Photography Analysis Terms and Definition Meaning with Explanation

As we continue writing our Blog Post we will expand on the Photography Analysis terms and definitions.  Please refer back here often for more Photography Analysis Terms and Definitions Meaning with Explanation.

Camera with a notebook

Glossary of Terms


Abstract Photography

Does not have a rhythm or a pattern within the image.  It is more chaotic of am image.


This is the amount of degrees you are taking your image with your camera.  Within products photography you can show your subject from a 90 degree angle from above, a 180 degree angle straight forward, and a dramatic angle of 45 degrees from slightly above and straight forward.  


The size of the hole in your lens which light will pass through that also creates the depth of field, which is measured in a f/stop.  Shallow depth of field is from f/1.2 - f/4 (most blur) within an image, Mid-Depth of field is from f/5.6 to f/8 (slight blur) within an image, and the wide or large depth of field is from f/11 up to f/22 (with no blur) within an image.  When focusing on a single object (your focal point) you can dial in your camera lens which aperture you desire to get the depth of field you desire for your image.


This is the attempt that you took when taking your image or how you took your image with your camera.  Your game plan or your actual plan of how you did something with you photo shoot. 


Unequal parts that are on either sides of you image.  You can take the image and you can fold it and it will not be exactly the same.  There is no balance to your image.



This is the area behind the subject


This is the background that is in your image.  You can use the outdoors, indoors for various types and themes of backgrounds.  Also you can use simulated backgrounds or Backdrops within your studio that can range from white, different colors, or different styles and textures like, brick, patterns, rock, tiles, and much more


Balance is the equal or stability within an image.  The overall image is in complete harmony.  It can include being symmetrical in nature.

Blur Motion

This is where you show a blur within your image when an object or your subject moves.


It's the part of the image that is not in focus, normally due to a shallow depth of field with your aperture.  Bokeh happens when your lens is set at f/4 and below.  Also you can accomplish bokeh with the amount of distance you have behind your subject.  The farther the distance the more bokeh that will be shown within the image.

Bounce Card

These are tools that help photographers add or subtract light from an image.  White bounce cards add softer light to an image.  Silver bounce cards add harsher light to an image.  Black bounce cards subtract light from an image and absorbs light.  Choosing your bounce card when you need to add or subtract additional effects to your image.


Center of the Frame

This is where you place your subject in the center of the frame.  This would be the center box in your camera, when you have the Rule of Thirds grid shown inside your view finder.  This should be used when you want to make the subject the main highlight within the image.  Great for modeling outfits, and products photography with simple background or colored background.  


Clarity is the amount of crispness that is within an image.  Something that is perfectly in focus.  It could also mean the opposite something that is not mean to be clear within an image.  The amount of clarify or the lack of which would be blur.

Color Trends

These are the various different colors that are trending within the fashion industry.  These are colors that attract people to your products.  Color trends can mean the various colors that you use for your Branding for your business, etc...


There are many types of composition in photography.  Two of the main compositions that are used within photography are the Rule of Thirds and Leading Lines.  Composition is the guide that creates a balance, or a movement within an image.  You can create story telling with placing the subject within the frame of you camera that can be more dramatic.  

Contour Lighting

Within photography you can contour your lighting by adding a back light, a fill light, a main light on the subject and a beauty light.  You can use as much or as little as you need depending on your needs


Depth of Field

It is the distance within an image that is in focus.  You can have shallow depth of field, that shows blur background as well as you can have everything in focus within an image which will be a wider depth of field or everything in focus within the image.

DSLR Camera

Digital Single-lens reflex (DSLR).  Most modern day cameras used with interchangeable lenses that are both zoom lenses and prime lenses.  Uses a SD card to record images that will be uploaded to a computer software program for editing and processing.



Something that is highlighted or given priority.  Normally it is your product you are trying to emphasize within the image.  For example, with photography you can emphasize the focal point (where your eye needs to go) towards the product by deepening your depth of field in the background in the image; making the background blurry. 

Even Balance

When you have something with the equal amounts of light on the subject or when you have something within a flat lay that is equal in nature.


