Letter: S

Saturation

What Do We Mean by Saturation When Talking About Photography? In photography the term ‘saturation’ describes the depth or intensity of color present within an image. Saturation is also referred to as ‘chroma’; The more saturated an image is the more colorful and vibrant it will appear, less color saturation will make an image appear subdued or muted. Black and white images contain no color saturation, instead being rendered in greyscale tones. The saturation levels of an image can be altered by using filters to reduce the amount of certain wavelengths of light reaching a photographic recording medium, or...

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Scene Modes

What Are Scene Modes and How Are It Used in Photography? When talking about photography the term ‘scene modes’ describes a collection of pre-set exposure modes on a camera, with each mode tuned to capture a particular type of scene.  Scene modes are predominantly found on beginner level or point and shoot cameras and are designed to allow inexperienced photographers to capture accurate exposures in a variety of circumstances. ‘Snow shot’ mode for example fine tunes the cameras white balance to ensure snow looks white, rather than grey and minimises ISO sensitivity to capture the highest amount of possible...

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Screw-On Filter

What Is A Screw-On Filter? Most camera lenses have a thread on the front that allows us to add filters to modify the light coming into the lens in some way.  Sometimes we use polarizing filters to cut down on reflections in our image, and sometimes we just want to use a neutral density filter that allows less light into the lens and gives us a slower shutter speed for special effects.  Screw-on filters can be added to this thread on the front of the lens, and they come in many sizes to fit the varying diameters of lenses....

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Selective Focus

What Does Selective Focus Mean When Talking About Photography? In photography the term ‘selective focus’ refers to a technique where the photographer selectively focuses on the subject of an image, essentially ignoring all other aspects of the scene. Using a shallow depth of field the subject can be rendered in sharp focus with the rest of the image blurring into the image foreground and background. This technique isolates the subject within the image, drawing the eye of the viewer to the exact point which the photographer wishes to be observed. The contrast of the sharp subject against the soft...

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Self Timer

What Is A Self Timer On A Camera? A self timer is an automatic shooting mode that counts down and then takes a photo.  Usually selectable in a camera’s drive mode menu, there’s often multiple timing options.  With Canon cameras for example, you can select a 2-second timer, or a 10-second timer.  Once the shutter button is pressed, a series of beeps emit from the camera as it counts down to taking the photo. This mode is useful when combined with a tripod because it allows you to easily take self portraits or group photos where you want to...

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Selfie

What Is A Selfie? A selfie is simply a self portrait.  A photo of yourself taken by you! It’s most often associated with photos taken with cell phones and GoPros when the camera is held at arms length (see sample below), but they can also be much more creative than this.  Usually a selfie is taken as some sort of photographic evidence of fun or travel to a specific location.  If you are taking a selfie, make sure you have a nice background that clearly shows what you are trying to tell people about. So-called “selfie sticks” were also...

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Sensitivity

What Does Sensitivity Mean When Talking About Cameras and Photography In photography sensitivity refers to a film or digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. In photography sensitivity is often referred to as ISO, or ‘International Standards Organization’ an organization who ensure that manufacturers adhere to global standards. In this case all camera and film manufacturers use the same standard to describe the light sensitivity of their products. a Low ISO denotes low sensitivity, for example ISO 100, whereas a high ISO denotes a high sensitivity, for example ISO 6400. Like shutter speed and exposure time, ISO is measured in...

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Sensor

What Is a Sensor When Talking About Digital Cameras and Photography? In digital photography a sensor is the heart of every camera system. It is a solid state device which captures the light entering the camera through the lens so that it can be processed and turned into a digital image. Image sensors come in many shapes and sizes and are often referred to by their size and resolution in megapixels. Confusingly some cameras contain more than one sensor; SLRs and DSLRs often contain a dedicated Phase Detect autofocus sensor which allows the camera to use both phase detect...

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Sensor Size

What Is Sensor Size and What Does It Mean When Talking About Photography? In photography sensor size describes the physical dimensions of a sensor. Sensor size can be measured in mm or in inches, for example a ‘full frame’ sensor measures 36 x 24mm and a ‘micro four thirds’ or ‘4/3’ sensor measures 18 x 35mm. Sensor size relates to the physical dimensions of the sensor itself, not its imaging area. Sensor size can dramatically effect the overall quality of the output of a sensor, for example if we compare a full frame 20mp sensor with a 1″ 20mp sensor....

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Sepia

What Does Sepia Mean When Talking About Photography? The term Sepia, when used in the context of photography refers to a monochrome image rendered in brown tones rather than the greyscale tones used in a traditional black and white image. Sepia images were originally produced by adding a pigment to a positive print while exposing an image captured on film. Sepia gets it’s name from the Sepia cuttlefish, Ink from the fish was used to create the brown dye used to alter the tone of Sepia images. In digital photography an image can be transformed into a Sepia image...

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