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Glossary "L"

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A device independent colour space used to create consistent color whatever the device used to create or output an image, such as a monitor, printer, computer, or scanner. It consists of a luminance value (L) and two chromatic values A from green to red and B from blue to yellow.
A way of connecting PCs in an office or home environment so they can share software, information and hook up to the same printer etc.
An automatic exposure mode which selects a small aperture to increase the amount in focus, which is generally desirable for landscape photography
Large format is the bread and butter tool of the professional advertising and commercial photographer. Its a big beast that takes a massive 5x4inch or 10x8inch negative. This format is often demanded by clients for use on billboards or in calendars. This type of camera has a range of film and lens movements that increase flexibility of the system making them a perfect choice for architectural photographers.
A digital printer that uses a dry toner process. It's a fast printer but inkjet printers are ahead on price/performance for colour printing.
An exposed, but still invisible image.
The acceptable limits of things such as focusing, exposure and development.
Also known as objects in some software programs. These are really useful when building up an image. Each layer is like a sheet of plastic or glass that can be laid on top of each other. Areas that have pixels block pixels from the layers below and areas that are clear let the pixels show through from lower layers. Layers are used to create complex collages and add repositionable text and graphics. More advanced programs have Layer blend modes that allow pixels on one layer to react with ones on layers below.
A desk top publishing document with text, graphics and clip art positioned by a designer.
A display for modes and features in the viewfinder or top-plate of many cameras. Most display the number of photos you have left along with the battery condition and exposure mode. More advanced cameras also have the metering mode, exposure mode and flash mode displayed.
All but cheap and cheerful digital cameras now have an LCD that's used as a viewfinder to compose pictures and to review previously taken and stored images. On digital cameras, many functions are selectable from menus displayed in the LCD.Playback options may include a choice of full screen, zoom magnify or thumbnail views. Some also have a slide show mode. Buying adviceIt's great to have an LCD as a viewfinder, but check that you can see it well in daylight. Some have a brightness control to help when in bright conditions the screen view is poor, alternatively you may be able to buy a hood to shield the screen from reflections. Also use the LCD sparingly as batteries can drain quickly with use.
A shutter with blades that is positioned near to the aperture within a lens (also known as a between-lens shutter).
Used to give an illuminated signal or numeric display on cameras and other equipment.
A set of braces that attach each tripod leg to either the center column or to the other legs. Having these increases the stability of the tripod and ensures they stay firmly splayed apart. The only drawback with braces that are attached from leg to leg is that you can't move the legs independently of each other. Some models have individually adjustable braces so the legs can be spread wider apart or unevenly for low-angle or uneven terrain work.
Locks that are used to secure tripod/monopod legs when they are part or fully extended. Quick-release clips are the most popular type of leg lock used as they allow rapid adjustment of the tripod height. Tripods with several leg sections have a lock on each section. Leg locks tend to be used regularly and are often on the outside of the legs so they can be more vulnerable to damage. Metal locks are the best as plastic can break if handled without care.
This is the eye of the camera and is used to capture the image it sees onto the camera's light sensitive film, or CCD in digital camera. The size of lens is measured and indicated as a focal length. Cameras come with either a fixed lens or zoom lens with a range of focal lengths (see lens range) and on some SLR and rangefinder cameras the lens detaches so others can be attached to increase versatility. With a detachable lens camera it's often possible to buy just the body with a lens of your choice.The amount of light passing through the lens is controlled by an aperture, which is often quoted with its maximum aperture setting.Buying adviceSLRs: If you intend buying a specific lens in the future make sure that it's available in the same mount as the camera you are considering or own. Also if you're upgrading cameras, buy one with the same lens fitting or one that can be adapted to save the cost of replacing all the lenses you own.Digital and compact cameras: A fixed lens camera can often be much smaller so could be selected if you need to travel light. It's also less expensive if your budget is tight. It's better, though, to choose a camera with a zoom if you can afford to, rather than using a digital zoom or cropping the picture later. Go for one with a wider angle zoom if most of your pictures will be landscapes, interiors or family group shots.Choose a version with a longer telephoto setting if you want to shoot long distance subjects, portraits and wildlife.
Transparent coated on lens elements that helps reduce reflections and flare to improve image contrast.
The individual pieces of glass that form the overall optical construction. Most lenses have between four and eleven elements to bend the light rays to ensure a perfectly formed image appears on the light sensitive surface, such as a film or CCD. The elements are arranged in groups and may be seen in specification sheets as, for example, 6 elements in 4 groups. That configuration may have two single elements and the other four grouped in pairs.
Rubber or metal hood that fits on the front of a lens to shield light from hitting the edges of the lens and causing flare.
This is the manufacturers’ quoted focal length of the lens supplied with the camera. APS film and digital camera CCDs are smaller than conventional 35mm film so the indicated focal lengths are also smaller and should not be compared directly. For a direct comparison of APS and digital lenses look at the 35mm equivalent figures that are quoted.
A technique by which the printer places an array of lenses, with a texture like corduroy, over a specially made and very carefully aligned print, in such a way that different viewing angles reveal different image slices to each eye. Seen with a certain viewing angle, this gives a three-dimensional illusion. It can be done cheaply, which is why it's used for 3D postcards, for instance.
A sensor used to measure light and indicate the ideal exposure settings.
The ratio from the brightest (highlight) to darkest part (shadow)of the subject.
A high contrast image that can look like a pan and ink sketch.
Two black parallel lines and the inner white space on an optical test chart pattern that are used to measure lens resolution.
The CCD used in flatbed scanners and high end cameras which has an array of several thousand RGB filtered elements arranged in a narrow row. The CCD covers the full width of the image and travels down the length of it, scanning one line at a time.
The impression of depth given by converging parallel lines and changes of subject scale between foreground and background elements.
High contrast film that produces negatives with intense black & whites and very minimal mid tones.
Where pixels are removed (lost) to make the file size of a digital image smaller. When compressing images using the JPEG format you have the option of varying the level of compression. A higher level makes the file size much smaller but removes more pixels.
A photograph that comprises predominantly of dark or monotone colours.
The amount of light produced or reflected in a scene.
A lossless form of compression used to create TIFF files.