What Photography Abbreviations Mean? – A to F

Are you struggling to understand all of the abbreviations used in product photography? Whether reading the latest blog or shopping for a new piece of equipment, it can be frustrating to deal with and that is why we have put together some of the most frequently used abbreviations as a quick guide. We will share more in the coming weeks to help build up a library of terms and definitions.

A – Aperture Priority (Av – Aperture Value)

These interchanging terms relate to the camera setting in which the photographer selects a fixed aperture (f-number), whilst letting the camera adjust the shutter speed to achieve proper exposure levels.

ACR – Adobe Camera Raw

This is an addition to Adobe Photoshop that allows you to import and edit raw photography files without the need to use Adobe Lightroom. A popular way to edit files for those working in all aspects of product photography, including fashion and jewellery photography.

AWB – Auto White Balance

This is a feature within a camera or editing software that automatically chooses an optimal white balance, based on its evaluation of the photograph. The goal here is to remove colour casts from the image.

B&W – Black & White

Quite an obvious one but you may see it called monochrome and it is important to be aware of this type of product photography, where images contain shades of gray instead of colour. A popular choice for certain types of branding and product shots.

CDAF – Contrast-detection Autofocus

This is an autofocus system that involves the camera using a sensor in the lens to measure contrast. It will focus on an object and adjust the focus of the lens until it finds the point of maximum contrast.

DAM – Digital Asset Management

This is a catch-all term for software that helps you to organise files and covers activities such as importing, organising, editing and sharing. It is important to find the right DAM software for you, whether you work in jewellery photography or any other market and examples include Adobe Lightroom.

DoF – Depth of Field

DoF is the distance between the nearest object in your photograph that is in focus and the farthest object that is in focus. If the DoF is shallow, then there is likely to be more blurring on either side of the subject and a deep DoF offers more of the scene in focus.

EC – Exposure Compensation

This is a feature on your camera that allows anyone working in product photography to override the exposure settings to under- or over-exposure an image. This allows for greater control in making a photograph darker or brighter.

EV – Exposure Value

The exposure value is a number that represents the amount of light hitting your camera’s sensor, as determined by the shutter speed and aperture. It is important to note that different combinations of shutter speed and aperture can still produce the same exposure and therefore the same EV figure.

F-number

Sometimes known as the f-stop, this is the number that specifies the lens aperture you are using. It is calculated by the ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter. A low f-number correlates to a larger size aperture allowing more light in.