Photography Terms


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You're likely to hear these words from your fellow photographers, but what do they mean?

Bokeh, deadpan, chimping. What do these three words have in common? While they may not mean much to the average person, many experienced photographers will be familiar with them. Photographic terms and definitions can be difficult for beginners, and you have to keep asking them back, which makes you feel uncomfortable. It's as if you're speaking different languages with the person you're talking to. But don't worry, even experienced photographers can find it difficult to keep up with the ever-evolving terminology!
Here’s a rundown of the most commonly used photography words and terms from popular searches. You’ll likely to hear a number of these photography terms during the course of your artistic pursuits. Knowing these terms will help you feel more confident when speaking with other photographers. So sit back and get ready to dive into the exciting world of photography.

Basic Photography Terms​

The first thing we will focus on are the basic photography terms that you should know.

Digital and optical​

When buying a new camera, users may be faced with the question of which one to choose - digital or optical? The difference between the two is that a digital camera achieves results with software, whereas an optical camera with its physical parts. For professional use, it is better to choose an optical camera, but if you're not planning to use the camera professionally, you can choose a good alternative from the digital models.

File format​

The file format is the image data recorded by the camera. Formats differ according to how images are structured. Due to their variety, it is possible to easily edit images in different processing programs.


The viewfinder is the hole through which the photographer looks to take the picture. Some digital cameras do not have a viewfinder, but most DSLR and mirrorless cameras do.