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Glossary "S"

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A filtered light thats used in a darkroom to allow you to see while handling light sensitive material. Orange is used for most black & white materials, red for ortho, brown for variable contrast papers and a very deep green for colour materials.
Invented in 1834, Salted Paper Printing was Fox Talbot's original printing technique. It's a simple idea. Paper is soaked with weak salt solution, then silver nitrate is brushed on, and the result is silver chloride. Finished prints have a beautiful delicacy in the lighter tones, but slightly lack in detail overall. Images are contact printed onto art paper sized with starch and then rinsed and given a final wash in several changes of water. The final colour is normally reddish-brown, but by toning with gold a wider range of hues can be created, from reddish-brown to blue- or purple-brown. This also makes the image more permanent.
A strong rich or vibrant colour.
A measure of the strength of colour in a photograph. Many software programs allow you to adjust saturation adding grey to make the image appear more monochrome or removing grey to produce rich, highly saturated colours.
A computer peripheral that turns prints, artwork or film into digital files.
The number of rows of dots in a halftone image within an inch which is stated as lpi (lines per inch).
The scrolling feature changes the way a person interacts with their Mac, especially users with large monitors. The wheel enables the user to scroll through documents easily without using scroll bars. The user can scroll horizontally or vertically. The result is saved steps, saved time, and less frustration.
A universal type of connector, pronounced skuzzy that’s used to attach external peripherals, such as hard drives and scanners, to a computer. Most SCSI adaptors will allow up to seven items to be connected in a chain, providing they each have a different ID number which can be selected independently on each device. This method of connection can be troublesome and is slowly being superceded by USB and Firewire.
A type of memory used in PCs that's faster than EDO Ram.
A type of camera flash synchronisation, found on more sophisticated SLR cameras, that fires the flash just before the second shutter blind closes. It’s used with slow shutter speeds to photograph moving objects. As the movement will be blurred before the flash freezes the subject it appears with a trail behind it. Use normal front curtain sync and the trail will appear unnaturally in front of the subject, making it look as though it is moving backwards.
Yellow magenta and cyan, which are also known as complementary colours.
A method of focusing using a wide aperture to ensure shallow depth of field and put emphasis on an individual area of a scene.
A mechanical or electronic feature that delays the camera shutter from firing so the user can step into the picture.
A computer with a huge hard drive that is used in offices to store large quantities of files that can be accessed by several computers joined in a network. Its also used by ISP companies to look after subscribers web sites.
A technique used to prevent light from the enlarger reaching certain parts of the printing paper so that the exposure can be modified locally.
Light-sensitive film thats held in sheet film holders for use in large format cameras.
A camera designed for achitectural photography that has a wide angle lens mounted on a panel that moves up, down or sideways to correct perspective.
A lens in a mount that can be shifted up or down to correct perspective. Also known as a PC (perspective Control) lens.
An auto exposure mode where the user selects the shutter speed and the camera sets the necessary aperture to give correct exposure.
A button that's usually found on the right-hand side of the camera that you press to take a picture. Most cameras have a two stage release. The first pressure activates the camera's autofocus and metering modes and the second fires the shutter. Some older cameras have a thread in the centre that you would screw a cable release in to. Some may have a collar around the edge that you turn to lock the shutter to prevent it being fired accidentally.
Cameras have various methods of blocking the light from reaching the film or CCD. When a picture is taken this barrier, known as a shutter, will open and allow light to reach the film or CCD. Most cameras have a way of controlling how long the shutter stays open and this duration is known as the shutter speed. More sophisticated cameras can adjust from several seconds to speeds as rapid as 1/10,000sec. Cameras with wider ranges are usually more versatile.Buying advice: Look for a camera that has speeds way below 1/30sec. The longer the speed the lower the light you will be able to take pictures in without having to use flash. As an indication, a speed of around one sec is required to take street lit scenes and a speed of over 30 seconds for moonlit shots. Buy a model with a B setting if you're considering taking extremely long exposures.
In digital photography this is the amount of correct picture information to unwanted electrical interference. The S/N ratio should always be high so that good quality noise free pictures are produced.
The light sensitive ingredient in photographic film and papers that is a combination of silver with bromine, fluorine, chlorine or iodine. Exposed silver halide particles form metallic silver that turns black when developed. Unexposed particles are dissolved by the fixer, leaving a permanent image.
Type of computer memory chip that can be increased by the user. It has now been superceded by Dimms.
A filter which is used in front of the lens in order to filter out UV light that can cause a blueish haze. UV filters have much the same purpose, but a skylight filter is also coloured slightly pink (or yellow) in order to give pictures a warmer appearance. In the digital age these filters are used less than before, since colour temperature can be influenced in-camera and in processing, especially when using the RAW file format.
A flash accessory, also known as a slave cell thats used to fire another flash remotely so that multiple flash set ups can be arranged without cables and all synchronised with the cameras shutter.
Similar to a fade feature but used with two projectors. As one slide fades out the other begins to fade in creating a dissolve between the two.
A useful feature that reduces the lamp output to make the image gradually become darker on screen. This prevents the viewer from sudden bursts of light or dark as slides are changed and gives a more pleasing transition from one slide to the next.
A feature on some projectors with is a tiny diffused panel that you can place a slide on to view and check it's the right way up before inserting it into the projector. This may be included on the remote control.
A digital camera mode that has an interval timer built in to the image review mode so you can watch all the images recorded by the camera as they play back at pre-selected intervals. More advanced models may have fade between each shot.
