22 August 2009

Some basics terms-Photography

Hello All,
I was thinking of starting the ball rolling somewhere and finally choose to start talking about some of the basics terminologies of photography. Here are some of the terms which could be handy while some of you try to grab the basics of the camera. Hope you have a good start on learning.

An example of using different apertures to control depth of field. See a bigger version here

Aperture: An aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels to the sensor of your camera. This is the opening which sets up how the light travels down and the appearance on the image plan looks like. The Aperture values which show up on your camera are also referred to as F-stops. The more the aperture value, the smaller the hole size, and the more the depth of field.
For example:
F1.8 would mean a larger hole which would give you sharpness around the focus area and rest blurred.
F5.6 would mean a smaller hole and sharpness around the focus and it’s near by areas increasing the depth of field.

Shutter speed: Shutter speed also known as exposure means the time for which the shutter is open to create the image on the sensor. Often the shutter speed which is displayed on your camera means that portion of
a second. For ex: if you go out in the light and the shutter speed of the camera shows 800, then it means the camera would expose for 1/800sec to create the image.

ISO: ISO in layman terms means the sensitivity of your camera sensor towards light. The higher the ISO value, the higher sensitivity is induced towards light. ISO is used in the cameras to increase the exposure during low light conditions.

White Balance: White balancing is a variable to control the casting of different colour tones in photos. where our eyes see and adjust automatically, cameras have a variable called White balance which helps you to control any undue casting which might come into your picture. For example: your camera is set to Tungsten white balance and you go out in the morning and click a picture of the lake. It would lend a bluish tone to the photography and you would immediately say that it’s not how it looked like there. You can play with the white balance to get the desired appearance and remove the bluish tone from the image.

Composition: Composing a photo or a composition means how to you place the subjects in the image which you plan to click. Most often we view through a viewfinder or a LCD to click a shot. The act of setting up an image is known as composing an image.

Metering Modes: Metering basically means how a camera determines the exposure of a particular shot. Our eyes are again excellently designed to understand different lightening but the camera sensor works on algorithms to find out the best exposure. In most of the cameras metering modes like evaluative, or matrix mode, partial, center weighted and spot metering modes are available. I shall discuss the usage of metering modes in a different article moving forward.

Focus Lock: Most of the cameras are designed to lock focus on the subject as we half-press the shutter button. Basically we are telling the camera to set focus on the subject. Cameras even provide you options to lock and then track the subject as they move around.

Exposure Lock: Cameras not only can lock the focus but also do lock exposure reading. This helps you to get the desired exposure and focus and then re-composition of your image.

Do share your thoughts or any other terms which you feel could be the part of this Thread. You are also open to pose questions which i shall try to answer or at-least refer to some website.

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