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Last updated: 2005-06-18

Compiled and written by Philbert Ono

What's this? List of photography-related words in English and Japanese. The Main List has 1100+ words (click on the alphabet links). Many of the words are also categorized in separate lists (General, Camera, etc.). Meanwhile, the J-E List is a separate Japanese-to-English list of essential words not included in the Main List. And Signs is a photo gallery of Japanese signs explained in English.

Note: If the Japanese term contains an English word, the English word is spelled in normal English in the romanization. This is for easier recognition and maybe easier pronunciation and understanding. If the Japanese term is identical to the Engiish, a left arrow <- is displayed (you still have to pronounce it in the Japanese katakana way). Macrons are provided to indicate long vowel sounds. Credits here.

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salted paper enkagin-shi, <- 塩化Compiled by Philbert Ono atエンカギンカミ、ソルテッドペーパー Invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1841. Vintage photos.
sample images (camera test) jissha sample gazō 実写サンプル画像
sample photo (in a manual) sakurei shashin 作例Compiled by Philbert Ono atサクレイ写真シャシン
Say cheese! Hai chiizu! ハイ、チーズ!
scanner <- スキャナ
scenic lookout tenbōdai 展望台
scenic photography See landscape photography.
school yearbook sotsugyō album 卒業Compiled by Philbert Ono atソツギョウアルバム
screen (for slide show) <- スクリーン
screen size (monitor) gamen size 画面Compiled by Philbert Ono atガメンサイズ
SD card <- SDカード
season kisetsu 季節 Four seasons: shiki 四季
Spring: haru 春ハル
Summer: natsu 夏
Fall: aki 秋
Winter: fuyu 冬
Rainy season: tsuyu 梅雨
second-curtain sync ato-maku shinkuro 後幕シンクロ
seconds (time) byō Compiled by Philbert Ono atビョウ One sec.: ichi-byo
security camera bōhan camera 防犯カメラ
select (mode, etc.) erabu Compiled by Philbert Ono atエラ
select a photo(s) shashin o erabu 写真を選ぶ
self introduction jiko shōkai 自己Compiled by Philbert Ono atジコ紹介ショウカイ
self-portrait <- セルフポートレート
self-timer <- セルフタイマー
semiconductor handōtai 半導体Compiled by Philbert Ono atハンドウタイ
semi-glossy paper han-kōtaku-shi Compiled by Philbert Ono atハン光沢コウタクカミ
send photos shashin o okuru 写真Compiled by Philbert Ono atシャシンを送オク
send photos via email shashin o mail suru 写真をメールする
sensor (digital camera imaging element) <-, satsuzō soshi 撮像素子
sepia photo sepia-iro no shashin セピア色の写真
set (a mode, etc.) settei suru 設定する
shade hikage 日陰 
shadow (on face, etc.) kage
shadow detail, loss of kuro tsubure Compiled by Philbert Ono atクロつぶれ
shadows (in a photo) shadow-bu シャドー部 There is no shadow detail: Shadow bubun ga tsuburete iru. シャドー部が潰れている。
sharpness <- シャープネス
sheet film <- シートフィルム
shoe-mount flash clip-on type strobe クリップオンタイプストロボ
shooting conditions satsuei jōkyō 撮影状況
shooting data (exposure, date, etc.) satsuei data 撮影データ
shooting mode (program, shutter priority, etc.) satsuei mode 撮影モード
shots per second See frames per second.
shots remaining satsuei kanō maisū 撮影Compiled by Philbert Ono atサツエイ可能枚数Compiled by Philbert Ono atスウ In the case of a film camera, they called it "film counter" (frame counter). But since digital cameras do not use film and the memory card's capacity is inexact, this term is used for digicams.
show a photo(s) shashin o miseru 写真を見Compiled by Philbert Ono atミせる
shutter <- シャッター
shutter button <- シャッターボタン
shutter button pressed completely zen-oshi 全押Compiled by Philbert Ono atゼンオ
shutter curtains shutter maku シャッター幕
shutter speed shutter sokudo シャッター速度
shutter speed-priority AE shutter yūsen AE シャッター優先AE Same as Tv.
shutter time lag <- シャッタータイムラグ Digicams.
side light <- サイドライト
signal-to-noise ratio SN-hi SN比Compiled by Philbert Ono atヒ
silica gel kansō-zai 乾燥剤
silver-halide (film, etc.) gin-en 銀塩
