PHOTOGRAPHY GLOSSARY (S-U)
Glossary - S
Sabattier effect - part positive
part negative effect formed when an emulsion is briefly re-exposed
to white light during development, and then allowed to continue
development. Also known as pseudo-solarization.
Safelight - darkroom
light of a color and intensity that will not affect light sensitized
Safety film - term used to describe a film with
a base that is not readily inflammable.
Sal-ammoniac - ammonium chloride. used in some high
Sandwiching - combination of two or more negatives
or film positives in the negative carrier or masking frame when
printing or enlarging.
Saturated color - pure color hue, undiluted by other
colors, white or gray, i.e. the primary colors, red, yellow and
blue are saturated colors.
Scale - linear relation between the size of the
subject and the size of its image.
Scanning electron microscope - device used in photomicrography.
Schumann plate - plate coated with an emulsion with
so little gelatin content that the silver halide grains protrude
above its surface. Used for photography in the ultraviolet region.
Screening - conversion of a continuous tone image
to a half-tone image.
Screen plate - plate used in early additive forms
of color photography.
Scrim - lighting attachment which, when placed in
front of a lamp, reduces its strength, usually by one stop, without
affecting lighting quality or color.
Selective focusing - method of adjusting the lens
aperture and shutter speed to give a depth of field that will
limit image sharpness to a particular area of the image.
Selenium - light-sensitive substance which, when
used in a barrier-layer construction, generates electrical current
when exposed to light. Used in exposure meters.
Selenium cell - light sensitive cell used in many
types of exposure meters. It generates electricity in direct proportion
to the amount of light falling upon its surface.
Self-timer - mechanism for delaying the opening
of the shutter for a given number of seconds after the release
has been operated.
Self toning paper - obsolete silver chloride paper
used for contact printing in daylight.
Sensitive material - in photography, refers to materials
that react to the actinic power of light.
Sensitivity - degree of response of a photographic
emulsion to exposure to light.
Sensitometry - scientific study
of the response of photographic materials to exposure and development.
It establishes emulsion speeds and recommended development and
Separation images - technique of producing an image
by combining photographs produced on a material or using equipment
which is sensitive to one region of the visible spectrum.
Separation negatives - black & white negatives,
usually prepared in lots of three or four, which have been taken
through filters which analyze the color composition of an original
in terms of blue, green and red. They are used particularly in
photomechanical color printing and dye transfer printing processes.
Shading - see Local
Shadow detail - details visible in areas that are
darkest in the subject.
Shadows - darkest areas in a photographic print.
Sheet film - alternative term for cut
Shelf life - length of time unused material or chemicals
will remain fresh.
Shellac - natural resin with a low melting point.
It is mainly used on dry mounting tissue.
Shutter - mechanical system used to control the
time that light is allowed to act on the sensitive emulsion.
Shutter priority camera - semi-automatic camera
on which the photographer selects the shutter speed, and the camera
automatically sets an appropriate aperture.
Shutter speed - action of the shutter that controls
the duration of an exposure. The faster the speed the shorter
the exposure. Shutter speed settings are given in the fraction
of a second. Each setting is half the duration of the preceding
one in a constant scale, marked on the shutter speed dial or ring.
Side lighting - light striking the subject from
the side relative to the position of the camera. It produces shadows
and highlights to create modeling on the subject.
Silhouette - photographic image in which the subject
is seen as a solid black shape against a light background.
Silicon release paper - thin, heat resistant interleaving
paper, used between a photographic print and textured material
in a heated press. It allows remolding of the print surface yet
prevents the two materials from sticking together.
Silk print - image made on silk by means of the
diazo or dye printing methods.
Silkscreen - method of applying inks to paper or
similar materials using a nylon stencil produced by photographic
Silver dye bleach material - integral tripack
Silver halides - light sensitive crystals used in
photographic emulsions, i.e. silver bromide, silver chloride and
silver iodide. The change from white to black metallic silver
when exposed to light.
Silver nitrate - chemical combination of silver
and nitric acid. It is used in intensifiers, physical developers
and photographic emulsions manufacture.
Silver reclamation - system for recovering silver
from exhausted solutions.
Silver recovery - system of reclaiming silver from
Silver salts - compounds of silver.
Simultaneous contrast - effect that adjacent color
hues have upon each other.
Single lens reflex (SLR) -
stands for single lens reflex. It is a camera of 35mm or medium
format in which a system of mirrors shows the user the image precisely
as the lens renders it.
Single servo AF - when focus is locked as long as
the shutter release button is lightly pressed.
Sizing - very dilute, gluey substance used to prepare
surfaces for coating by filling in pores and giving even absorbance.
Sky filter - outdated term for a filter which has
a graduated density across its surface.
