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Glossary "G"

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A measure of the brightness and contrast of a monitor or the midtone brightness of a digital image. Adjusting the Gamma slider within an image-editing program will adjust the midtones while maintaining detail in the highlight and shadow areas. Adjust the monitor gamma to make the image appear more natural to your eye. A setting of around 18 is right for a Mac monitor while a 2.5 setting is more appropriate for a PC.
The range of colours that will appear on a monitor or can be printed.
Natural protein, derived from animals, that's used to suspend silver halides evenly in an emulsion form on the paper and film's surface.
Coloured filters that can either be held over a flash tube or used in a mount in front of the camera lens to change the colour of the light.
A universal type of image file for use on the Web. A Gif contains only 256 colours so it's best used for solid colour graphics such as logos and buttons, rather than high quality photographic images.
A unit of computer memory equivalent to 1024 megabytes (or one billion bytes).
A Global shutter exposes the entire imager simultaneously. The entire frame is exposed and begins gathering light; when the predetermined “shutter speed” has elapsed, the sensor stops gathering light and turns its current exposure into an electronic image.

Used in many CCD sensors. Global shutters are immune to effects like skew, wobble, and partial exposure.

Some CMOS sensors are configured to use global shutters - in which case they do not suffer from vertical smear, skew, wobble or partial exposure.
Shiny paper surface with a smooth finish.
The variation in tone from black to white.
Printing paper with fixed contrast. Several grades of paper must be stocked to ensure a full range of printing possibilities
A colour or grey tone fill that gradually changes in density across the selected area. Some programs refer to it as a graduated fill and several patterns can be applied to vary the direction or style of gradation.
Used to balance the light of a scene with overly bright highlights. There are physical filters to use in front of a camera lens, and digital filters for use in imaging software. A physical graduated neutral density filter, for instance, has one clear edge and then gradually increases in density towards the other edge. A so-called "hard grad" has a graduated section that reaches the middle of the filter, whereas a "soft grad" has a graduation all from one side to the opposite side. Neutral density graduated filters are the most common types, but there are also coloured versions available - gradient sunset filters, for instance, or tobacco-coloured ones. Physical filters are usually square or rectangular, are used in a filter holder that attaches to an adapter ring, which screws into the front of the camera lens. Sizes depend on the diameter of the front of the lens. Gradient filters can also be applied digitally in photo editing programs. Even when this is not a standard option in the program, often a so-called "plug-in" can be used for use in the program.
Processed silver halides that clump together to form an image. The finer the grain the more detailed the image will be.
One of the 256 tonal steps that form a digital photo.
Set of tones displayed in steps from minimum to maximum density.
Indicates the output, or power, of an electronic flash. You can use the guide number to work out the aperture or flash to subject distance by dividing either into the guide number.
One of the most versatile Alternative Processes, Gum Bichromate was invented in 1855, and became popular at the turn of the century. The process takes advantage of the fact that colloids, such as gum, gelatine and glue, when mixed with a bichromate, become hardened and insoluble when exposed to light. By mixing a coloured pigment in with the colloid, and then washing away the undeveloped areas with water, you are left with an image in the dye. Exposure times using daylight will be typically between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Advanced Gum Bichromate workers build up a number of layers of varied pigment colours by re-sensitising, re-exposing and re-developing prints.