Photographic Terms

Photographic Terms

In a previous post, we discussed the most commonly used photography slang words and their definitions, so for today's post, we're going to delve a little deeper into well-known photographic terms that you're bound to come across in your profession as a wedding photographer (if you haven't already that is) ...

Term #1: Exposure – Here at Weddit, we’ve mentioned the phrase ‘exposure’ most frequently throughout our blog posts and that’s because it’s one of the major components that make photography what it is! It’s likely that you’ll recognise many of the photographic terms throughout this blog post, just because they’re used widely across the globe within the photography industry (providing that it’s within the English language of course). So, a lot of you will already know that the word exposure in photography refers to how light or dark an image is. An image is created when the camera sensor (or film strip) is exposed to light. This is where the term originates from. Pretty simple right? A dark photo is considered as ‘underexposed’ and a light photo is referred to as ‘overexposed’. Exposure is controlled through three key features. These are known as aperture, shutter speed and ISO. You can learn more about all of that good stuff through our first post on photographic terms, named photography slang.

Term #2: Exposure Compensation - Exposure compensation is a photographic term/ photography lingo for a way to tell the camera that you’d like the image to be lighter or darker. Exposure compensation can be used on some automated modes and semiautomated modes like aperture priority. It’s measured in stops of light, with negative numbers resulting in a darker image and positive ones resulting in a brighter image. We recommend that you learn these photographic terms so their meanings come as naturally to you as inhaling air, because these terms are bound to come up and will probably need tweaking in order for you to get the shot.  

Term #3: Digital Vs. Optical - Digital photography and optical photography are important photographic terms to understand when shopping for a new camera. ‘Digital’ simply means that the effect is achieved through software, not physical parts of the camera. Optical is always better than digital in terms of quality and your results. These terms are usually used when referring to a zoom lens (on a compact camera) as well as image stabilisation. It pays to invest in multiple lenses to chop and change as a new situation occurs. There are many types of lenses and they each have their own strengths. It’ll help you out as a wedding photographer to read up on the types available in order to prepare yourself and your wedding photography kit to capture that perfect shot.

Term #4: File Format - The file format is pretty self-explanatory, or at least we think so! Your camera lens will record the image or image file once it has been captured on your camera. Raw files contain more information than JPGs, which makes them more suitable for photo editing in various editing software programmes. That’s super handy to know as a professional wedding photographer who offers a photo editing service... trust us.

Term #5: Focal Length - The focal length describes the distance in millimetres between the lens and the image it forms on the film, so zooming in/ zooming out changes the perspective of the image as the object/ person being captured on screen is a changeable distance away on screen. It also informs the angle of view (how much of what is being shot will be captured) and the magnification (how large things will appear). Essentially, the focal length is how ‘zoomed in’ your images will appear. For example, a Canon (or Nikon or Olympus) 35mm lens will create images that appear more ‘zoomed in’ than a Canon 18mm. We recommend clewing up on the differences between certain well established professional shooting cameras so that you purchase exactly what you need.

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Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here. 

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