simultaneous recording (RAW+JPEG) dōji kiroku 同時Compiled by Philbert Ono atドウジ記録キロク
single focal length lens tan shōten lens 単焦点レンズ
single-frame shooting ichimai satsuei, hito-koma satsuei 1枚Compiled by Philbert Ono atマイ撮影サツエイ、1コマ撮影サツエイ
single-use camera tsukai-sute camera, lens-tsuki film, tsukai-kiri camera 使い捨てカメラ、レンズ付きフィルム、使いきりカメラ It seems that the popular name for this is "disposable camera" in both Japan and America. However, the manufacturers prefer other names such as "single-use camera" and "film wth lens" because the cameras are recycled and not thrown away.
size-AA batteries See Battery types.
skin tone hada-iro 肌色
slave unit slave スレーブ Often used interchangeably with "slave flash unit."
slide film See Film types.
slide projector <- スライドプロジェクター
slow flash sync speed slow synchro スローシンクロ
slow shutter speed slow shutter スローシャッター
SLR camera ichigan-refu 一眼レフカメラ
Smile! Waratte! 笑って!
snapshot snap shashin, snap スナップ写真、スナップ
solarization <- ソラリゼーション
sold out urikire 売り切れ
sold separately betsu-uri 別売Compiled by Philbert Ono atベツウ
Sorry! gomenasai! ごめなさい!
sound onsei 音声Compiled by Philbert Ono atオンセイ Accompanying the image or movie.
space photography (by astronauts) uchū shashin 宇宙Compiled by Philbert Ono atウチュウ写真シャシン There's actually a fascinating story of how US astronauts began taking photos while in space. But it's not Japan-related so I won't elaborate.
specifications (of camera, etc.) shiyō 仕様Compiled by Philbert Ono atシヨウ
specify (quantity, etc.) shitei suru 指定Compiled by Philbert Ono atシテイする
special order juchū seisan 受注生産 The product is manufactured only when a special order is placed. Often applies to large, expensive lenses.
Speedlite <- スピードライト
spherical aberration kyūmen shūsa 球面収差
spirit photos See ghost photos.
sports photography sports shashin スポーツ写真
spot metering spot sokkō スポット測光
squeegee film wiper フィルムワイパー
staff photographer seishain cameraman 正社員カメラマン
staged shot enshutsu shashin, yarase shashin 演出Compiled by Philbert Ono atエンシュツ写真シャシン、やらせ写真 "Enshutsu shashin" can be a deliberate or posed shot for a creative work.
"Yarase shashin" implies faked posing that tries to deceive the viewer. Or it can show someone paid, forced or coaxed to pose in the way the photographer demands. It has a negative connotation.
stainless steel stainless ステンレス
startup time (digital camera) kidō jikan 起動Compiled by Philbert Ono atキドウ時間ジカン
stereo camera <- ステレオカメラ
stereo photography stereo shashin, rittai shashin ステレオ写真Compiled by Philbert Ono atシャシン、立体リッタイ写真シャシン
stereograph stereo shashin ステレオ写真
still camera <- スチルカメラ
still-life seibutsu 静物
stills (photographs) still shashin スチール写真
stock photo agency photo library, shashin agency, photo agency フォトライブラリー、写真Compiled by Philbert Ono atシャシンエージェンシー、フォトエージェンシー
stop bath teishi-eki 停止液
stop down (close) the aperture shibori-komu 絞り込む
storage card See memory card.
stray light meikō Compiled by Philbert Ono atマイゴヒカリ
street photography street shashin, machikado shashin ストリート写真、街角写真
street price tentō kakaku 店頭Compiled by Philbert Ono atテントウ価格カカク
strobe sutorobo ストロボ Often interchangeable with the word "flash."
strobe head (studio flash) <- ストロボヘッド
stroboscopic flash multi hakkō マルチ発光 Not to be confused with multiple flash units or Speedlites in a master-slave flash system.
studio flash ōgata strobe 大型ストロボ
stylist <- スタイリスト
subject (of a photo) hishatai 被写体
successor model (camera) kōkei kishu 後継機種
sun taiyō 太陽Compiled by Philbert Ono atタイヨウ
super telephoto lens See Lens types.
swimsuit mizugi 水着Compiled by Philbert Ono atミズギ

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  J-E List | Signs | General | Camera | Lens | Accessory | Digital | Supplies

  PhotoWords  Web 

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Transmitting from Tokyo, Japan.