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Glossary and Terms

photo lens

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Aperture - The size or diameter of the opening is that the light goes through. The aperture for a camera is usually adjusted by an f-stop. The lower the f-stop the bigger the opening.

Aspect Ratio - The width over the height of the photograph.

Depth of Field - This is the area around the focal point where the photograph is still in focus. The larger the depth of field the more area around the central focal point will be sharp or "in focus". The depth of field is adjusted by the camera's aperture setting.

Exposure - The amount of light that is received by the recording material. The photograph's exposure is determined by the camera's aperture and shutter speed settings.

Focal length - How far away from the camera that the camera can have its point of focus.

Focus - How clear items are in the picture or photo. Many cameras come with an autofocus feature where the camera finds the focal point for you usually putting an indicator on the view finder. Often you can turn off the autofocus and use a manual focus where you turn the focus ring on the lens until you reach the desired focal point.

Lag Time - The time it takes between when you push the button to take a photo and when the camera actually takes the photo. A long lag time can be a big drawback to a camera.

LCD - This the screen usually on the back of the camera that allows you to view the photos you have taken. The bigger the LCD the better idea you can get of how your photo came out.

Resolution - This is term used for digital photos. The resolution refers to how many pixels a photo contains. The more pixels the higher the resolution. The higher the resolution, the better quality of the photograph, but also the more storage it will take up.

Sensor - The recording medium for digital cameras. The sensors are made up of pixels. The more pixels the higher resolution of photo the camera can take.

Shutter speed - How long the camera exposes the recording material to light. To capture a photograph of fast moving objects in focus you need a fast shutter speed.

Storage card - A digital camera term referring to the memory card where the digital photos are stored. There are several standard types of memory storage cards including Compact Flash, Memory Stick, Smart Media, and xD.

Time Lapse - Some cameras allow you to program the camera to take a certain number of photos with a programmed time interval between photographs. Time lapse photography is often used to record something happening over a long period of time like a storm forming.

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