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Photographer Glossary

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Глоссарий фотографа

How often there are cases when, as a beginner in photography, on the forums of photographers or just when dealing with them, you come across incomprehensible phrases, words or jargon, the meaning of which is awkward to ask.

To avoid such situations, we present you a dictionary of photo terms and photo jargon, which will be constantly updated.

If you come across an unfamiliar term or an incomprehensible word about photography, the meanings of which you don’t know or are embarrassed to ask, send us a request via the feedback form - we will clarify everything and add this word to our dictionary for the benefit of future generations of amateur and novice photographers.


Autofocus (English: Autofocus, AF) - a system of digital cameras for focusing.

Auto Exposure Fork (AEB - Auto Exposure Bracketing) is a mode that allows you to take a series of shots with a specific exposure step. One picture is taken with normal exposure, one or more with underexposure and one or more with overexposure. The amount of overexposure or overexposure is determined by the settings of the camera. For example: setting a series of 3 shots in steps of one step, you will get one shot with normal exposure (set by you or using a camera light meter), one underexposed and one overexposed shots per step.

Apodization is an action on an optical system that leads to a change in the intensity distribution in the diffraction image of a luminous point. Translated into a language that is more understandable to a wide circle of photography enthusiasts, this means that the lens allows you to control the blur of objects outside the area of ​​sharply depicted space using the built-in filter.

Автоматическая экспозиционная вилка (англ.: AEB — Auto Exposure Bracketing)


Bayonet - a type of connection between the lens and the camera body.

White balance (Eng .: White Balance, WB) - modern digital cameras are equipped with automatic color balance systems, trying to compensate for the difference in lighting when shooting, from the "standard" natural street conditions. If you are not satisfied with the shades of the pictures taken during the automation, then often the cameras offer a set of preset settings, such as “incandescent lamps”, “fluorescent lamps” of several types, “flash”, “sun”, etc. Typically, such options are offered from 4 for simple "digital dust boxes" to 8 for professional and semi-professional systems. Often a “manual” mode is provided in cameras, in which the parameter sets a white sheet when photographing. Professional cameras also have the ability to set the white balance directly in degrees Kelvin.

Shoe - see Hot Shoe

Hood (English: Hood) - a device in the form of a cylinder, a truncated cone, a "flower", etc. made of plastic or metal, with a black matte inner surface, worn when shooting on the lens. Prevents light rays that are not involved in image formation from entering the lens, thereby preventing glare.

Blooming (Eng .: Blooming) The appearance of a colored border between the very light and dark portions of an image taken with a digital camera. It arises as a result of the flow of charge from the sensor pixel, which received an excess of light energy, to neighboring pixels.

Blur - blurring artificially, using post-processing in a graphics editor or programmatically in a camera.

Body (English: body) - camera body (body)

A barrel is one of the types of geometric distortion, swelling, rounding of straight lines closer to the edge. This is usually noticeable on wide-angle lenses.


Flash Guide Number (English: GN Guide Number) - The maximum distance (in meters or feet) at which the flash can illuminate the subject for proper exposure, at f / 1 aperture and ISO 100. For example: flash with a guide number of 56, when shooting at ISO 100 and aperture f / 5.6 it will correctly illuminate an object located at a distance of 10 m, when shooting at ISO 400 - 20 m. The general formula relates the guide number to the aperture and distance: distance = V.CH. / Aperture value, for ISO 100.

Fork (bracketing, bracketing) - see Automatic exposure fork

Vignetting (Vignetting) - the shading of the edges of the image. Usually occurs when using filters with wide-angle lenses.

High Key (English: High Key) - specific visual techniques that lead to gentle in gradation, almost airy and soft images, which are almost entirely made up of “white” with very light gray tones.


Hyperfocal Distance (Eng .: Hyperfocal Distance) - the minimum distance from the lens to such a plane in the space of objects, when focusing on which, the rear border of the sharply depicted space is at infinity.

Histogram (Eng .: Histogram) - a graph of the distribution of tones in the image. On the horizontal axis, the scale of brightness of tones from white to black is displayed, on the vertical, the number of pixels of a given brightness in the image. The histogram allows you to more accurately set the exposure.

Depth of field, Depth of sharp image space, depth of field (English: Depth of Field) - the space in front of and behind the subject (which was focused) depicted sharply. The distance between a sharp foreground and a sharp background is called the depth of field. Depth of field can be adjusted using the iris. The smaller the aperture value, the smaller the depth of field.

