We’ve created an alphabetical list of photography terms and their definitions for your convenience. If you feel that any of the definitions are incorrect or not easy to understand, get in touch with us and we’ll get it fixed.

We will keep this page regularly updated with new terms and definitions.


Fast Lens

Often referred to lenses with low f-stop (aperture) values (e.g. f/1.4 or f/1.8). The low f-stop value allows for more light to enter through the lens, which allows you to use a faster shutter speed and hence the name fast lens.

Fast lenses are useful for scenarios that requires a high shutter speed with low lighting such as indoor sporting events. Only way to allow more light to enter the camera is to use a low f-stop value.


Fill Flash

If you try to take a photo when the light source is behind your subject, the subject will appear dark while your background will be bright. You can brighten up your subject by using flash.

For an example, if you are inside the house and you are trying to take a photo of a person who’s standing in front of a window (during daytime), the background will be bright and the person will appear dark on the photo. Use flash to brighten up your subject.


Focal Length

The distance from the optical centre of the lens to the camera sensor when the subject is in focus. The focal length is usually measured in millimetres (mm).


Kit Lens

Kit lens is also referred to as a starter lens. It’s fairly inexpensive and it’s usually included with the camera. The typical lens that’s included with the camera is a 18-55mm f/3.5–5.6.


Long Exposure

Also referred to as time exposure photography, is when you slow down your shutter speed and allow for your shutter to be open for few seconds or even several minutes. This technique requires a sturdy tripod since even the smallest movement in the camera will create a blurry photo.

Long exposure is used to create smooth water effect, a light trail, or capturing the stars.


Macro/Micro Lens

Macro lenses allow you to take photos that are extremely closeup (e.g. a closeup shot of a bug where you can see all the finer details).

Macro and micro usually refers to the same thing. Canon calls their collection of close range lenses ‘macro’, while Nikon names their closeup range lenses ‘micro’.


Overexposure (Blowout)

When a part of the photo or the entire photo brighter than it should be. When you allow for too much light to enter through the camera, you will get a overexposed photo.

Generally, you can avoid exposing the shot by adjusting the aperture, shutter speed, or the ISO.


Shutter Lag

Shutter lag is the time delay between the moment you press the shutter button and when the camera actually captures the photo.

For an example,  you press the shutter button to take the perfect photo but the camera doesn’t respond right away and delays taking the photo by 1 second. The time delay is referred to as the shutter lag time.