What Do Photography Abbreviations Mean? G to P

The next part in our series of photography abbreviations covers everything from understanding what a guide number is, to megapixels and pixels per inch. The world of product photography can at times, be overcomplicated and it is our goal to gradually help make the various abbreviations and terminology easier to understand.

GN – Guide number

The guide number is used to indicate the power level of an electronic flash. It is also a requirement for calculating the correct f-stop based on the distance between the flash and the subject. In general, the larger the guide number, the greater the distance that the flash will be effective.

HDR- High dynamic range

Useful in a variety of product photography services, HDR attempts to reproduce greater luminosity than what you would get with standard equipment. A common HDR technique involves taking multiple product photographs at different exposures and then combining them.

ICM – Intentional camera movement

ICM involves moving the camera during exposure so that you can get a more creative, blurred image. This is perfect for some forms of product photography but less frequently used in areas such as jewellery photography.

IS – Image stabilisation

Image stabilisation helps a photographer by compensating for any movement of the camera during exposure. This feature can be found in various forms, including within cameras and lenses.

K – Kelvin

For most people that work in product photography and jewellery photography, you may not really focus on temperatures but it does impact colours. Kelvin is a base unit for absolute temperature and is used to measure colour temperatures in photography (e.g. 5000K or 3000K).

LED – Light-emitting diode

LEDs are one of the most common types of lighting found in product photography, whether that is specifically for lighting or as part of a prop display. They are seen as a highly flexible, energy-efficient option that produces less heat and a sharp result.

MP – Megapixel

Megapixel is used to show the resolution of a photograph, sensor on a camera and other displays. One megapixel is the same as one million pixels.

ND – Neutral density

This is a filter that helps to reduce the level of light that enters a camera. The process cleverly modifies the intensity of all light wavelengths evenly to ensure that the colour does not change. A helpful trick for those working on product photography outdoors.

NR – Noise reduction

Noise reduction is a process that takes place either by firmware within the camera or by the intelligent editing software available on the market right now. It is an important tool to be aware of for anyone working in product photography.

PP – Post-production

You will spot the term post-production or the abbreviation PP on various documents such as product photography plans. It encompasses all aspects of editing your images using software such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

PPI – Pixels per inch

This is a common measurement for the resolution of a display, such as a computer monitor. The measurement of pixels per inch is calculated by the number of pixels found within a linear inch, and not a square as you would expect.