Exposure is the amount of light that is let in by the camera that hits the sensor before taking the image.  When evaluating and editing an image within editing in Lightroom or Photoshop you have the dark parts of the image that are indicated on the left side of the exposure table, the middle part of the exposure table shows an image that is correctly exposed, and the right side of the exposure table is the brightest light within an image.  

Exposure Triangle

Is the combination of ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture and how they all work together to make your ideal image.


It is the outcome that you would like your end user to feel about your image.  It is the message that you are trying to tell your audience.  

Eye Catching

Something within the image or the image itself that directions someone attention to the said image or product within the image.



F/stop means the same as aperture.  Please refer to aperture definition above.


It is what is included or not included within an image.  It is used to focus on your subject.  For example you can place a model within a door frame to frame the model within the shot.  You can make an image with leading lines that draws your attention to the subject with following a narrowing bridge to your subject.

Freeze Motion

This is where all the element, objects, models, etc all all frozen within the image.  There is no blur or motion blur within the image.

Focal Point

This is the part of the image that catches the eye of the viewer or directs the eye of the viewer to the main subject that the photographer is trying to highlight within the image.  Focal Point is the subject or object that is completely focused within the image.  


When you camera has everything crystal clear within your view finder.  It is also the main subject you are trying to highlight within your image.


This is the area that is in front of the subject.  


Geometric Shapes & Volume Shapes

These are props or elements that you include within you image that help enhance your visual message.  These could be foam props that are various different shapes, like the sphere, cube or flat patterns with various shapes.


This is something that you can use to place your subject in the lines of thirds within the view finder of your camera or you can use it in post editing within Lightroom or Photoshop.  Grids are handy when you want to have even space or balance within your image.



Horizontal is based on the horizon plane that goes from left to right that is from the 180 degrees to 90 degrees angles

Human Element

This is a human body part like hands, feet or legs that are within an image that is interacting with the subject/product(s).



This is the setting within your camera that is set from 100 up to 24000 depending on the camera.  The lower the ISO the less light that comes within the camera sensor, however the sharper the image.  The higher the ISO the more light comes within the camera sensor, the grainer the image.

In the Frame

When you include all your props and your subject within the frame or the whole image.



This is the setting within your camera that does not capture the most detail within your image.  Editing your image is less flexible.  These files are normally compressed.


Kit Lens

Kit lens is what comes in a camera pre-packed item that is sold as a set.  For example, Canon t7 is sold with a 18-55mm lens and a 70-300mm lens.  Although these lenses are good, they are not great.  These are your basic run of the mill lenses that will get the job done.  They do not have a lower aperture in order to get great images in lower lighting situations.  


Leading Lines

These are the lines that are directing your eyes to the subject.  These lines can include a pathway, a fence, a set of repeating objects that are in front of your subject that get gradually smaller further away, a bridge, etc.  

Left to Right

This is not a photography technical term.  However, when you are looking at, planning your shot or analyzing your image in post editing you typically start from left to right to make sure that it is all cohesive.  Also your customers when looking at your images evaluate your products from left to right to learn more about them. 


The lens is what is placed on your DSLR camera or Mirrorless camera in order to take images.  Lenses come in may different focal lengths and in two types of functions, prime or zoom.  There are speciality lenses that are called fish-eye lenses and as well as tilt shift lenses that are used for more creative types of photography.  


Light comes from many sources, like the main source the sun, from artificial studio lighting, and even moon lighting.  There are different types of light that include, Auto White Balance, White Balance, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Twilight, Sunset, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash and Custom lighting called Kelvin setting within the camera. 


Manual Mode

This is the mode on your camera that give you all the power and control to make better, crisper and cleaner images.  You are able to change the settings within your camera to set the shot as desired.  Three top most controlled settings in this mode is ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture.  


Natural/Nature Element

This is something that comes from nature like greenery, flowers, grains, beans, coffee, animal patterns, furs, stones, etc. that you include within your image

Negative Space

This is the white or blank areas within your image.


Out of Frame

When you take a prop or part of the subject and do not include them with in your image.  They are out of the frame.



It is the position or the angle that the photograph is taken.  You can change your visual perspective by shooting from forward, to an angle, from top down, and the list can go on from there.  Basically it is how the subject is framed within an image.