There are several types of tray (also called magazine or holders) that are used by slide projectors. The common one is the Universal (U) - a straight magazine with a capacity of 36 or 50. This is the type to use if you have a collection of slides in mounts of varying thickness. Then there is the CS system developed by Agfa for their special CS mounts. These are very thin mounts with grooves that slide and lock securely into the tray so they don't fall out when the tray is tipped upside down. 100 can be held in the same space as a 50 capacity universal tray but the mounts have to be CS type. A tray offering a best of both worlds approach is LKM (designed by Leitz Kindermann) these hold 80 of any make of slide mounts, providing they are 1.6mm or thinner, and take up the same space as a universal 50 capacity tray. The final is the carousels (R) which are better if you intend leaving the projector running, as the sequence repeats from the beginning again when it's run through the collection. Carousels hold 80 or 100 slides depending on make.
An SLR or single-lens reflex camera is really designed for the enthusiast or professional photographer, or for the person who can put up with a larger camera in return for increased accuracy and greater versatility. This type of camera has through the lens viewing with a mirror behind the lens and a pentaprism to direct the light passing through the lens to the optical finder. The mirror lifts up out of the way as a photograph is taken. As you look through the lens that takes the picture, the composition can be more accurate. And in most cases you can exchange the lenses, giving you a wider scope of options. The metering and focusing systems are usually more accurate too. Despite all this creativity it's still possible to put most SLRs in a full auto point & shoot mode so anyone could use one with ease, but don't expect to fit one in a pocket! They are much bigger than that. A modern, digital version of the SLR is called a DSLR.
A removable memory card thats used in digital cameras, phones and MP3 players to store pictures, data or sound.
A conical tube that fits over a studio light that gives you more control over the light beam and forms a small circular patch on the subject. Often used as a hair light on portrait photography.
A box with a diffuser panel that attaches to the front of a flash to give soft even light. Any visible highlights such as catch lights in eyes, reflections in silverware will be neat and square. Bigger ones give more surrounded and even light but absorb more light so are best used with powerful flash heads.
Computer programs or applications that are used to edit images, write text, design pages, etc.
Allows a short audio recording to be made using a built-in microphone on some digital cameras. This is useful to add messages to pictures, exposure details, location info, etc, so that it can be played back when you view the pictures. It's great for multi-media presentations.
A range of wavelengths measured in nonometers (nm) that includes infrared, X-rays, radio and the visible light. Visible light falls into the 400-700nm part of the spectrum.
A spirit level is used to ensure the tripod head is perfectly horizontal. It's handy for architectural and landscape photography as it helps you keep verticals truly vertical and avoid a sloping horizon. It a feature that's missing from many tripods, but you can buy an accessory that slide into the camera's hot shoe or screw into the shutter release. Alternatively a small spirit level from the local hardware store would be adequate.  
When you try to print more than one photo in succession any unprinted pictures are held in this queue waiting to be printed.
An automatic exposure mode which selects a faster shutter speed than normal to help freeze fast moving subjects.
A meter that takes measurements from a one degree angle. Some advanced SLR cameras have an integral spot meter with the measuring pattern marked on the viewing screen.
A technique using a fine sable brush loaded with watercolour or dye to retouch small dust marks or hairs on prints. You can also retouch black spots using bleach.
There are two main types of colour profile featuring the RGB gamut. One is AdobeRGB the other is sRGB. sRGB is used on the web by browsers and many cheaper digital cameras. The colour gamut is much more limited compared to AdobeRGB, but it also means that lots of similar shades will be rendered more smoothly than in AdobeRGB.
With stacking (also called focus stacking) one combines multiple images in a software program, each image with a slightly different focus, in order to increase the depth of field or the sharpness of an image. It is mainly used for astronomy, macro or micro photography.
Another specialist interest camera that takes two pictures side by side and when viewed using special stereo viewer the image appears three-dimensional. Other types record two pictures using different coloured filters which are then printed offset and viewed using coloured glasses to see a 3D image.
Used to describe a method of studio or outdoor photography where objects are pre-arranged to be photographed.
A camera made by the likes of Canon and Sony that recorded electronic pictures onto an internal floppy disk. It was, if you like, the first type of digital camera, but quality was poor.
Photographs taken and submitted to a picture library. The library then sells the reproduction rights and takes a percentage of the fees. A good stock photographer regularly supplies images to the library and can earn a good income from picture sales throughout the year.
Processing chemicals that have been diluted with water and ready for use.
An acidic bath that is used after the developer to stop development and reduce fixer contamination.
A TTL metering method that measures the light at the selected aperture .
Decreasing the size of the lens opening (aperture); for example, from f/8 to f/11. This increases the depth of field in a photograph, but a longer exposure is required.
Taking (candid) photos of people and/or animals in public places - think of streets, shops, stations, parks, trains, beaches, festivals, conventions, etc. The aim of this genre is to capture everyday moments and people's interactions with each other and their environment. Also see documentary photography.
An extremely fast recycling lamp or flash used for scientific and creative photography.
An imaging sensor which is smaller than a Full frame sensor. Also see Crop factor.
That what is being photographed, or a description thereof.
Used in colour printing where various amounts of cyan, magenta and yellow filtration are placed over white light to subtract unwanted quantities of red, green or blue.
An automatic exposure mode which sets the camera white balance to emphasize the red colour of the sky at sunset.
Developed by Fujifilm for their Nexia APS films. The formulated grain structure is about one-half the size of conventional films and ensures consistent shape for exceptionally smooth, fine-grained prints.
Another name for a close-up lens.
A higher resolution monitor or camera CCD that displays or records images with 780x480 pixels.
A feature of electronic flashguns that have a head that rotates through 180 degrees so that the light can be bounced off a wall to soften and spread the light.
A cable thats used to connect a flashgun to a camera and trigger it as the cameras shutter fires.
A term used to describe a combination of sunlight and flash light, where flash is used as a fill in.