Want to test your photography knowledge?

When I was in North Van recently I was directed to Kerrisdale Camera on Lonsdale. I could not believe my eyes, what a treasure trove of photographic memorabilia, used film cameras and lenses.

I priced out an immaculate Nikon F3 SLR black body at $300. I tried but failed to find a reason to justify plunking down $300 for yet another film body but I gladly shelled out $30 for chemicals to develop black and white film into negatives. I have a freezer full of film and a Hasselblad camera just itching to be used.

However that is not the topic for this months column, the topic is —ta-da!—a surprise test. Let us see how photographically savvy you are.

A monopod is:

a) A one legged alien

b) A single legged stand for a camera

c) A rare disease caused by eating too many fresh peas.

The batteries in the camera are used to:

a) Remind you when the next ferry sailing is

b) As a backup for the flashlight batteries

c) To power the exposure meter, autofocus, and computer chip.

A light meter is:

a) When your hydro bill is very small

b) A meter that reads the light reflected from the subject

c) A little shy of 40 inches.

Shutter speed is:

a) How fast a shutter opens and closes

b) The speed at which a shutter bangs against a house in a storm

c) The speed that the touristas drive while in Port Alberni.

Autofocus is:

a) A car that drives itself

b) A camera lens that will not focus, hence “outafocus”

c) A camera lens that will focus itself when you press the shutter button halfway down.

A viewfinder is:

a) A guide that will map out a route to your inner peace

b) A person that will find you that special Port Alberni view

c) The window that you look into to compose the image on a camera.

Manual on a camera means:

a) The server from Barcelona on Fawlty Towers.

b) Look in the book that came with the camera

c) Having full human control over the camera settings.

Transparencies are:

a) People that are very shallow

b) A positive film that can be projected onto a screen.

c) Beings that came from Saturn and are living amongst us.

A flash is:

a) A light unit that can be attached to the camera or is built-in

b) The peak of a lightning storm

c) A person that rises to power and fades just as rapidly.

ISO is:

a) The Internal Serpents of Ordure

b) Ides over Scotland

c) How sensitive the image sensor is to the amount of light present.

White balance is:

a) The amount of white separated from the colours at laundry time

b) The quality of snow that reflects light the Arctic Circle

c) The adjustment to keep neutral colours neutral.

Depth of field is:

a) Something that denotes the critical edge of a country’s border

b) How deep the earth is in a one-acre lot

c) What is in focus in front of and behind the subject.

Good luck, I will be grading you over the next week (if you’re really stumped I will post the answers in my column next month).

Any questions?  E-mail me at      nsilverstone@telus.net.

Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and Eldercollege in Port


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