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Photography isn’t just a job – it’s a labour of love. There’s nothing more satisfying for a photographer than finding that perfect moment in time and capturing it for all time. For anyone considering taking up photography on a full-time basis there’s certainly a lot to know. Sure, anyone these days can take a picture with their smart phone, but there’s so much more that goes into true photography. If you’re really considering photography as a profession there are some key terms you should understand so keep reading for five photography terms that every photographer should be familiar with.

1. Bracketing

If you’re new to photography the term bracketing will probably be foreign to you, but it’s actually quite a simple term. It refers to the practice of taking 3 to 5 different photographs in quick succession using different exposures. For example, with the first photo you might use the camera’s built-in automatic settings and you’ll probably get a nice picture. With the second photo you might deliberately underexpose it to get the same picture with an entirely different look and in the final photo you might overexpose it for the same reason. This practice is typically used when the subject you’re photographing is hard to judge. By using these different types of exposure you’re covering all of your bases and there’s a good chance you’ll capture the perfect image.

2. Double Exposure

One of a photographer’s greatest nightmares in years gone by was the term double exposure. Invariably this meant a photograph that went horribly wrong. In a nutshell, it refers to two separate images that have somehow been superimposed on top of each other to give a new image that includes parts of both. This isn’t something that photographers normally did on purpose – that is at least it wasn’t in the past. These days with the advent of digital photography unintentional double exposure rarely ever happens, but many photographers now experiment with it as a useful technique to produce some stunning and memorable images.

3. Advanced Focusing Modes

In the past you had to rely on your own personal judgment to focus your camera and while great photographers learned to do this expertly with time – it wasn’t something that happened overnight. These days almost all photographers use digital cameras and these come with advanced focusing modes that allow you to take a lot of the guesswork out of the process. For example, there are modes that you can choose specifically designed to capture moving objects and others that are meant for focusing at nighttime.

4. Lens Calibration

With modern digital cameras there’s a perception out there that you never need to calibrate your lenses again as they all have built-in auto focuses that make your life simple. Unfortunately, reality is often not as simple as that. It’s not uncommon for an expensive camera to arrive with its calibration off because of something that happened during shipping. You might consider returning the camera, but it’s really not necessary. Lens calibration is something that all photographers should become familiar with over time.

5. Filter Effects

The last essential photography term we want to talk about is the use of filters. One of the greatest features of modern digital cameras is that they come with many different filters for you to choose from. If you don’t know what I mean by a filter let me clarify. A filter is an effect created digitally by your camera that gets superimposed over your image to create a desired effect. Common filters include polarisers, neutral density, and UV filters. These filters are often used to make up for shortcomings, or lighting issues.