DOF – Depth of Field: refers to how much of a photo is also in sharp focus when the camera is focused on the main subject. Depth of Field is controlled by the camera’s aperture or f-stop in conjunction with the focal length of the lens and the camera to subject distance. Greater (deep) Depth of Field means that all or most of the image is in focus behind and in front of the focused subject. Shallow (less) DOF means that the focused subject is sharp, but less in front and behind are included in the sharp focus. A more open lens diameter or f-stop, such as f-1.4, will create a shallow Depth of Field; whereas, a more stopped-down and smaller diameter or f-stop, such as f-16, will create greater Depth of Field.
Contrast – the difference between the darkest and lightest areas in photo. The greater the difference, the higher the contrast.
Continuous Mode – a camera mode that lets you to take multiple photos in rapid sequence as you hold down the shutter release button. It is used to capture a series of images or to photograph a fast or unpredictably moving subject.
CompactFlash – a common type of digital camera memory card, about the size of a matchbook.
Color Space – a defined range of colors that can be described by a particular color model. In digital cameras there are two models: sRGB is the standard by Exif. and commonly used in JPEG file format, and AdobeRGB offering a wider range of color reproduction and is commonly used in the RAW file format and for commercial printing.
CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. The four colors in the inksets of many photo-quality printers.
CMOS – Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor: the other type of image sensors used in digital cameras, currently found in only few digital cameras. See also CCD.
CCD – Charge Coupled Device: one of the two main types of image sensors used in digital cameras. When a picture is taken, the CCD is struck by light coming through the camera’s lens. Each of the thousands or millions of tiny pixels that make up the CCD convert this light into electrons. The number of electrons, or the pixel’s accumulated charge, is measure, than converted to digital value.
Burning – selectively darkening part of a photo with an image editing program. Note that the term “burning-in” refers to darkening an area of a print photo by adding print exposure in the black and white film darkroom.
Buffer – memory in the camera that stores digital photos before they are written to the memory camera.
Bracketing – taking two or three extra shots of the same subject with different settings to ensure a perfect exposure. Some cameras have automatic bracketing – refer to your manual.
Artifacts – image degradations caused by image processing operations, such as the “stair-stepping” artifacts which occur when enlarging an image too far.
Aperture Priority Mode – an exposure shooting mode (AP, A or Av) that lets you set the aperture (f-stop) while the camera selects the shutter speed for proper exposure. If you change the aperture, the shutter speed changes automatically, keeping the exposure equivalent. This mode is useful when Depth of Field is more important than the shutter speed. For instance if we want everything on focus we will set the aperture to f16 or f22 and will let the camera chose the shutter speed.
See also Shutter Speed Priority.
Aperture – refers to the camera’s adjustable opening inside the lens that can change diameter to control the amount of light reaching the camera’s sensor. The aperture diameter is expressed in f-stops; the lower the numerical number, the larger the opening. For example, f2 is larger diameter than f8 and will allow in more light. The aperture and the shutter speed together control the total amount of light reaching the sensor and produce the exposure. The aperture choice dictates the amount of Depth of Field – a more open aperture produces less depth of field and vise verse – less open aperture (smaller diameter) such as f16 will create greater (deeper) Depth of Field.
Ambient Light – The natural light in a scene.