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Photography is filled with its own language, which can sometimes be confusing. Here is a list of common photography terms:

aberration A defect in a lens which results in images that are slightly damaged or out of focus.
AE Short for 'automatic exposure'. On Canon cameras, this is the Av mode (where the photographer selects the aperture and the camera then selects the shutter speed).
AF Short for 'automatic focus'. Automatic focus comes with most lenses; some have predictive auto-focus even, which means they'll try to predict focus for targets that move towards or away from the camera.
aperture The opening that lets through light onto the CCD/CMOS chip. The diaphragm allows to vary the aperture (by opening and closing more or less). The aperture is shown as a ratio such as f/2.8, f/8 etc. Note that each stop means twice as much (or half as much) light falling onto the 'film'.
Av Short for 'aperture value'. This is a mode on Canon cameras where you select the aperture, and exposure time is selected by the camera.
bokeh Blur of the background of a photograph; anything that is not in focus really. Bokeh is used to separate the (focused) subject from its surroundings (often used in portrait photography). You can achieve bokeh by using a large aperture and/or using a long lens (for example a 100mm f/2).
bounce flash Using a flash unit which can be directed to the ceiling (or nearby wall) to create indirect lighting of a subject. This creates more subtle lighting and shadows, provided the ceiling (or wall) isn't too far away (in which case the lighting may be too dark). Check the flashing page for an example.
fast lens A lens which lets much light pass to the sensor. This allows you to select shorter shutter times, or higher ISO values, or lower aperture sizes. Faster lenses are generally more expensive though. Examples are 50mm f/1.4.
fixed focal length Characteristic of a lens which cannot zoom; this means you'll have to move around to frame your subject (instead of using zoom) or you have to crop later (which costs resolution).
Disadvantages: the need to move around
Advantages: mostly these lenses are 'faster', meaning they need less light to still give a good image.
purple fringing This effect appears on many lenses; in highly contrasting areas, you get (if shown at 100% view) purple-colored edges.


(c) 2006-2011 Dolphinity B.V. / Ruud van Gaal