all photography terms in a row

Taking pictures with your smartphone is easy, but if you want to go a little deeper you will come across all kinds of terms. We explain them to you in this article.

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Photography Terms: Dictionary

If you take pictures with your smartphone, you don’t need to know much. If you know the difference between a photo and video and can press a button, then you are already a photographer. But if you want a little more control, you will soon come across all kinds of photography terms. To give you a helping hand, in this article we explain what these terms mean.


The sensor is the most important part of a smartphone camera. This component captures the light entering through the lens and converts this light into an image. A larger sensor provides photos that can also be printed larger, but in smartphones that sensor must of course be small to save space.


If you look at the specifications of a smartphone, the number of megapixels of the camera is often mentioned. This indicates what the resolution of the photos can be. One megapixel consists of one million pixels. The higher the resolution and therefore the more pixels there are in a photo, the sharper the photo is. The number of pixels is determined by the sensor.


In addition to the amount of pixels, the size of the pixel on the sensor can also be important. A larger pixel can capture more light and therefore provides a better photo, but that is difficult in the small size of an Android device.

Therefore, pixel-binding deployed, combining information from four pixels (or more) on the sensor into a single pixel in the photo. This reduces the resolution of the photo. The advantage is that this technique can be used to take pictures in poor lighting conditions.


The aperture in the camera is responsible for the amount of light that hits the sensor. The wider the aperture is, the more light gets in. A camera with a wider aperture can take better pictures in poorer lighting conditions and sharpen the subject better compared to the rest of the picture. However, a wider aperture is not always better. For example, a narrower opening can ensure that the entire photo is sharp. That is why you can sometimes adjust the aperture.

Focal point and angle of view

The focal length is the distance between the lens and the sensor. This distance determines how large the angle of view can be, so how much of the environment you see in a photo. For example, the focal point of a wide-angle lens is low and the focal point of a telephoto lens is high.

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The ISO value represents how sensitive the sensor is. If the ISO value is high, then it takes less time for light to hit the sensor to get a sharp photo. Handy if you don’t take pictures in sunlight. However, a high ISO value can also cause noise in the photo, so you should not set this value unnecessarily high.


If you want to distinguish the subject you are photographing from the background, you can use the bokeh effect. This means that your subject is in focus and the background consists of blurry round shapes. The word bokeh comes from the Japanese word for out of focus.

Shutter speed

It is not only the aperture that determines how much light enters. The shutter speed is also important for this. The shutter speed determines the time that light hits the sensor. With a longer shutter speed, you give your smartphone a little more time to capture light. For example, a slower shutter speed is useful in poor light. A fast shutter speed is useful if you want to photograph an athlete who comes running or cycling by.

white balance

With the white balance you correct the colors in the photo. It is possible that a photo is bluer or more yellow. Blue feels colder, while yellow feels warmer. By adjusting the white balance, you correct the colors, so that the photo looks more realistic. Or you can use this option to give a completely different feel to your photo.

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A panoramic photo is an extra wide photo with which you can capture a landscape or a large group of people, for example. This is done by taking several photos and gluing them together. The smartphone automatically does that for you. When taking a panoramic photo, you have a high chance of distortions. Especially if there is movement.


Each photo has EXIF ​​data. This is an abbreviation for ‘exchangeable image file format’ and is the metadata attached to a photo. This metadata consists of all information about when and how the photo was taken. Think of the date and time the photo was taken and when it was last edited, but also with which camera the photo was taken and what the settings of that camera are.


You can get the option to save your photos in the RAW format. That means you save the raw, unedited photos. Normally there is compression on the photos on your smartphone to keep the files small. If you save all photos RAW, your memory will quickly fill up. You also need special software on your computer to open RAW photos.


Cropping is a simple form of photo editing that everyone does from time to time. It means that you are cutting off some of the photo. Because modern smartphones have excellent cameras, it’s better to shoot too much than too little. What’s too much in the photo can always be trimmed off, while the remaining image still looks sharp.


You may tend to place your subject in the center of the photo, but it’s nicer to put the horizon or a face a third of the way from the frame. The image grid helps with that. This grid divides the image into nine squares.


With this function, the camera shoots a lot of photos as quickly as possible. Usually this mode is activated by holding down the camera button. Ideal if you want to photograph something that moves, such as an athlete or a bird.

Apps to edit photos

You can’t achieve everything with the resources of the smartphone camera. You have apps for that. We list the best free Photoshop apps for you.

Source: Android Planet by

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