Sky shade - alternative term for a lens
Slave unit - mechanism which fires other flash sources
simultaneously when a photo-electric cell is activated by the
illumination emitted by a camera linked flash.
Slide - alternative term for a projection transparency.
Slit shutter - narrow vertical slit either just
in front of the emulsion or at a similar distance in front of
the lens. Film is wound through the camera at a constant speed
giving one long image along the length of the film.
Slow film - film having an emulsion with low sensitivity
to light. Typically films having an ISO or 50 or less.
Slow lens -lens with a small maximum aperture, such
Slow sync - flash technique for using the flash
at a slow shutter speed. Flash shooting in dim light or at night
at a fast shutter speed often results in a flash-illuminated subject
against a dark background. Using a slower shutter speed with the
flash brings out the background details in the picture.
Slide - photographic transparency mounted for projection.
It represents first generation production of an image.
Snapshot - term once used to describe a photograph
taken with the I (instantaneous) setting on cameras. The term
originally came from rifle shooting, when little or no time is
allowed for aiming.
Snoot - cone shaped shield used on spotlights to
direct a cone of light over a small area.
Sodium bichromate - chemical used in intensifiers,
toners and bleaches.
Sodium bisulfite - chemical used in fixing baths
as an acidifying agent.
Sodium carbonate - alkaline accelerator used in
many general purpose and print developers.
Sodium chloride - used in some bleaches and reducers.
Sodium hexametaphosphate - water softener.
Sodium hydrosulfite - used as a fogging agent in
Sodium hydroxide - highly active alkaline accelerator
used in conjunction with hydroquinone
to produce high contrast developers.
Sodium metabisulfite - used as an acidifying agent
in acid fixing baths.
Sodium sulfide - chemical used in sulfide (sepia)
Sodium sulfite - chemical commonly
used as a preservative in many developing solutions.
Sodium thiocyanate - alternative to potassium thiocyanate
and is used as a silver solvent in physical and ultra-fine grain
Sodium thiosulfate - chemical used in many fixing
solutions. It converts unused halides to a soluble complex which
can be removed by washing.
Soft developer - paper developer that can be used
alone or in combination with other developers (two-bath development)
to achieve more subtle contrast control.
Soft focus - definition of a diffused image. This
can be achieved at the camera or enlarging stage.
Soft focus lens - lens, uncorrected for spherical
aberrations, used to produce a soft focus effect.
Solarization - reversal or partial
reversal of tones in a photographic image caused by vast amounts
of over-exposure. It is often inaccurately used to describe the
partial reversal effect caused by fogging
photographic material with light, which is actually the Sabattier
Solubility - in general terms is the ease
with which a solid will mix homogeneously with water to provide
a chemical solution.
Spacing bracket - device used to position the camera
at the right distance from the subject for the lens focus setting
in closeup work.
Spectral sensitivity - relative response of a photographic
emulsion to each of the colors of the spectrum,
including infrared and ultraviolet.
Spectrum - usually used in reference
to the visible part of the electro-magnetic spectrum, i.e. the
color bands produced by diffraction, and arranged according to
when white light is passed through a prism.
Speed - sensitivity of a photographic
emulsion to light. Films are given ISO
numbers denoting speed characteristics.
Spherical aberration - lens
fault which causes loss of image definition at the image
plane. Its affects are reduced by stopping
Split image rangefinder - see Rangefinder.
Spool - bobbin like object consisting of a narrow
core with flat disks on either end, around which the film is wound.
Spotlight - artificial light source using a fresnel
lens, reflector, and simple focusing system to produce a strong
beam of light of controllable width.
Spot meter - used to get accurate light readings
of a small part of a subject. It uses a narrow angle of view to
measure within limited areas.
Spotting - method of retouching. Blemishes or unwanted
details are removed from negatives and prints by brush and dye
Sprocket holes - perforations on both edges of 35mm
film, which engage with the teeth of the film transport mechanism.
Squeegee - tool with rubber blades or rollers, used
to squeeze water out of wet prints.
Stabilization - alternative method of fixing. Unused
halides are converted to near stable compounds, insensitive to
light. No washing is required.
Stabilizer - final solution often used in color
processing which leaves the dyes produced by chemical development
more stable and fade resistant.
Staining developer - developer, such as pyro, in
which the oxidation products give extra image density by staining
Stand - alternative name for a tripod.
Standard lens - lens with a focal length approximately
equal to the diagonal of the film format with which it is used.
Stand camera - large format camera usually mounted
on a rigid stand.
Static marks - jagged fog marks on negatives as
a result of a very dry film being rewound or unwound too rapidly.
Step wedge - printed series of density increases,
in regular steps from transparent to opaque. Its a method of making
exposure tests when enlarging.
Stereoscope - viewer which accepts pairs of stereoscopic
Stereoscopic camera - camera designed to take simultaneous
images of the same subject from viewpoints separated by the same
distance as that between the eyes.
