In the world of photography, there will be many terms that you'll hear through word of mouth or come across through research, experimenting with your equipment or conversing with other photographers. Now it's not essential to learn every single word in the English language and its definition off by heart, just because it has the slightest connection to imagery, but it would really help you out as a photographer to know the basics. You can rest assure that certain phrases will crop up day to day in your job and others you will stumble across often and find that you learn them naturally that way. Regardless of the details like 'when and where?', here at Weddit we've put together a list of the most common photography terms, known as photography slang, so the learning process can begin!
#1: Aperture – If you're a keen reader of our blog, you would recognise this word from a number of our previous blog posts and that's because it's one of those photography slang words that are inevitable to use. So, with that being said, this is the first common photography term that you should learn. So, what is aperture? To put it simply, aperture is the size of the opening in the lens. Think of the lens as a window... large windows or wide angles let in more light, while small windows let in less light. A wide-open aperture will let more light into the image for a brighter photo, while a smaller aperture lets in less light. Pretty simple right? So, let's learn a little more about aperture. Aperture is measured in f-stops. A small f-stop (like f/1.8) has a wide opening and a large f-stop (like f/22) has a very narrow opening, so it hardly lets any light into the image. Aperture is one of the three camera settings that determine an image’s exposure. Exposure simply refers to how light/ dark the image is. Aperture also affects how much of the image is in focus! Wide apertures result in that creamy, unfocused background while narrow apertures keep a larger portion of the image sharp and in focus on camera. This information is really handy to memorise for when you’re on the job and need to adjust your camera setting quickly to suit the environment.
#2: Bokeh - You'll be surprised how many professional photographers use this style of photography but have no idea what it's official photography slang name is! Don't worry though, you won't ever have this problem because you're about to find out exactly what Bokeh means in the world of imagery... Have you ever seen photography or videography where the lights are out of focus in an image/ moving scene to the point where they become light orbs? They're pretty cool actually and look really pretty! Well that's what the term Bokeh is referring to! Bokeh are the orbs created when lights are out of focus in an image and they're a neat effect to have in the background of a photo. Light orbs are created through wide apertures, so our first two keywords are actually linked! Bokeh is an awesome way to shoot, especially at a wedding. Of course, there will be a time and a place for its use, but you could capture some really gorgeous shots after the ceremony as the evening draws closer and the wedding reception is in its prime. This particular style of imagery works great outside and at a wedding there will be many opportunities to capture the couple having their first dance under the gazebo with fairy lights decorating the sides of the exterior. Imagine standing at the corner of the party in full swing, with the Bride & Groom dancing into the night, with the fairy lights lightly tipping into the sides of your image. With a wide aperture, they will become orbs and you can play about with this feature for magical images!
#3: Burst Mode - Now this feature is really cool! Burst mode is especially useful for when you have a fast-moving subject in front of the camera and you want the chance to capture different angles in order to pick the perfect shot! Well burst photography has got you covered, as you'll have plenty of pictures to choose from. You can take photos one at a time, or, you can turn the burst mode on and the camera will continue snapping as long as you hold the button down, or until the buffer is full. This is a fancy way of saying the camera can’t process anymore data, but here at Weddit, we are pretty cool (even if we do say so ourselves), so we can pull it off!
#4: Aspect Ratio – If you have read our blog before and you're sat there thinking I'm sure that I've seen this photography term before, then you are very smart because you have indeed! Aspect ratio is a term that you'll come across often and it's important that you understand what it is, as it's a basic foundation of photography. Aspect ratio is simply the ratio of the height to the width of an image. An 8 x 10 has an equal aspect ratio to a 4 x 5, but a 4 x 7 image is a bit wider. You can change the aspect ratio in your camera if you know the height and width that you need it to be from your client. The Bride & Groom may have a specific idea in mind. If you don't know the measurements beforehand, it's not too big a deal, you can just crop your photo when you edit it to the right ratio. Simple enough right?!
#5: Depth of Field - Depth of field is a photography term that refers to how much of the image is in focus. The camera will focus on one distance, but there’s a range of distance in front and behind that point that stays sharp, that’s what is known as depth of field. Portraits often have a soft, unfocused background (this is a shallow depth of field). Landscapes, on the other hand, often have more of the image in focus (this is a large depth of field), with a big range of distance that stays sharp. Pretty cool right? If you take the time to glance over these commonly used words and their definitions (known as 'photography slang'), your job will become ten times easier and you'll be able to act quickly given the situation to adapt your camera to the settings which you need for the scene.
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.