Here Are 25 Terms Every Photographer Should Know

If you're new to photography, you were probably recently excited to start learning how to create gorgeous images when you were suddenly blindsided by a veritable bevy of technical terms. This great video will introduce you to 25 terms you should know and give helpful explanations for each of them.

Coming to you from Apalapse, this helpful video details 25 common and useful terms that you'll hear over and over in photography. I've always enjoyed photography because it marries both a technical, scientifically oriented craft with artistry, but I do remember feeling a smidgen overwhelmed at first when I was trying to understand how all those funky-sounding terms impacted my work with the camera. Once you start to master the terms, though, you'll realize that they're not just jargon, but rather things that are closely tied to producing the best possible images from your camera. One thing to note: while the video mentions that turning up ISO is in principle the same as ramping up the exposure slider in Lightroom, it's important to remember that for most cameras, that is only in principle. You'll get better image quality if you nail the exposure (including ISO) when you take the shot rather than compensating in post-production. 

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Ralph Hightower's picture

I used aperture priority to photograph a nighttime baseball game. I used my 80-205 f4,5 and Kodak TMAX 3200. It seems counter-intuitive to use aperture priority to photograph sports, but it made sense to me to use the wide-open aperture and let the shutter speeds fall where they may.

Matthias Kirk's picture

In sports it makes sense to customize your auto ISO settings. I often shoot in aperture priority to be able to control the DOF, but I then define a lowest acceptable limit for the shutter speed to avoid motion blur.

Basically I am telling the camera: Shoot at f/5.6 (or any other value) and choose a shutter speed above 1/1000 (for most action scenes). Once the SS drops below 1/1000 please increase ISO.

I can then have a loose eye on my settings and open and close the aperture and end up with consistent images without motion blur in the ISO range 100-800 which is perfectly acceptable for the work I am doing.

It makes my life a lot easier...

Ralph Hightower's picture

Yea, but there's no auto ISO with film.

Joe Vahling's picture

Usually if I know the lighting in my area is not going to change, my shots are more consistent when I shoot in manual. Using auto, camera will jump around when the scene color changes, if it picks up lighter or darker colors in an area causing some of my shots to be under exposed or over exposed. By locking in a good number in manual, all the shots look properly exposed without the camera changing settings at random scenes.

Sean Millerick's picture

Good run down on the basics, very informative. You have a good voice, use it.

Kenn Bisio's picture

Excellent article and video. Yes, you should use your voice. You were made to do VO. One thing... when you select a photo to process, that is editing a photo. The edited photo is then processed. Making a photo lighter or darker is not editing, it is processing. Otherwise, great work.