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Part 4. Common Photography Terms & Meanings | S-Z

Welcome to the fourth and final part of our mini series on common photography terms.

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  • Saturation – Relates to the intensity of colour in an image

  • Shutter Lag – Is the delay between the shutter being pressed and then firing

  • Shutter Speed – The shutter is in the camera and opens and closes to allow light in. A slow shutter speed allows more light in and a fast shutter speed allows less. A fast shutter speed ensures a frozen image whereas a slow shutter can be used to created motion blur

  • Speedlight – Also know as a flashgun that attaches to your camera

  • Spot Metering – A camera setting where the exposure is determined by only a small area of the frame. Other settings maybe Partial Metering, Evaluative Metering or Centre Weighted Metering

  • Stop – Is a change in exposure by half or double. E.G. If you reduce the shutter speed, aperture or ISO by 1 stop then you half the exposure


  • Telephoto Lens – A lens with a long focal length that brings a subject in the distance closure while narrowing the width of the shot

  • Tilt Shift Lens – A specialist lens often used in architecture to avoid parallel lines converging

  • TTL – Through The Lens. Where a speedlight uses the light entering the camera to calculate the strength of flash required


  • UV Filter – An ultraviolet filter placed over the front of the lens to reduce the amount of UV light entering the camera. Modern cameras tend to not suffer from UV light issues so a UV lens is now primarily used as a lens protector


  • Vibrance – A slider setting used to increase the amount of saturation but only in less saturated areas rather than the whole image

  • Vignetting – When the corners of an image become more or less bright. This can be caused by flaws in the lens or artistically in post-production


  • White Balance – A camera setting used to set the colour temperature of the photo

  • Wide Angle Lens – A lens that has a wide angle of view, often used in landscape photography or close-up shots where the environment is also captured


  • Zoom Lens – A lens that can cover a range of focal lengths

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