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Language of Stop >

14.1 - Introduction


The language of stop is this writer's analogy.

The analogy makes it far easier to understand an essential concept in photography.

However, if you take a photography class, don't ask your teacher about the language of stop.

He or she will never have heard of it!

Language of Stop

There is a "language" in photography called Stop.

Stop is "spoken" everywhere in photography.

You may not understand the examples below.

You will—after learning the Language of Stop.


"I set the exposure compensation to subtract one stop of light. Now, the colors of the Grand Canyon will be richer."


"It got dark when the storm came through, so I changed the ISO on my camera by three stops, from ISO 100 to ISO 800."


"This 50mm lens has a wide lens opening—f/1.4. It's three stops faster than my f/4 zoom lens. That will help when I'm photographing the wedding ceremony without a flash."

Filters "I was using a Polarizing filter for the pictures of the new swimming pool. I had to take it off in the dark grotto, though. A Polarizing filter blocks about one stop of light."
Printing "The prints from the lab were too light. I asked them to reprint them two stops darker."


Again, Stop is the language of photography.

You'll be a better photographer if you can "speak" Stop.

Read this section a couple of times.

You'll be rewarded with a better understanding of how your photography works.