Digital Photography Jargon


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Digital photography jargon e is for.....

  • E.V.
  • Exposure
  • Exposure modes
  • Extender

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Digital Photography exposure

Focal length, aperture, f stops summarised

Shedding the light on f numbers

Take creative control of your photos

digital photography Jargon

E is for....


Exposure values (or E.V.) follow a numerical sequence where each consecutive number indicates changes in exposure settings such that the amount of exposure is either halved or doubled between the previous or next number.

I.e. Doubling the exposure is an increase of 1 E.V , halving the light a reduction of 1 E.V.

An adjustment of 1 E.V in either direction is often referred to as 1 stop (or step).

A change in E.V may be made by adjusting aperture, shutter speed or ISO.

Tables of typical E.V values detail the number of “stops” needed to obtain optimum exposure for common lighting conditions.

The tables commence with an E.V of 0 – which predicts exposure for settings of aperture at f/1, shutter speed of 1 second and ISO 100.

A well known expression in photography is the “sunny 16 rule” which suggests in bright daylight, optimum exposure will be achieved with an E.V of 15– that is to say 16 stops of adjustment from a start point of 0 E.V.

The reason this rule is popular is that it is easy to remember the adjustments that give 16 E.V. increments. At this value, with an aperture at f/16 the correct shutter speed is approx. the reciprocal of the ISO. (e.g. at ISO 200 – 16 E.V increments is f/16 at 1/250s )


Expsoure in digital photography refers to the exposure of the image sensor to light.

Too little light and the image will be too dark – too much and the image will be too bright.

So controlling the exposure and the composition , together are the fundamentals of photography.

The photographer controls the quantity of light that is able to pass through the lens predominantly via aperture and shutter speed combination.

Other factors include partially blocking the light through the use of filters or increasing the effectiveness of the light by raising the ISO sensitivity of the image sensor.

Exposure is dealt with  more thoroughly elsewhere within this site. Please click through to the following articles.

Digital photography exposure explained

Focal length, aperture and f numbers summarized

Shedding the light on f numbers

Take creative control of your photos.

exposure modes

Many digital cameras, especially Dslrs, offer selectable exposure modes –normally via the use of a selector dial located near the shutter button.

Exposure modes assist the photographer in achieving optimum exposure.

exposure modes

The modes are frequently labelled, and function as follows-

  • P – Programme auto mode – On this setting the camera will automatically select an aperture and shutter speed – but leaves the photographer to control other settings such as drive mode, focus type, white balance and ISO (unlike on FULL AUTO or the SCENE MODES where the camera takes care of these settings as well)
  • Tv- TIME value mode – The photographer chooses a shutter speed and the camera will select an appropriate aperture (if possible) to correctly expose the image.
  • Av - APERTURE value mode – The photographer selects an aperture and the camera determines an appropriate matching shutter speed for optimum exposure.
  • M – Manual mode – the photographer assumes full control over both aperture and shutter speed.
  • B – BULB – the shutter will stay open at a selected aperture until closed again by the photographer.

See Take creative control of your photos for more information.


An extender is an attachment normally mounted between the lens and camera body which increases the magnification of a lens by a certain factor.

This provides a convenient (and lower cost) alternative to carrying a separate longer focal length lens in order to adequately capture smaller subjects or those farther away.

Typical extenders are 1.4x, 1.7x, or 2.0x

For example fitting a 1.4x extender to a 200mm lens will give it the same “reach” as a 280mm lens.

Using an extender does have the downside of losing around one stop of light (for a 1.4x) and optical quality is generally not as high as using a bespoke longer lens.


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Digital Photography exposure

Focal length, aperture, f stops summarised

Shedding the light on f numbers

Take creative control of your photos

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