Sunday, March 1, 2009

Terms beginning with "B" in Photography

B (Bulb) - A shutter speed dial setting that indicates that the shutter will remain open as long as the release button is depressed - also known as the “B setting ” or "Bulb" setting. The "B" setting is used for time exposures.

B&W - Black and white. Also appears as "B and W" and "B/W."

BACK - The removable part of a medium or large-format camera that holds the film or the digital recording surface. "Backs" are attached to the back of the camera, hence their name. They shield the film from light except when exposed in the camera.

BACKGROUND - The part of a scene that appears to be furthest from the viewer, behind objects in the foreground.

BACK PROJECTION - Projection, usually of a transparency, onto the rear of a translucent screen.

BACKDROP - The background in a studio.

BACKGROUND - The area within the viewfinder that is behind the subject of a photograph.

BACK-LIGHTING - Light directed at the subject from behind the subject.

BACKSCATTER - Suspended particles in water that are illuminated, and therefore captured on film as a cloud or scattering of light dots, when using a flash underwater near the lens.

BACK-UP - A safety measure that is a copy of an image, a file, a folder or an entire computer drive to be restored in the event that the original becomes lost.

BALANCE - Compositional harmony of a scene based on the placement of elements of different sizes, shapes and colors.

BARE BULB - Electronic flash unit used without a reflector or diffuser.

BARN DOORS - These are small “gobos” (light-blocking devices) that fall under the general category of “grip equipment.” They are accessories that attach to studio lights and swivel on hinges (just like the doors on a barn) to allow the photographer to control the light’s direction and the width of the light beam.

BARREL DISTORTION - Image distortion caused by a lens, where the edge bows outwards like a fisheye or wide-angle lens's image.

BATCH NUMBERS - Series of numbers imprinted by the manufacturer on the packaging of film and light-sensitive products to indicate that the materials are all from the same production batch, and therefore share closely-similar qualities, such as film speed and contrast.

BELLOWS - A folding sleeve-like device usually made of fabric that fits between the lens and the camera that allows for extended separation of lens and film plane. A bellows is used in close-up photography, and performs a function similar to that of extension tubes, except that the tubes are fixed and the bellows is minutely adjustable.

BETWEEN-THE-LENS SHUTTER - A shutter situated between two lens elements.

BITMAP - A bitmap is a picture that is an arrangement of tiny squares of different colors, called pixels. For the file extension, ".bmp," see .BMP below.

BLEED - Describes a photographic print that extends to the edges of the paper (beyond the trim marks on a page) and has no visible border or defined margin area.

BLOW-UP - As a noun, blow-up (or blowup) is another term for an enlargement of a photographic print. As a verb, it is the actual enlarging of the image, as in “Please blow up this negative to an 11" X 14" print.”

BLUR - Denotes a photograph in which movement, either camera movement, zoom lens movement or movement within the scene (e.g. a subject in motion), is recorded at a slower shutter speed than is necessary to “freeze” the motion as a sharp image. Blur is often intentionally created by a photographer who wishes to convey a sense of motion.

.BMP - (Bitmap) The extension for an uncompressed image file format created by Microsoft that is mainly used in Windows-based applications.

BOOT TIME - The time it takes for a digital camera to be ready to take pictures after turning it on.

BOUNCE FLASH - Flash illumination of a subject by reflection off a surface (such as a ceiling or wall) as opposed to direct flash, which is flash light aimed straight at the subject. (Sometimes also called "Bounce lighting.")

BOX CAMERA - Simple camera with a fixed, single-element lens and a light-tight box to hold the film. The shutter and aperture are usually pre-determined and unalterable (typically 1/25 sec at ƒ11.) Early consumer cameras developed by George Eastman were box cameras (e.g. the “Brownie” camera) . They could not be focused, per se. The lens was set to a hyperfocal distance that gave acceptably-sharp pictures if the subject was a given distance from the camera and correct exposure depended upon bright sun illuminating the scene.

BRACKET or BRACKETING - Refers to taking a series of pictures, at least three, of the same subject with varying exposures - (1) the main exposure, which is presumed to be correct, but may not be; (2) an overexposure, generally of or 1 stop’s difference from the main exposure, and (3) an underexposure of , 1 or 2 stop’s difference from the main exposure. The theory behind exposure bracketing is that the photographer may not be certain that the main exposure is best for the subject matter, and the subsequent exposures will provide “insurance” that at least one of the images will provide acceptable exposure. Sometimes, though, the photographer may simply want to see the effects of different exposures of a scene. The term “bracket” is analogous with grammatical brackets or parentheses, where they are located on either end of a phrase. “Bracketed” exposures fall on either side of the exposure that is presumed to be correct.

BROAD LIGHTING - Broad lighting occurs when the main light illuminates the side of the subject's face that is turned toward the camera. The BROWNIE is the original consumer camera, developed by George Eastman in 1888.

BROWNIE - Brand name of Kodak’s first consumer box cameras.

B.S. - B.S. refers to the British Standard for film speed measurement. BSI refers to the British Standards Institute which determined the B.S. system. It employed the same film speed numbering system as the American Standards Association- ASA. Both are now defunct, having been replaced by ISO for rating of the sensitivity of film and photographic materials.

BUBBLE JET - Canon's name for its inkjet printing system.

BUILT-IN LIGHT METER - A reflective exposure meter that is a built-in component of a camera.

BULK FILM - Film produced in very long, uncut strips - rolls that are too long to fit into cameras not equipped with a bulk camera back accessory. Many photographers buy their film in bulk, then load the bulk film into a “bulk film loader” which permits them to cut the bulk film into however many frames they wish, and to load the smaller strips into film cartridges that permit film reloading. It is an economical way to purchase film.

BURNING or Burning-in - Also known as "Printing in." In a darkroom, providing extra exposure to an area of the print to make it darker, while blocking light from the rest of the print.

BUTTERFLY LIGHTING - In a studio, the main light is placed fairly high, directly in front of the face - aimed at the center of the nose. It casts a shadow shaped like a butterfly beneath the nose.


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