Photography terminology

What is sync speed?

Your sync speed refers to the synchronization between your flash and your shutter. If you are shooting shutter speed faster then your sync speed then there is a possibility that you will not capture the flash at all. Check your manual for the maximum sync speed of your camera.

Photography terminology - landscape vs portrait

Why do we use the term portrait and landscape?

Before we started using the terms "portrait" and "landscape" we used to use the terms "vertical" and "horizontal". The switch to portrait and landscape probably came into play when we started manufacturing copy machines. In this instance the manufacturers had to come up with a graphic symbol that would be recognized worldwide to represent vertical and horizontal. And since most landscape images are photographed as horiztontals and most portrait images are photographed as verticals...

Unfortunately, the use of these terms in the common English vernacular has helped to reinforce the idea that portraits must be photographed as a vertical while landscapes must be photographed as a horizontal.

Quiz to be continued next week. .

Photography terminology

Ever wonder what the "SLR" in "DSLR" stands for?

Before digital you had what was called a 35mm camera, they came as point and shoot cameras or SLR's. The 35mm indicated what size the film you had to use. So you had cameras that were capable of using the same film with a different body. We all know what a point and shoot is and most of us know what an SLR looks like too. But what does SLR mean? SLR stands for "Single Lens Reflex". As the image entered through your lens it comes in upside down, but it is then bounced off of a mirror that reflected upward through a glass prism and delivered the image right side up to your eyes. And this is why it's called a single lens reflex. The D was added when film went away and became Digital!

50mm Lens and composition workshop

Is a good prime lens the best way to learn composition? There are many blog posts singing the praises of a prime lens and about how the best way to learn composition is to use a prime lens. Using a prime lens is certainly one way to learn composition, but it is not the best or only way. Without the guidance or input of others, no form of artwork can truly grow. Growth in any part of life requires interactions and input from a community. Perhaps the best way to learn photography is from a good teacher.

One of the reasons many believe that the best way to learn composition is with a prime lens is because it severely limits the composition choices a photographer can make. By limiting our choices, we are pushed to think harder and differently to get to our composition. In other words by creating a smaller box, we're pushed to think outside the box. But you do not need to use a prime lens to create such constraints. For instance, what about shooting in just a square format, like what one does on instagram? You can also shoot only in black and white or in any other monochrome setting. What about shooting with a fisheye? What about limiting yourself to just a horizontal or just a vertical frame?

There are many ways in which to learn composition. But to say that there is only one best way is very misleading. It is as if to say that the best way to learn how to paint is to use particular brush with a particular color of paint. By creating constraints, we are certainly pressed to look at the world differently and there is certainly merit in this. However, it is not the singular answer or the best way.