Stereoscopy - method of creating
a three dimensional effect on a two dimensional surface using
a pair of images taken from slightly different viewpoints, and
viewed through specially made stereo viewers.
Still life - inanimate subject, either in the studio,
or outdoors, normally arranged to make full use of form, shape
Stock solution - processing chemicals which may
be stored in a concentrated state and diluted just before use.
Stop - aperture of a camera or enlarging lens.
Stop bath - chemical bath whose purpose is to stop
development by neutralizing unwanted developer. This increases
precision of development and prevents carry over of one chemical
into another during development.
Stopping down - reducing the
size of the lens aperture and thus the amount of light passing
into the camera. It increases depth of field.
Stop down metering - TTL metering in which the light
is measured at the picture-taking aperture.
Straight photography - term used to describe picture
making with minimal manipulation of the photographic process.
Stress marks - black lines on a photographic emulsion
caused by friction or pressure.
Strobe light - low power electronic flash that can
fire repeatedly at regular, controlled intervals.
Studio camera - term given to a large format 12
x 15 inch camera on a wheeled stand.
Subbing - layer applied to a photographic support
as a foundation for the emulsion.
Subject - person or thing photographed.
Subjective photography - interpretive image of the
subject, with results influenced by the attitude of the photographer.
Sub-miniature camera - camera using a film format
smaller than 35mm.
Substantive film - color film in which the color
couplers are contained within the emulsion.
Subtractive primaries - yellow, magenta and cyan.
Subtractive synthesis - combination color system
used in modern photography materials. The complimentary colors
of yellow, magenta and cyan are formed to provide a reasonably
full color image.
Successive color contrast - trick of the human eye
by which the impression of a color is influenced by an immediately
preceding color stimulus.
Sulfide toning - conversion
of a black metallic silver image into a brown dye image. Usually
known as sepia toning.
Sulfuric acid - high corrosive chemical used in
Supper coat - top coating of non-sensitized gelatin
added to sensitized emulsions to form a protective layer.
Supplementary lenses - additional lens elements
used with the standard camera lens to provide a new focal length.
Surface development - development process in which
the image forms primarily on the surface of the emulsion and then
Surge marks - streaks on the image from each of
the sprockets holes of 35mm film caused by excessive agitation.
Surrealism - originally an early 1920s artistic
movement, now taken to indicate the production of unreal images
which defy reason.
Swing back/front - term used to describe the movable
lens and back panels of most view and monorail cameras. They allow
manipulation of perspective and depth of field.
Symmetry - effect of an evenly balanced arrangement
of visual information, such as pattern, on either side of a central
Synchronized flash - method of synchronizing flash
light duration with the maximum shutter opening.
Synchro-sunlight - system of combining daylight
and flash to achieve a controlled lighting ratio.
Glossary - T
T (Time) - shutter speed setting
used for timed exposures longer than the
numbered settings. The shutter opens when the release is pressed
and closes when it is pressed again. Now largely super ceded by
Tacking iron - heated tool used to stick part of
the dry-mounting tissue to a print and its mounting board.
Tanks - containers for holding chemical solutions
for processing films and plates.
Tanning development - type of developer used for
processes that require a relief image, such as dye transfer.
Technical camera - see View
Teleconverter - optical system mounted between a
camera body and the lens to increase the effective focal length
of the lens.
Telephoto lens - compact lens construction which
provides a long focal length with a short back focus.
Tempering bath - large tank or deep tray filled
with water maintained at the correct temperature for processing.
Used to house tanks, drums or trays as well as containers of processing
Tessar lens - famous German non-symmetrical lens
design by Zeiss. It is based on the triplet lens.
Test strip - trial and error method of calculating
exposure in photographic printing. A number of exposures are given
to a strip of emulsion, over important areas of the image to help
judge the correct exposure in the final print.
Texture - broadly defined as the surface character
of an object.
Texture screen - transparent film or glass printed
with a fine background pattern. They're interposed between the
image and the paper to break up large areas of tone or for special
T-Grain technology - name for Kodaks film emulsion
technology used in all Kodak APS films. Uniquely shaped grains
that align better than conventional silver crystals absorb and
transmitting light more effectively to produce sharper images.
Thermography - recording images by means of the
heat radiated from the subject.
"Thick" negative - antique term used to
describe a dense negative.
"Thin" negative - antique term used to
describe a negative lacking in density.
Through-the-lens - see TTL.
Thyristor flash gun - automatic flash gun which
cuts off the flash when the exposure is correct. This conserves
power, makes recycling quicker, and battery life longer.
Time and temperature - controlling factors of a
chemical photographic process.
Time exposure - general term
for an exposure longer than can be set using the camera's fixed
Time gamma curve - see Gamma.
