Photo dictionary

Definition of photo from dictionary



Aberration – it’s an optical error concerning the affection of shapes, tones or focus. There’re several types of aberration, such as: spherical aberration, astigmatism and distortion both spherical and chromatic.

A compact

A compact – a simple camera, which is easy to operate.


Autofocus – by choosing the AF mode, you let the camera automatically set the focus. All it takes is to push shutter button to initiate automatic focus setting in accordance with the previously set pattern.

Automatic exposure

Automatic exposure – a mode, which automatically sets the value of exposition in accordance with the surroundings. It allows you to quickly take a decent picture without the need of setting the diaphragm and f-stop.


Anti-Shake – a system of image sensor stabilization. It reduces the vibration effect in order to avoid taking blurry pictures.

Analogue photography

Analogue photography – a kind of photography which records pictures on a light-sensitive film.


APO – a system protecting lens from errors concerning chromatic aberration.


Attachment – a kind of filter, which manipulates the looks of picture. There several types of attachments, including star, diffusional, drawing and multiplicative.


Bracketing – a feature allowing you to take a series of three different exposures with a single release of the camera. This feature is extremely vital when it comes to taking HDR photos.

Blind window

Blind window – a screen used to reflect light. It allows you to shed more light on the darker elements of the scene.


Body – another name for the camera chassis, to which you attach the lens.


Bokeh – it’s a term describing the lens blur, which occurs beyond the depth of focus.


Bulb – a photo mode with a long exposure time, manually controlled by the photographer.


BW – a photo, where a scene has been built with grey scale exclusively.

Camera obscura

Camera obscura – a kind of camera, which uses a lightproof box and a hole, through which enters the light, creating an image on the opposite side of the box.


CMOS – a type of image sensor, commonly used in digital photography.

Cable release

Cable release – a fixed cable, which allows the photographer to release the shutter without touching the camera itself.

Camera hood

Camera hood – a plastic element attachable to lens. It keeps excessive sunrays away from the lends. Protects pictures against light leaks, lens flare and loss of contrast.


Contrast – a parameter modified during the development, which is responsible for the difference between the darkest and the lightest parts of the picture.


DPI – the unit describing the amount of points per inch. An inch stands for two and a half centimeters approximately.

Digital photography

Digital photography – a kind of photography, which uses electronic devices (image sensors) to record pictures.

Depth of focus

Depth of focus – a parameter modified by the setting of diaphragm. Depth of focus allows you to control the focus of the elements within the frame. Lesser value of diaphragm setting strengthens the effect of background elements blur. By increasing the value of diaphragm setting, you make all the elements focused.

Digital Zoom

Digital Zoom – a digital enlargement of a part of the scene. It leads to loss of quality.


Diaphragm – a part of lens, which controls the light shed on the Charge Coupled Device.

Exposure time

Exposure time – the period of time, through which the light-sensitive material is being exposed to light.

EV exposure

EV exposure – the parameter specifying the amount of light dropped on the light-sensitive material.


EXIF – pictures’ data saved and kept within the file. The metadata contains info on exposure, focal length, white balance, type of the lens, the manufacturer of camera and much more.


Flash – a kind of mass memory, which allows you to save and delete the content.


Flash – a source of intensive light, which exposes the scene being photographed.


Histogram – it’s a presentation of the picture in a diagram form, which displays the layout of lights and shadows in the picture. Through blacks to whites per specific amount of pixels.

Hot pixels

Hot pixels – points within the image sensor, which are overreactive to light.


JPG / JPEG – a graphical file format which combines decent picture quality with small file size. However, such file cannot be modified further, as RAW format files, which are lossless.

Lens flare

Lens flare – a chiaroscuro effect, caused by strong, excessive light rays dropping on the lens.


Lens – an optical system attachable to a camera, which copies the scenes being photographed. There several types of lens with different focal length and view angle.


Malformation – a kind of picture distortion. An optical fault of specific types of lens, e.g. fisheye.

M (manual exposure)

M (manual exposure) – a mode of photography with all the exposure parameters manually set by the photographer.

Minimum distance

Minimum distance – a value from one centimeter to even a meter and a half, in case of telephoto lens, which specify the minimal focus field.

Photographic filter

Photographic filter – there are many kinds of filters, which manipulate tones and other features of registered picture, e.g. low-pass filters, polarizers, skylight, UV and half filters.


Panorama – a wide scene registered with a panoramic camera or made out of several pictures linked together with the help of specialistic software.


Parallax – an error deriving from the difference between the scene, being seen through the viewfinder of a camera and the registered picture.


Perspective – it’s a common word within art profession, used to specify the way of presenting three dimensional objects and space on a plane. Perspective allows you to copy spatial object to a flat surface.


Pixel – the smallest element of displayed picture. A single pixel contains information about brightness and tones.


Preselection – a half-automatic control of exposure with a feature of manual diaphragm or shutter setting.

Red-eye effect

Red-eye effect – the effect caused by light rays reflected by the retina.


RAW – a lossless form of saving pictures. It saves electronically unprocessed image for further edition on a computer.


RGB – a space of tones, specified by the coordinates R (red), G (green), B (blue). Those three tones could give you a wide range of derivatives, when mixed together.


Resolution – the number of points (pixels) contained in a single picture.


Sensitivity – also known as ISO, a value specifying the light sensitivity of film or image sensor.

Shutter priority

Shutter priority – a manual adjustment of f-stop with the automatic match of exposure time.


Self-timer – a feature, which allows you to release the shutter with a few seconds delay.


SD – a memory card with a low power consumption, commonly used for saving pictures.


Sepia – a picture, in which black and grey tones have been replaced with browns.


SLR – a kind of camera with non-detachable lens.


Solarization – a change in contrast, exposing white and black spots.

Series of pictures

Series of pictures – a feature, which allows you to take series of photos at single squeeze off.


Tripod – a stable construction, mostly consisting of three legs with a camera holder attached.


Teleconverter – the lens clamped between the camera body and the photographic objective, allowing to gain a greater zoom of the picture.

Telephoto lens

Telephoto lens – a kind of low-angle lens, which focal length is greater than the length of its chassis.


TIFF – a format of a graphic file. Perfect for lossless edition of photos.


VR – a special microcircuit for shock-cancelation.


xD – a kind of memory card, mainly used with Olympus and Fujifilm cameras.


Zoom – a feature enabling you to take a close-up picture of a certain part of the scene.