Hot Shoe (eng .: Hot Shoe) - a contact device for connecting an electronic flash to the camera.


The dynamic range is the difference between the lightest and darkest areas of the image. If the plot abounds with very bright areas and contrasting shadows, this can be a problem for some digital cameras. Some amateur photographers dislike digital cameras for less dynamic range than film. One of the attempts to solve this problem was made by Fujifilm, which manufactured the SuperCCD SR matrix, where in place of one “logical” pixel, there are two physical photocells. Additional just responsible for the expansion of the dynamic range in the field of light tones.

Distortion is the aberration of optical systems in which the linear magnification changes along the field of view. This violates the similarity between the object and its image. It is corrected by the selection of lenses and other elements of the optical system during its development.

Backlight - occurs if the subject is lit from behind, for example, if it is against the background of a lit window or behind the sun at the subject being shot. If you do not maintain the correct exposure of the image, then only the silhouette will be visible on it, against a bright background. The simplest solution to this problem is to use the fill-in flash mode. Or use spot metering, if any, in your camera. But it’s more correct to use the flash, since the object you need will turn out and the background will not be overexposed.


CMOS sensor (CMOS) - this matrix, made using a different technology, has a potentially higher image quality. So far, these matrices are used mainly in digital SLR cameras. Recently, this type of matrix is ​​also used in compact cameras, having tested CCD matrices.


Fresnel lens is a complex compound lens. It does not consist of a single polished piece of glass with spherical or other surfaces (like ordinary lenses), but of separate concentric rings of small thickness adjacent to each other, which in cross section have the shape of prisms of a special profile. Proposed by Augustine Fresnel. This design provides a small thickness (and therefore weight) of the Fresnel lens. The sections of the rings at the lens are constructed in such a way that the spherical aberration of the Fresnel lens is small, the rays from a point source placed at the focus of the lens, after refraction in the rings, come out with a practically parallel beam (in ring Fresnel lenses).

Линза Френеля


Mira - a test image that is photographed to determine the properties of the optical system of the camera. These pictures allow you to:

  • assess the sharpness of the image in the center and at the corners (very important for cheap cameras, in which the image in the corners is often blurry)
  • evaluate the resolution of the optical system;
  • evaluate chromatic aberration.
In the catalog for some cameras there are such test pictures, next to which the size is indicated. To determine the "fidelity" of color reproduction, there are also test shots.


Optical zoom is the ratio of the maximum focal length of the lens to the minimum. Zoom allows you to zoom in and out of your subject, shoot close-ups and panoramas with one lens. As a rule, zoom lenses are controlled by an electric motor, which is not always convenient and efficient. The lenses of professional cameras and some pseudo-mirrors are equipped with an “old-fashioned”, but very convenient mechanical ring.

An optical low-pass filter (sometimes called a smoothing filter) is built into many digital cameras and is located directly in front of the matrix. The main objective of the optical low-pass filter is to remove the high-frequency components of the image, which helps to soften the moire and color distortion caused by high-frequency waves in the images. An optical low-pass filter usually consists of two birefringent plates and a wave plate. The light is separated when passing through birefringent plates onto a matrix, as shown below. In addition, infrared and anti-reflective coatings, as well as glass that absorbs infrared rays, are used for better color reproduction. Digital cameras without an optical low-pass filter allow you to record high-frequency components of the image, which increases its sharpness. At the same time, moire and color distortion may be noticeable depending on the subject and shooting conditions. As matrices with an ever higher resolution are installed in digital cameras, the number of pixels in such matrices is greater and the step between the pixels is smaller, which helps to soften moire and color distortion in images. Thanks to this softening effect, you can avoid using the optical low-pass filter in high-resolution cameras to produce sharper images.

Оптический низкочастотный фильтр


CCD (CCD) - is a photosensitive device that records an image. This device consists of millions of photosensitive - pixels. Matrix size is measured in megapixels (MP).

Firmware is software for controlling the hardware of the camera.

Prosumer (Eng .: Prosumer) is a compact camera for advanced enthusiasts. Usually it has some professional opportunities, but at the same time they have a price comparable to products for amateurs.

A professional camera is, as a rule, a dustproof and waterproof camera with a large sensor and interchangeable optics, a large number of manual settings that are controlled in the form of various controls, buttons, screens on the camera body, which is made of durable (often titanium) materials . Professional cameras are also distinguished by a short time the camera is ready for shooting, a large number of frames that the camera can shoot in serial shooting, fast and “tenacious” autofocus, a powerful processor (or several processors) for processing captured images. The cameras are adapted to work in difficult lighting conditions, with various accessories.