Time lapse photography - method of recording chemical
and physical changes in a subject over a period of time by photographing
it at regular intervals from the same viewpoint.
Timer - clock used to control processing.
Tinting - application of color tints, usually in
the form of dyes or paints, to a photographic image to create
or enhance color.
Tin-type - see Ferrotype.
Tomography - radiographic technique used in medial
Tone - refers to the strength of grays between white
and black. It relates to the brightness, lightness and darkness
of the subject and is determined by illumination.
Tone line process - technique used to reproduce
a photographic image so that it resembles a pen and ink drawing.
Toners - used to change the
color of the photographic print by chemical baths. Through the
system of bleaching and toning, the black metallic silver image
is converted to a dye image.
Tone separation - process of reducing the tonal
range of a photograph to a very restricted range. The final result
has strong highlights and deep shadows with a set number of intermediate
tones. Also refereed to as Posterization.
Tone values - various shades of gray between the
extremes of black & white in a photographic image.
Toning - method of soaking the print in selenium
or similar chemical(s) to help give the print an overall feeling
Transfer processes - methods of transferring a photographic
image from one surface to another.
Transmission - passage of light through a transparent
or translucent material.
Transmitted light - light which is passed through
a transparent or translucent medium. The amount of light transmitted
depends on the density of the medium through which it is passed
and on the brightness of incident light source. Transmitted light
is always less than incident light, but the amount of loss depends
on the density of the medium.
Transparency - positive image
in black and white or color, which is produced on transparent
Transparent magnetic layer - information storage
layer built into Advanced Photo System film that enables enhanced
information exchange capabilities.
Transposing frame - frame used for printing pairs
of stereoscopic negatives from
a two lens camera.
Tray development - any process carried out in open
trays rather than using tanks or similar apparatus.
Trichrome Carbro Process - method of making assembly
color prints from separation negatives, using an adaption of the
Tri-color filters - filters in deep primarily colors
used to expose color prints by the additive method.
Trigger - term used to describe a shutter release.
Tripack - photographic material,
used in color photography, consisting of three emulsion layers
of different sensitivity each on its own base. It is used to obtain
three separation negatives with a single exposure.
Triple extension - camera system in which lens-image
distance can be extended by as much as three times its focal length.
It is particularly useful for close-up photography.
Triplet lens - lens consisting basically of three
elements, a diverging lens sandwiched between two converging lenses.
Tripod - three legged camera support. The legs usually
feature sections that permit height adjustments.
T setting - see T (Time).
T stops - more accurate measurement of light entering
a lens than "f" numbers. Whereas "f" numbers
represent the ratio between measured diameter and focal length,
"t" stops are based on actual light transmission at
TTL - abbreviation for "through-the-lens"
as referring to a metering system in which a suitable light sensitive
mechanism within the camera body measures exposure from the image
light passing through the lens.
Tungsten filament - artificial light source using
a tungsten filament contained within a glass envelope.
Tungsten halogen lamp - improved version of the
normal tungsten lamp. It is much smaller and more consistent in
color temperature as the glass envelope used is non-blackening.
Tungsten light - light from standard room lamps
and ceiling fixtures, not fluorescent.
Tungsten light film - See Type
Twin lens reflex (TLR) - camera having two lenses
of the same focal length. One is used for viewing and focusing,
the other for exposing the film.
Two-bath development - development of negatives
in two stages. Developer without alkali is followed by an alkali
bath, which activates development.
Two-color photography - simple method of color photography
which analyzes the spectrum into two parts instead of three, forming
images which are combined with complementary colors.
Type A film - color film balanced to artificial
light sources at a color temperature of 3400K.
Type B film - color film balanced
to artificial light sources at a color temperature of 3200K.
Type D film - obsolete term for film balanced for
Glossary - U
Ultrasonic image recording - image formation by
measurement of ultrasound echoes translated electronically into
a scanned visual image on a TV display. Also known as sonography.
Ultraviolet (UV) - part of the electromagnetic spectrum
from about 400nm down to 1nm.
It is invisible to the human eye, but most photographic materials
are sensitive to near UV bands down to 250nm. It records as increased
haze, particularly in distant views and at high altitudes, and
may give a blue cast in color images. technique of projecting
an infrared image on a phosphorescent surface.
Under-development - reduction in the degree of development.
It is usually caused by shortened development time or a decrease
in the temperature of the solution. It results in a loss of density
and a reduction in image contrast.
Underexposure - result of too little exposure in
the camera or at the enlargement stage.
Universal developer - name given to a number of
developing solutions, usually MQ, indicating that they can be
used for processing films and papers.
Uprating - no longer used term to define the process
of increasing the manufacturers film speed by the use of: hypersensitizing;
using specially prepared proprietary developers; or by a two stage
Uranium Nitrate - chemical used in toners and developers.
UV filter - filter which is used to absorb ultraviolet