze, D. Niépce, E. Talbot.    
  4. Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, who was the photographer?    
  5. You set your camera to ISO 200, f/8, 1/125.  You change the ISO to 100, aperture to f/2, and add an ND8 filter. What would the shutter value be to achieve an equivalent exposure?    
  6. Iwasaki, Maeda, Mitarai Uchida, Yoshida. Which is the odd one out?    
  7. What does the "f" stand for in "f/number"?    
  8. To the nearest one million, how many pixels are required to produce a photo-quality A3 print at 300 dpi?    
  9. 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250th second. Why does the sequence jump to 15, 30, 60 and not 16, 32, 64?  


    What does this calculate approximately?

  11. What does the 16 refer to in Sunny 16?    
  12. In an additive color process, what is the result of red plus blue?
  13. With an 8-bit camera, how many shades of gray per channel (including black and white) are recorded by the sensor?  
  14. Develop, Stop, Fix… what comes next?    
  15. Which Hollywood director was famed for his innovative use of a Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7?    
  16. Who wrote the photographically titled song that famously had to include a ™ symbol?    
  17. How is the f/number calculated?   
  18. What’s photographically special about a place in France that translates into English as “The Fat”?    
  19. Who was famously photographed on 8th December 1980, and by whom?   
  20.  If you put a 50mm f/1.4 lens FROM A 35mm SLR onto an APS-C camera, what effect does it have on the focal length and aperture?

    50mm f/1.4

  21. Replace one of the following to make the list correct. Bailey, Capa, Eisner, Rodger, Seymour, Vandivert, Vandivert.    
  22. What do 暈け and ボ both say? 
  23. What word commonly used in photography is derived from a Latin word for hearth?    
  24. What prehistoric artifacts have been suggested were inspired by what photographic phenomenon?
  25. In black and white photography, what color filter would show up facial blemishes the most?  Which color filter would darken the sky the most?
  26. You are photographing a bride in a white dress in a snow-covered landscape. Using TTL metering, would you compensate for that whiteness by adding or subtracting exposure? Why?  
  27. Which form of photography involves firing electrons in a vacuum tube from a cathode to a tungsten anode.    
  28. The Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 camera’s sensor is how many megapixels?    
  29. The years 1957 and 1975 were important for two related photographic firsts. What were they?  
  30. Why is the Bayer filter in a camera designed with as many green sensors as red and blue added together?  

    Bayer Pattern

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Ivor Rackham's picture

As I said, "It’s just a bit of light-hearted fun. Some questions are easy, some need working out, some are cryptic, and some require research. There may be a deliberately ambiguous trick question in there too."