Photography Jargon Explained – Complete A-Z of terms

Aspect Ratio, Dynamic Range, Focal Length! What does it all mean? As a beginner in photography you will hear lots of photography jargon that sound like they’ve come straight from a sci-fi novel. Well fear not my learner friends, here we bring you the A-Z of photography terms and their meanings.

From Aperture to Zoom here you’ll get all the camera terms explained and what’s more, it’s totally free!

Grab a Free Guide to photography terms and meanings at the bottom of this page.


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Photography Terms and Meanings


Beginners Photography terms with the letter A

A / Av – aperture priority mode on cameras that have manual modes. You choose the aperture, the camera chooses the rest to give a correct exposure.

Aperture – the opening in a lens that lets light into the camera. Represented by an f number. Small apertures like f16 let in less light and wide apertures like f2.8 let in more light. Click here for our Apertures Explained video.

Aspect Ratio – the size of the image’s height in relation to it’s width, i.e. 16:9 means 16 equal parts along one edge to 9 equal parts along the other edge. Sometimes referred to as the crop of the image.

AF – auto focusing - focusing modes in which the camera will automatically focus for you.


Beginners Photography terms with the letter B

Blue Hour – the short period of time before sunrise or after sunset when the sun is just below the horizon. This time of day creates a soft, blue, even light.

Bokeh Effect – The term for the circles or hexagons in out of focus areas of an image. Shown more prominently in shots that have a shallow depth of field. Click here to see how to create the Bokeh effect with ease.

Bracketing – the technique of taking multiple shots of the same thing at different exposures e.g. one too bright, one normal and one too dark. Bracketing can be done manually or by using the automatic exposure bracketing feature on some cameras.

Bulb – setting which allows you to open the shutter for as long as the shutter release button is pressed. This allows for exposure times longer than 30 seconds. A cable release or remote trigger can be used to lock the shutter open.

Burst rate – number of shots the camera can take consecutively in continuous shooting mode. Speed of this depends on the camera, file size of the images and the speed of your memory card.

Download the full A-Z of photography jargon for beginners, for free, at the bottom of this page.


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