A Glossary of Photographic Terms: F

Fill-In Light
Additional light from a lamp, flash, or reflector; used to soften or fill in the shadows or dark picture areas caused by the brighter main light. Called fill-in flash when electronic flash is used.

A photographic emulsion coated on a flexible, transparent base that records images or scenes.

Film Presence Indicator Flag
Feature on Advanced Photo System cameras that indicates the film cassette has been loaded properly.

Film Safe
Describes the fact that Advanced Photo System film is sealed in the cassette; avoids the danger of exposure to light before shooting and mishandling of negatives after shooting.

Film Status Indicators
The four icons on Advanced Photo System film cassettes that show the film status - unexposed, partially exposed, fully exposed or processed.

Film Speed
The sensitivity of a given film to light, indicated by a number such as ISO 200. The higher the number, the more sensitive or faster the film. Note: ISO stands for International Standards Organization.

A colored piece of glass or other transparent material used over the lens to emphasize, eliminate, or change the color or density of the entire scene or certain areas within a scene.
Harbor photographed with yellow filter Parthenon photographed with diffraction filter
Photographer: Herb Jones
Filter: Yellow
Film Size: 35 mm
Photographer: Kodak Photo Info Services
Filter: Star
Film Size: 35 mm

A viewing device on a camera to show the subject area that will be recorded on the film. Also known as viewfinder and projected frame.

Describes a non-adjustable camera lens, set for a fixed subject distance.

Fixed-Focus Lens
A lens that has been focused in a fixed position by the manufacturer. The user does not have to adjust the focus of this lens.

Fixing Bath
A solution that removes any light-sensitive silver-halide crystals not acted upon by light or developer, leaving a black-and-white negative or print unalterable by further action of light. Also referred to as hypo.

A brief, intense burst of light from a flashbulb or an electronic flash unit, usually used where the lighting on the scene is inadequate for picture-taking.

Too low in contrast. The range in density in a negative or print is too short.

Flat Lighting
Lighting that produces very little contrast or modeling on the subject plus a minimum of shadows.

Flip-up flash
See "Cobra" Flash.

A number that indicates the size of the lens opening on an adjustable camera. The common f-numbers are f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22. The larger the f-number, the smaller the lens opening. In this series, f/1.4 is the largest lens opening and f/22 is the smallest. Also called f-stops, they work in conjunction with shutter speeds to indicate exposure settings.

Focal Length
The distance between the film and the optical center of the lens when the lens is focused on infinity. The focal length of the lens on most adjustable cameras is marked in millimetres on the lens mount.

Focal-Plane Shutter
An opaque curtain containing a slit that moves directly across in front of the film in a camera and allows image-forming light to strike the film.

Adjustment of the distance setting on a lens to define the subject sharply.

Focus Range
The range within which a camera is able to focus on the selected picture subject - 4 feet to infinity - for example.

Darkening or discoloring of a negative or print or lightening or discoloring of a slide caused by
  1. exposure to nonimage-forming light to which the photographic material is sensitive,
  2. too much handling in air during development,
  3. over-development,
  4. outdated film or paper, or
  5. storage of film or paper in a hot, humid place.

Forced Development
(See Push-processing)

The area between the camera and the principal subject.

One individual picture on a roll of film. Also, tree branch, arch, etc., that frames a subject.
Woman standing in doorway Photographer: Karen A. Smeiska
KINSA/KODAK Photo Contest
Film: KODAK GOLD 100
Film Size: 35 mm

Light shining on the side of the subject facing the camera.

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