Photography Glossary- F

This section is so large, it gets a couple of entries. There are lots of “F” terms in Photography.


Fill Flash- This flash mode combines flash and ambient lighting, but it doesn’t try to balance the two types.

Filter- This is a colored piece of glass, or some other see through material that is placed over the lens in order to emphasize certain parts (like specific colors), eliminate or reduce certain elements, or to change the color or density of a scene, or in some cases certain parts of a scene. I discussed a couple of filter types in a couple of blog posts:
Cross Screen (Star) filters
Using a UV Filter

Flash- Ok this one is pretty much a no brainer. The flash is an artificial light source. It provides a short burst of light (a FLASH of light, hence the name lol). This is usually used when the lighting is not sufficient for taking photos.

f/stop- This number is a fraction, which tells you the actual diameter of the aperture. The “f” represents the lens focal length, and the slash means “divided by” (remember your grammar school math stuff?). The word stop is a particular f number, like a 55mm lens with f/1.4 means that the actual diameter of it’s max aperture is 55mm, divided by 1.4. When the number of the f/stop increases, the aperture decreases.

Focal Length- This is the distance between the film and the center of the lens (optical center) when the lens is focused on infinity. This is usually indicated in millimeters on the lens. Generally, lenses with a focal length of about 50mm are considered normal or standard, with a focal length less than 35mm, they are referred to as wide angle, and more than 85mm are telephoto. If you can change the focal length, without changing focus, it’s a zoom lens.

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Part 1: A
Part 2- B&C
Part 3: D&E
Part 5: F (cont)
Part 6: G-L
Part 7: M-P
Part 8: Q-Z