Glossary

Aperture: A round opening inside the lens which controls the amount of light allowed to enter the camera.  This may be adjusted electronically on the camera or manually on the lens.  Aperture is measured in f-numbers – starting from f1.8 and usually ending at about f36, though not all lenses have the same range (some may only start from f5.6 or so).  A smaller f-number means a wider aperture (and a shallower depth of field) and vice-versa.

Depth of Field (DoF): The amount of the image which is in focus.  Generally controlled using aperture.

F-stop: The halving or doubling of light, for example if you were to reduce the amount of light by half, you would be decreasing it by one F-stop.

Fungal Photography: Mushroom photography.

International Standard Organization (ISO): The sensitivity of a camera’s sensor, i.e. how sensitive it is to light.  NOTE:*a high ISO can cause there to be noise in the photo.

Leading Lines: Lines in a photo which influence the direction the viewer’s eye travels in a photo.

Macro Photography: A close-up photo, possibly of something very small such as a flower or insect.

Neutral Density (ND) Filter: Will reduce the amount of light allowed to enter the lens by a specific amount.  Useful for long exposures during the day.  Available for between R200 and R2000 (approximately US$20-200 or €10-100) depending on the type of filter (Variable Neutral Density filters can change the amount of light they let in and are more expensive than other ND filters).

Panning: Moving the camera horizontally during an action shot, effectively keeping the subject in focus while blurring the background.

Polarizing Filter: Removes glare (such as on water) and increases saturation.  Available for around R500 (approximately US$50 or €25).

Rule of Thirds: A basic composition guideline, stating that instead of breaking the frame into a 50/50 ratio, it should be split into three equal parts (horizontally or vertically).

Shutter Speed: This controls how long the shutter stays open, and therefore how much light enters through the lens and onto the sensor.  A short shutter speed will freeze the subject (great for catching fast-moving objects) and a long shutter speed will create  a motion blur effect (used in low-light situations or for creative images of, among other things, stars and car lights).

White Balance: A setting which allows the photographer to alter or merely correct the colour of light in the photo.  (This can also be done in post-processing.)  NOTE:* if you are looking for the true colour of light to be represented in your photograph, Daylight White Balance is probably your best choice.

Vanishing Point: The point at which parallel lines meet, for example with bridges, long hallways, or roads.  It can be used to create a feeling of depth and scale.

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