A hole built into the camera lens that allows light to pass through and reach the film or digital chip. The hole or aperture size can be adjusted. Aperture number is indicated by an ‘f’ in front of a number e.g. f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16 and f22.
Aperture Priority (A or Av)
The exposure mode which allows the user to select the aperture whilst the camera automatically selects a shutter speed to give correct exposure
To take several photographs of exactly the same scene, but each with a different exposure.
A light-tight box, usually with a lens and some way of recording an exposure to light.
A setting on many digital cameras which corrects the image for the type of light source, enabling colours to be rendered accurately.
The total amount of light which reaches the film or digital chip. Exposure is adjusted by changing the aperture &/or shutter speed.
A control button on the camera that allows you to over or under expose images – often used in situations where the camera light meter is fooled by difficult lighting conditions.
A setting on cameras which allows the exposure to be controlled in a variety of ways.
A measure of the ‘power’ of a lens – how near or far it appears to make the subject. Short focal length lenses are usually wide-angle lenses, long focal length are usually telephoto.
An adjustment made either manually (Manual Focus) or automatically (Auto Focus) so that the image appears sharp.
This function on a digital camera deletes all the images on a memory card.
Characteristic of high ISO film or digital camera setting in which the image appears to be composed of small irregular dots or ‘grains’.
A type of printer which uses tiny ‘dots’ of ink to produce high quality B/W or colour prints.
The sensitivity of the film or digital chip to light. The higher the ISO the greater the sensitivity to light (and the less light that is needed to successfully record an image).
An adjustable setting on many digital cameras that allows the image to be recorded in high, low or medium quality. Low quality images are only suitable to output as small prints.
A compressed image file format which is ideal for general purpose photography.
A type of printer that produces black & white or colour prints, usually of medium quality.
Manual Exposure Mode (M)
The exposure mode where the camera user can choose both aperture and shutter speed.
A button on most digital cameras, which allows the user to access various camera settings.
An image where too much light has hit the film or digital chip.
Program Exposure Mode (P)
The camera automatically chooses aperture and shutter speed to give correct exposure.
A measure of the detail which can be recorded in an image. High resolution gives lots of detail. Low resolution images have less detail and can appear grainy or pixelated. Resolution is often measured in dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch).
A device in a camera which opens and closes to let in light for a specific amount of time.
The length of time that the camera shutter opens for, allowing light to reach the film or digital chip. Measured in seconds or fractions of a second. E.g. ½, ¼, 1/125, 2”, 4” etc.
Shutter Priority (S or Tv)
The exposure mode where the user selects the shutter speed and the camera automatically selects the aperture to give correct exposure
A technique in which objects are moved between taking photographs. When viewed rapidly one after another this then creates the illusion of movement.
A type of lens which brings the subject nearer (like looking through a telescope). Telephoto lenses usually have a long focal length.
An image where not enough light has reached the film or digital chip.
A type of lens which gives a wide field of view but makes subjects appear further away. Wide angle lenses usually have a short focal length.
See Colour Balance
A type of lens whose focal length can be changed (e.g. from wide angle to telephoto).