Part 3. Common Photography Terms & Meanings | M-R

Welcome to the third part of our mini series on common photography terms.


  • Macro – Extreme close-up photography

  • Manual Mode – A camera setting allowing you full control over the aperture, shutter speed and ISO

  • Metering – The measuring of the amount of light; done by the camera or a light meter


  • Neutral Density Filter (ND) – A filter covering the lens opening that reduces the amount of light that enters it without changing the colour of the light. They come in different strengths from 1 stop (of light) to 10 or more. An ND1000 for example reduces the incoming light by around 10 stops allowing for a slower shutter speed

  • Negative Space – The area of a photograph which is effectively empty of interest allowing the eye to be drawn to the subject

  • Noise – Caused by high ISO and low light, this is the grainy look to an image


  • Overexposed – When too much light has entered the camera leaving the image brighter than you might have wanted


  • Panning – A technique whereby you move the camera in sync with a moving subject so when the shutter is pressed the moving image is rendered sharp and the background blurred

  • Pixel – Means ‘pixel element’. This is the smallest element of a photo. Pixels are the building blocks of a whole image

  • Prime Lens – A lens with a fixed focal length. In other words, not a zoom lens!


  • Raw file – Unlike a JPEG, capturing an image in RAW format means you are capturing all the data of the image, none is lost through processing or compression

  • Red eye – Where light from a camera flash hits the red blood vessels in the back of an eye and reflects this colour into the image making the eye look red

  • Reflector – A piece of material for bouncing light, often white, silver or gold

  • Rule of thirds – Used in composition, this is where the scene is split into thirds both vertically and horizontally and the subject is placed on these thirds or intersections of the thirds

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