Every field has its own “lingo,” photography is no different. I’ve created this to be a central repository for definitions of photography terms I may use in blog posts. Sometimes, I may use an “unofficial” definition that is more tongue-in-cheek than anything else. In such a case, I’ll indicate it with a smiley (:) ) at the start of the definition.
If you think a term needs to be here, please let me know.
The opening in a camera or its lens that allows light to pass through and expose the film or sensor. There are both cameras/lenses with fixed aperture and cameras/lenses with variable aperture.
The quality of blur that is in the background of the photograph.
Literally, “counter-pose.” This is a pose where one’s weight is put on one foot, usually the back foot. This causes the shoulders and the hips to tilt in different directions.
The area, as measured from the plane of the camera sensor or film, that is in focus.
The light used to “fill in” or lighten a shadow. The term is usually used in portraiture, but it can apply to any genre of photography where a light is used to lighten shadows on or cast by the subject.
The distance, usually expressed in millimeters, between the camera sensor (or film) and the point where light converges. See below image. The “50 mm” in “50 mm lens” represents the focal length. Typically, the longer the focal length the greater the magnification of the lens.
A subject is in open shade when standing (sitting, whatever) in shade, but facing toward open sky. Preferably, the subject is near the edge of the shaded ground so that sunlight is bouncing off the ground and is acting as fill light.
Think of this as a “digital negative.” It is a file that contains the unprocessed image information from the camera.