Semi-professional camera - there are none! The marketing name of amateur cameras, designed for experienced ("advanced") photographers, and not possessing (or partially possessing) the characteristics of a professional camera.


Repeater (repeater, tutor, repeater) - a function that allows you to close the aperture to the set value (by default, it is fully open for aiming at an object) in order to determine the depth of field before shooting


Softbox, nozzle for a light source (flash, lamp) - which allows you to adjust the width and strength of the light flux.


Digital gate - devices containing a photosensitive matrix, processor, memory and interface with a computer. A digital backdrop is mounted on professional medium format cameras instead of film cassettes

Digital zoom - this function actually allows you to record not the entire frame, but only its central part, resulting in the illusion that the picture was taken at high magnification. The tangible benefit of this function is to save space on the memory card. This significantly degrades the quality of the captured image.


Chromatic aberration is the error of the lens, due to which rays of different wavelengths intersect the optical axis of the system at points located at different distances from the optical axis of the system. Chromatic aberration is characteristic of cheap camera lenses and appears in the form of interference fringes or, more often, color fringes around an object. The quality of the optical system allows you to determine the shooting of test images.


Noise - a defect in the image that appears under adverse shooting conditions (high ISO, slow shutter speed).


An electronic shutter is an electronic circuit that during a certain time (shutter speed) supplies voltage to the matrix, while the rest of the time, the matrix is ​​de-energized. Depending on the method of reading information from the CMOS matrix, two types of electronic shutters are distinguished: the frame shutter (Global Shutter, global shutter, common / global exposure technology) and the sliding shutter (Rolling Shutter, progressive exposure technology). With a frame shutter, an image is formed instantly, just like when photographing, i.e. all pixels of the matrix allocated for work transmit information at the same time. The sensor’s runtime is equal to the shutter speed, which is set in the camera in advance. With a rolling shutter, the final image is built not by instantly reading information from the matrix, but by sequential scanning it. Those. Information from the sensor is not transmitted all at once, but line by line - from top to bottom, while the shutter glides over the frame. Again, the concept of a shutter is conditional here and has nothing to do with mechanical implementation. Simplified operation of electronic shutters can be represented as in the picture below.

Электронного затвор

Bracketing is a shot of a series of frames with different exposures. This increases the chance of a perfectly exposed shot. It is performed either with a tripod or with a special camera mode. In the case when the camera makes the exposure, the camera automatically shoots three or five frames with different exposures. The first frame is usually taken with exposure, which the camera’s metering system considers ideal. The rest are made underexposed and overexposed with the step set by the photographer. From the frames obtained, the ideal one is selected from the point of view of the photographer, and not the camera. Some photographers use the capabilities of such shooting to expand the dynamic range by combining pictures in the editor.

Exposure metering is a system of measuring the light indicators of the subject - exposure. Exposure metering can be weighted average, spot, matrix, multipoint, etc.

Exposure - a combination of aperture / shutter speed settings when taking pictures. If the image turned out to be too dark - it is "underexposed", if too light - "overexposed".

EGF - equivalent focal length, a virtual lens characteristic that serves exclusively comparison purposes - focal length of a lens designed for a 24x36 mm frame (type 135 film, full-frame digital matrix, Crop factor = 1), with an angle of view equal to the angle of view of the subject lens on the camera with a crop factor.

Effective pixels - matrix resolution that takes into account pixels that are not involved in image creation. Some of them are blacked out in order to create the right color balance, while others are positioned so that they do not get light from the lens at all.


DPI - An abbreviation for dots per inch. This parameter is used to calculate the image size in pixels for producing prints. Most printing presses in ordinary photo labs have a resolution of 300 DPI or 118 dots / cm. Thus, for example, a picture with a resolution of 1600x1200 from a camera with a 2 megapixel sensor is enough for a quality print of 13x10 cm.

DPOF - stands for Digital Print Order Format. This is a system that allows image recording devices, including digital cameras, to determine which of the images they record should be printed on printers compatible with this system and how. Typically, DPOF is a set of text files located in a special section on a digital camera’s memory card. These files determine which images should be printed, in what quantity and whether any text should be applied to the image when printing. Typically, DPOF information is specified through a special option for viewing the digital camera. This option allows you to mark files for printing and set the necessary parameters.


Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) - some standard information about the shooting parameters (which camera, which lens, what shutter speed, what aperture, shooting date and time, etc.) that the camera pushes inside each RAW, TIFF or JPEG file . Many programs can show these parameters (for example, Photoshop or ACDC).

Exposure Value (EV) - exposure level, exposure number. EV 1 corresponds to ISO 100 expocouple 1s and F 1.4 (shutter speed 1 second, aperture 1.4). Each subsequent integer EV corresponds to a doubling of exposure. EV 2 corresponds to expocouple 2s and F 1.4 or expocouple 1s and F 2.0


HDR - High Dynamic Range Imaging, HDRI or simply HDR - the general name for imaging technologies whose brightness range exceeds the capabilities of standard technologies.


ISO (English: International Standards Organization) - photosensitivity of the sensor.


JPEG is currently the most widely used digital image recording format with compression created by Joint Photographic Expert. Group This format allows you to reduce the volume of the recorded file with a given quality. The greater the compression ratio, the smaller the file, the lower the image quality. In digital cameras, you can choose what quality to record the picture with. Typically, the quality levels are SuperFine (very good), Fine (good), Normal (normal). In addition to JPEG, digital cameras use TIFF (recording with virtually no loss of quality) and RAW (recording without loss of quality - an exact copy of the image from the matrix). These formats are too voluminous and are used for subsequent professional processing.


Micro Four Thirds System (MFT Standard), Micro 4: 3 standard - a set of standards created by Olympus and Matsushita (Panasonic) for the parallel development and production of compatible digital cameras, camcorders and their optics.


RAW - image recording format that allows you to record a picture in the form in which it was "seen" by the camera matrix.


SLR (DSLR) (Engl .: Single Lens Reflector (Digital)) - single-lens reflex camera, "reflex". Until recently, the abbreviation SLR in relation to a digital camera automatically classified the camera as a professional.

SLR-like is a “pseudo-mirror”, a class of digital cameras giving almost the same functionality as SLR cameras, but for less money. The main differences from the “DSLRs” are the electronic viewfinder instead of the SLR and the fixed lens. Recent developments have shown that some of the technologies inherent in professional cameras and lenses have migrated to the latest models of pseudo-mirrors.

SLT (English: single-lens translucent) - also SLR cameras, differ from traditional DSLRs by the presence of a translucent fixed mirror instead of a moving one. This class of DSLRs is exclusively available from Sony.


TTL (English: Trough The Lens) is a system for measuring exposure and focusing based on the light transmitted through the lens.


  • Rake - a hand, usually compositionally unsuccessfully placed in the frame
  • Gradient - a light filter, partially colored, in the conditionally upper part. In most cases, it is used to increase contrast and work out the sky
  • Hole, hole - diaphragm
  • Zoom - zoom lens
  • Hares - glare on the sensor that comes from bright light sources
  • Fifty dollars, half lens - a lens with a focal length of 50 mm
  • Polyarik - polarizing photo filter
  • Puff - flash (usually external)
  • Dandelion - an adapter for autofocus lenses that allows you to capture the exact moment of focus
  • Kenonists are harsh owners of Canon cameras
  • Nikonists - Orthodox followers of Nikon
  • Kit - the lens that comes with the camera
  • Dark glass - a lens with a low aperture (max. Aperture 3.5 or even narrower)
  • Screwdriver - a motor drive built into the camera, designed for autofocus lenses without their own engine
  • Glass Lens
  • Soap, digital soap - a digital compact camera, or a fuzzy image of an object in focus
  • Pyaterochka, Piglet - Canon EOS 5D Camera
  • Boot - Canon camera
  • Gnusmas - Samsung camera
  • Olya, olik - Olympus cameras
  • Crop - a reduced matrix for comparing the camera with a 35 mm standard frame 24 x 36 mm
  • Crop - crop a photo in a graphical editor (crop a photo)
  • Lenspen - (from Lenspen) Lens Cleaning Pen
  • Fish - super-wide-angle lens "Fisheye", Fisheye (transcription from the English. Fish-eye)
  • Fix - fixed focal length lens
  • FF - (fullframe) 24 x 36 mm full-frame SLR camera
  • The carcass is actually a camera without a lens, see Body
  • Tail - mount the lens to the camera, mount or thread, depending on the lens manufacturer and brand
  • Trunk - Telescopic Zoom
  • Sharp - from the English. Sharp, meaning "sharp." This is usually referred to as artificial sharpening of the image using a graphical editor.
  • Shake - blurry image, a characteristic effect due to hand shake in the photo
  • Wide - wide angle lens