Jewelry Photographer Lingo for Beginners

So you want your pictures to look good huh? Well first of all, I’ll need to go over some photography lingo so we’re all on the same page here! This will help you understand what I’m talking about and also understand how your camera operates. So without further ado, here we go!

Camera Sensor (or just sensor): Remember cameras that used film to record pictures? Well a camera sensor is a digital version of film. Here’s how it works – light travels through your lens, then to the sensor and then to your camera’s storage device (most likely a SD card).

Exposure: Exposing your camera sensor to light (taking a picture).

Aperture: The aperture can become smaller or bigger to let more or less light into the camera’s sensor. The aperture can also determine how much blur (bokeh) your image has.

Shutter Speed: Think of shutters like window blinds. Close the blinds and no light gets in. Open the blinds and light gets in. It’s the same principle. The shutters open and close when you push the button to take a picture to let light into the camera’s sensor. The cool thing about the shutters is that you can program them to stay open for time increments. The longer they stay open the more light gets into the camera’s sensor which means your image will be brighter. So, the longer the camera’s sensor is exposed to light, the brighter the image is. The same goes for darkness, the less time the camera’s sensor is exposed to light, the darker the image.

Whew! Some of you might want to take a quick break right here before your head explodes! This is all hard stuff to comprehend at first, but you’ll catch on quick. Let’s keep going.

ISO: Your camera sensor has a sensitivity function called ISO which controls how sensitive your sensor is to light. Think of this as a ‘master volume’ control.

Bokeh: This might be my favorite word! The word bokeh comes from the Japanese language which basically means “everything that is out of focus”. You see this a lot in portrait shots.

bokeh examle

A pic of my sister I shot a while back that portrays bokeh very nicely

As you can see in the picture above, my sister is in focus, but the lights in the background are way out of focus. So, long story short, bokeh means “things out of focus things”. Bokeh should not be confused with motion blur, which I explain below.

Motion Blur: Motion blur happens when you move your camera while your camera is taking a picture. You generally get motion blur when you’re shooting at a slow shutter speed without a tripod. Why? Well when your camera takes longer to shoot an image it makes it more likely that you’ll move and create motion blur.

crystallie, "surprise!"

Sorry in advance to my sister who unknowingly
looked at the camera while I was taking a picture of her!

Above is a good example of motion blur. I was walking and set my camera to have the shutters open for one-sixth of a second. While that doesn’t sound like very long, it was enough to create all the blurry streaks seen on the walls. So, be wary of moving while taking a picture in the middle of an exposure!

There you have it folks. Those are the big things to know about photography and taking great images of your beaded jewelry! On my next blog I’ll be talking about properly exposing your pictures with shutter, aperture, and ISO.

I’m sure there are a whole lot of questions to be had, so comment below and I’ll be happy to answer any questions or further explain things that I didn’t make sense of above! And remember, you’re on the internet! All the information you’ll ever need is just a Google search away…

Anthon Plake

Anthon Plake is Auntie's Beads technology go-to guy. Anthon specializes in filming, editing, and managing Auntie's Beads YouTube videos as well as photographing new products and creating imagery for category pages, sales, beading projects, etc. While he's not at Auntie's Beads, you can typically find him in one of his college classrooms, behind a computer or camera at church, or in a garage tinkering with his car.

1 Comment

  • Reply December 17, 2014

    denise duhon

    I enjoy photography also.Its kind of like getting close up and personal with your jewelry. You want it to look as good as it really is.

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