The relationship of the position of the camera to that of the subject. Most common is to hold the camera horizontal to the subject, but often more impact can be achieved by altering the camera angle to change the perspective and line the subject up with an interesting background.
Batteries designed to power the various functions of cameras. Lithium batteries are popular for this use thanks to their small size and long life. Common 3V types include CR2 and CR123A, while 6V types include CRP2 and 2CR5. Flash units normally use AA-size batteries.
Any movement of the camera at the moment the shutter is pressed. Camera shake is one of the main reasons for blurry photos, and is especially likely at shutter speeds of 1/30 second or below. Another cause is pressing the shutter with too much force.
The container housing the roll of film, especially for 35mm film. 35mm film loaded into a cassette is also called 135 format. It is available in lengths of 12, 24, and 36 frames, and can be used in any 35mm camera past or present.
Bright reflections of light seen in the eyes of a photographed subject. Catchlights are especially important in head-and-shoulder portraits and large prints, where they give sparkle and life to a subject’s eyes. They are easily achieved with a flash or reflector in front of the subject.
Charge Coupled Device: one of the two main types of computer chips used to capture digital camera images.
A photo taken close to the subject, usually defined as within 1m or less. Popular close-up subjects include flowers, insects, and small objects. While most ordinary lenses can focus as close as 40-50cm, specialized macro lenses offer higher performance for serious close-up photography.
Close-up frame marks
Small additional marks inside the viewfinder of compact cameras that approximate the frame size when shooting at close distances. Use these marks when shooting close-up to prevent mistakes like cutting off the heads of your subjects.
Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor: one of the two main types of computer chips used to capture digital camera images. CMOS sensors are currently found in only a handful of digital cameras.
Film for color prints. The film records a negative image (i.e., colors and lightness/darkness exactly opposite of reality), which then becomes positive when printed onto color paper. Color negative film is tolerant to a wide range of exposure, making it easy to use.
The color fidelity and beauty with which color prints and slides render the original scene. Different films have different color characteristics, and are each capable of producing their own distinctive “look”.
Colour reversal film
Film for color slides. The film records a positive image (i.e. colors and lightness/darkness the same as reality). This type of film can be used not only for slides but also direct color prints and scanning. Exposure must be fairly precise, so color reversal film is best suited to intermediate to advanced photographers.
A frame of color reversal film placed in a film mount, for use in a slide projector. The sharpness and vibrant colors of this type of film give slide presentations their impact and enjoyment.
A measure of the redness (warmth) or blueness (coolness) of light, expressed in degrees Kelvin. Higher numbers mean cooler light and lower numbers indicate warmer. Standard noon daylight is considered to be 5400K, while the light two hours after sunrise or before sunset is 4800K.
The general term for small, light cameras designed for convenience. While they do not offer interchangeable lenses, they are perfectly usable for snapshots, and some do employ high-performance optics. Ideal for travel or “visual notebook” applications.
The arrangement of all the visual elements within a photo. Note that the main subject does not always have to be in the center of the frame. When composing a shot, consider the whole frame, all the way to each corner.
Holding down the shutter to take one shot immediately after another. Cameras generally can shoot one to two frames per second, while higher speed models can achieve four to five frames. Continuous shooting is especially useful in sports photography.
The difference in light level between the brightest parts of the image (the highlights) and the darkest ones (the shadows). High-contrast images show a stark difference between light and dark, while low-contrast ones are more muted.
A combination of shutter speed and lens aperture that delivers exactly the right amount of light to produce a good image on film. The camera function that automatically makes these settings is known as autoexposure (AE).