No matter how experienced you are at photography, you might not be up on the slang because it keeps on changing with the times. Photography slang is especially troublesome for beginner photographers who are trying to improve their skills.
Keeping that in mind, here’s some of the most used photography lingo that you might hear during your artistic pursuits. Hopefully knowing these terms will help you feel more confident while talking to other photographers.
Terms to do with the process
The following are some photography terms that relate to the act of taking photos:
The smooth, creamy out-of-focus parts of a photo are collectively known as bokeh. Bokeh balls refer to the lights in these out-of-focus parts because they form the appearance of glowing balls.
RAW is a term for a file format that records all the data that your camera has captured from a given scene. You can then process this data as you see fit without degrading the image quality as would happen if you edited a JPEG file. To learn more about RAW editing, click below and make use of the free trial of Luminar.
Chimping is the act of instantly gluing your eyes to the rear screen of your camera to review each shot after it’s taken.
The golden hour is photo shooting slang for the time right after sunrise or right before sunset. This is a window of time when the light is a faint golden color that looks great in outdoor photos.
Grip and rip
If you take a whole bunch of shots of the same subject and hope that at least one of them will be a keeper, then you’re gripping and ripping.
If you have a camera like the Sony a6000 and you decide to put it on continuous shooting mode and then forget that your finger is pressing the shutter button, you’re machine gunning.
The word noise is used to describe how much artificial grain has found its way into a photo. Noise is the result of a high ISO value and can be a real pain to fix in post-processing.
If you have a habit of zooming in way too much on your photos to check out the image quality, then you can be termed a pixel peeper.
If the highlights in your photos are too bright to the point where a noticeable amount of detail is lost, then those areas of your images are blown out.
Terms to do with the photographer
The following are some terms that are used to describe different types of photographers.
Have you ever encountered a photographer who has the latest camera body, the most expensive lenses, and a killer tripod but can’t take photos without the dial turned to Auto? This term is for that person. It stands for All The Gear, No Idea.
A shutterbug is someone who simply can’t live without taking photos of everything they see around them. These people are known to have cameras with them all the time so that they don’t miss anything. They also are most likely to have their iPhone "at the ready" at all times.
That one really irritating guest at every wedding who happens to have a DSLR and tries to take a shot from every angle possible is termed Uncle Bob.
Terms to do with the equipment
These are some commonly used words for photographic equipment:
Fast or slow glass/lens
A lens is said to be fast if it has a wide maximum aperture, like f/1.8, and is said to be slow if the maximum aperture is a higher number like f/3.5. This is because a lens with a lower f-number allows for a faster shutter speed.
Glass refers to lenses. This photography slang is used in phrases like fast glass, slow glass, vintage glass, and so on.
Every major camera manufacturer has a nifty fifty in their lens lineup. This is a fast and affordable 50mm prime lens with an f/1.8 aperture. It’s called nifty because 50mm is arguably the most useful focal length for everyday shooting.
So there you have it! Some of the most used photography terms you’ll ever hear on your quest to become a great photographer. Now all you have to do is pack your gear and head out to create your very own bokeh balls with your nifty fifty during the golden hour! And if you need any practical help, Luminar photo editing software is right here for you.