How Well Do You Know Photography Lingo?


By: Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Look at this photograph! The selfie may be a modern invention, but people have actually been trying to capture the look of themselves and others for centuries. Many of the most famous artists in the world have self-portraits, from Van Gogh to Francis Bacon, and royalty had their portraits painted for centuries. After the first picture from a camera was taken in the early 19th century, the world quickly became obsessed with photography.

While today you can just point at anything you want and click, your phone can correct the image, and Instagram filters can make its colors really pop, classic photography is a delicate art where all those settings are handled by hand, and even how a photo is developed can affect its overall look. In the days before Photoshop and Instagram, it could take hours to get the perfect image.

The days of taking a massive roll of film from your disposable camera to the drug store to be developed may be over, but some artists are keeping the darkroom alive!  If you are a classic photography buff with an eye for composition, step into the darkroom and see what kind of results you can develop with this quiz!

You can capture ____________ with a wide angle lens.

Wide angle lenses show a wider field of view than normal lenses. This means that more can fit in frame.


What does DSLR refer to?

A DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera. All digital cameras have lenses where images are taken through the lens and viewed using a mirror and prism.


Having a high ISO number camera means that:

ISO stands for International Standards Organization and represents the sensitivity of a camera to light. The more sensitive, or higher the ISO number, the lower light you can shoot in.


A macro lens allows you to photograph a picture from:

Macro lenses focus very close to objects. This allows objects to have life-size photos taken of them, or ones even larger.


Which of these is the "B" setting on a camera?

This is the setting where the shutter stays open as long as the remote trigger is pressed. It may be in different places depending on your camera.


What is the main source of light in a photo called?

The main light or key light is the source of light that most intensely lights the subject. It can be the sun, a studio strobe, or almost anything else which casts light.


A camera with a higher megapixel resolution allows you to make ___________ prints.

Megapixels are used to show the dimensions a camera's sensor is able to capture. The more megapixels, the higher the quality and the larger the possible prints can be made from those photos.


The distance between the closest and farthest object in a photograph is:

Depth of field is often referred to as DOF. You can use aperture to adjust depth of field.


Which type of lens is circular?

Fish eye lenses are so wide that they become circular. They create an interesting effect.


The light naturally occurring in a scene with no interference from the photographer is called ____________.

Ambient light is also called available light. This light occurs naturally from daylight or the light in a room.


50 mm lenses are generally considered normal lenses because:

On a full frame sensor camera, 50 mm lenses are considered normal lenses. This is because they capture images closest to what can be seen with human eyes.


Which kind of light is generally more flattering for people?

Soft light is diffused light that does not directly fall on a subject. It is a favorite of wedding photographers because it creates softer edges and less texture, which is often more flattering for human subjects.


Light passes through this part of the camera to the digital sensor or film.

The aperture is variable and measured in f-stops. It controls how much light gets into the digital sensor or film in the camera.


What happens when a light source hits the lens directly?

Lens flares can make an image look hazy or appear in a few ways, including as circles of light. While they can accidental, many photographers use them on purpose.


What refers to the length of time the shutter is open during an exposure?

When taking photos, use a fast shutter speed to capture motion and a slow one to blur moving objects. Shutter speed controls how your camera captures motion.


What is used to reflect light back toward a subject?

Reflectors are used to reflect light back at the subject of a picture. These can be specially made pieces of equipment, but can also be a piece of white cardboard.


Which of these things can be the subject of a photograph?

The subject of a photograph is whatever the focus of it is. Anything can be the subject.


A light meter measures ___________.

This device measures the amount of light in a scene. DSLR cameras have one built in.


When is the golden hour?

Photographers call the hour right before sunset and right after sunrise the golden hour. The sun is low on the horizon, making for beautiful soft light.


The ________ light is secondary to the key light.

The fill light is used to fill in shadows. Commonly a flash, studio strobe or reflector is used to achieve this effect.


What does EV stand for?

EV is a number that represents the varied combinations of aperture and shutter speed that can all potentially have the same exposure effect. It comes into play with bracketing.


A fixed lens does not:

A fixed lens does not zoom and is set at a focal length. These are also called prime lenses.


What kind of lens has variable focal lengths?

Zoom lenses have variable focal lengths. You zoom in and out using them by turning the barrel of the lens.


What does the "K" setting under white balance represent?

Kelvin is the absolute measurement of color temperature. Lower numbers are warmer colors and higher numbers are cooler colors.


What does an ND filter block some of?

An ND filter is a neutral density filter. It goes in front of the lens to block out some light and is popular with landscape photographers who are trying to capture moving water.


What controls the exposure in a camera?

With these 3 settings, you control the total amount of light reaching the digital sensor or film in your camera. They are sometimes referred to as the Exposure Triangle.


With a fully manual camera, the user sets the:

With a fully manual camera, users choose all of these settings themselves. With some cameras, users only pick certain settings, and with others they pick none.


Telephoto lenses are ______ than normal lenses.

These lenses are longer than normal lenses. They generally fall within the 70-300 mm range.


Which refers to the area where light turns to shadow in a picture?

The edge transfer describes how noticeably light turns into dark where light and shadow meet in a picture. If hard light was used, this line will be sudden.


An SOOC photo has not been:

SOOC stands for straight out of camera. These photos have not been edited, processed or Photoshopped.


Making the aperture smaller is called:

Stopping down is when photographers make the aperture smaller. This is one of the many adjustments that can be made on many cameras.


Taking away lighting strategically for artistic affect is called:

In this method, light is blocked to create more dramatic effects. This can be done with panels, reflectors and black reflectors.


If part of a photo is blown out, it has:

Blown out images have no detail in white areas. It means that highlights are off the chart on the right side of the histogram.


Do all cameras have delay from the time you press the shutter button to the time it opens and takes a picture?

This is called shutter lag. While it's so minimal in DSLRs that it almost can't be noticed, it can cause those using small point and shoot cameras to miss subjects that move quickly.


Which light is used in more dramatic portraits?

Hard light is harsh and undiffused. It makes harsh shadows and sharply defined edges and can come from any source.


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