Prime Lenses

Prime lenses are lenses that are not capable of changing focal length.  Prime lenses you are able to get a crisper and higher quality of image.  Your body has to move forward or backward in order to fit everything within a shot.  The most popular prime lens is the 50mm.  It is also one of the cheapest prime lenses as well.


Textured Areas

Textured areas are the places within your photos that have rough or smooth feeling that give a sense of texture. As if the user were to be able to physically feel the items within the image.


Anything within the image that give a rough, smooth or some form of feel to it, visually.  You can image what the feeling would be with suggestive textures.


A theme is what you are trying to portray in a particular way.  For example, Beach theme...  You would use in your image, sand, palm leaves, shells and simulated water.  


Which is the light and the darkness within an image.  You can go from light to dark or you can go from dark to light.  Tone is the amount of light that is within one particular area of the image.


Something that is popular.

Two Dimesional Image

Image that is completely flat.



This is the setting within your camera that captures the most detail within your image.  You are able to edit with more flexibility with your images that are in RAW format.  The file is normally larger and uncompressed.

Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds is divided within the view finder of your camera.  Placing your subject or model on the intersecting points of these lines can create a more eye pleasing balanced image.  It can also create movement or action when you have the model or subject in a intersecting line on the left side of the frame when they are walking toward the other side of the intersecting lines on the right side of the frame.



The amount of color brightness or muteness within an image.  from vibrant tones to muted tones.  Depending on the art that you want to accomplish within your image you may want to add or subtract saturation.  Ideal images should have a balanced saturation to be true to color.

Seasonal Photography

This is where you use the different seasons as themes for your photography shoots.

Sensory Elements

These are elements or props that you include within your image that pull at ones emotions, or one of the 5 senses like sight, smell, hearing, touch/feel, and taste.  


Shadowing is the amount of light and shadow within an image.  Shadowing is the darker part of the image.  Shadowing goes from dark to light or light to dark depending on how the object or person is placed within the shoot.  Shadow casting is the amount of shadow that is being casted behind or to the side of the object or the person that is in the image.  The closer the light source the shorter the shadow that is cast.  The farther the light source the longer the shadow is cast.


Shapes are the different angles and the different types of items that you see within an image.  You can add various shapes to make a pattern or you can add definition to you image with using shapes within your image.  Most common shapes you will see are circles, squares, triangles.  There are also the "shapes" which are not shapes they are volume, cubes, cylinders, and spheres.  

SD Card

SD card is the tiny card that is inserted into your camera, and what holds all your images that you take within your camera.  SD cards have a locking mechanism on them to the side of the card.  Be sure that you have this slider turned on or off depending on your needs.  Your DSLR or Mirrorless camera will not be able to record images you take with the SD card in locked position.  


Equal parts that are on either sides of you image.  You can take the image and you can fold it and it will be the exact same on either side.


Use of Negative Space

This is when you have your subject in the photo with a large amount of white or blank space around it.

Use of Frame

This is where you have the complete frame filled or how you use the frame within your image.  



Value is the black, white or gray within your image.  

Vantage Point

It is the place on where you take your image.  It is the view that is in front of you when you look through your view finder in your camera.  Post editing you can change the vantage point within your image by cropping and rotating. 


Vertical is based on the north and south plane that goes from up to down that is from the 0 degrees to 360 degrees angles


Volume is 3-d that fills space within, examples are cubes, cylinders, and spheres.  


White Balance

This is a setting within your camera that controls the color temperature within your image.  Auto White Balance is the most common used, and it is setting that the camera determines the best balance of light within the image or area that you are shooting in.  


Zoom Lenses

Zoom lenses are used for changing focal length.   With a zoom lens you are able to stand stationary and zoom in and out to fill as must or as little within the frame you desire.  Zoom image quality is not as crisp and clear as a prime lenses, but all zoom images are very good quality in themselves.  Most popular zoom lens is the 24-70mm lens


3-D Effect

3-D effect is when your product is shown in different tiers or layers in an image.  


Image that is has depth that is either front to back or from down to up, or visa versa. 


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