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The ABCs of Photography and Web Acronyms

by Kerry Drager

So, you don't have any idea what people are talking about when they say "RGB" or "IS lens"? Well, IMHO... YGTBK!

If you've ever been baffled by some of the photography and Web-chat acronyms that pop up at, check out the following glossary... it may just answer all of your FAQ!

AE: Automatic exposure
AF: Auto focus
AI (Nikon): Automatic index
AKA: Also known as
ASA: American Standards Association - now ISO

BG: Background - what's behind the foreground subject in a picture
BTW: By the way

CCD: Charged coupled device - refers to image gathering
CUL or CYL: See you later

DOF: Depth of Field - range of sharp focus in a picture
DPI: Dots per square inch

EOS (Canon): Electronic optical system
EV: Exposure value

FAQ: Frequently asked questions
FYI: For your information

GIF: Graphics interchange format - image file format that is more appropriate for flat color graphic. JPEG, TIFF, and PSD are more popular file formats for photographic images

HTH: Hope this helps
HTML: Hypertext markup language (for Web documents)

IMO: In my opinion
IMHO: In my humble opinion
IMNSHO: In my not-so-humble opinion
IE: Internet Explorer
IR: InfraRed
IS (Canon lenses): Image Stabilization
ISO: International Standards Organization - speed or digital camera's (or film's) light-sensitivity

JPEG or JPG: Joint Photographic Experts Group - compressed image file format

LCD: Liquid crystal display
LED: Light emitting diode
LOL: Laughing out loud

MB: MegaByte
MF: Medium format
MP: MegaPixel

OTOH: On the other hand

PC: Politically correct or personal computer; also a type of flash-synch connector
PPI: Pixels per inch
PDF: Portable Document Format

RGB: Red, green, blue
ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing

SLR: Single lens reflex - type of camera that allows through-the-lens (TTL) viewing

TIFF or TIF: Tagged image file format - uncompressed image fil format
TLC: Tender loving care
TTL: Through the lens (see SLR)

URL: Uniform Resource Locator (Web address)
USM (Canon): UltraSonic Motor; Canon's fastest, quietest autofocus lens mechanism

VR (Nikon lenses): Vibration Reduction

WTG: Way to go
WYSIWYG ("wizzy-wig"): What you see is what you get

YGTBK: You've got to be kidding
YMMV: Your mileage may vary

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