A Glossary of Photographic Terms: B

Image Map B.jpg

Some of the ready resources: Nikon - Terms, SLRs, lenses || Canon - A & T series SLRs , FD Lenses || Minolta -XK/XD11 || Pentax - LX || Olympus - OM1/OM2 series, Zuiko Lenses || Contax - RTS Series | Hasselblad - Bodies, older lenses | Rollei - bodies

B (Bulb) Setting

A shutter-speed setting on an adjustable camera that allows for time exposures. When set on B, the shutter will stay open as long as the shutter release button remains depressed. Another similar option is the "T" setting, where it never drains the battery power on automatic camera body.


The part of the scene the appears behind the principal subject of the picture. The sharpness of the background can be influenced by apertures and shuttle set. In the flash mode, bulb setting usually is set for absorbing more ambience light (background information), so the end result of the exposure won't be pitch dark.


Light coming from behind the subject, toward the camera lens, so that the subject stands out vividly against the background. Sometimes produces a silhouette effect. Always use something (a hand, a lens shade to avoid the light falls onto the lens - to avoid lens flares).


Information printed on the back of a picture by the photofinisher. The system standard requires the printing of frame number, film cassette number and processing date automatically on the back of each Advanced Photo System print; may also include more detailed information, such as customized titles and time and date of picture-taking.

Barrel Distortion

Straight lines are bowed in at the edges of the picture frame re sembling the sides of a barrel; pres ent in small amounts in some wideangle or wideangle-zoom lenses, bu~ uncorrected in fisheye lenses.


Placement of colors, light and dark masses, or large and small objects in a picture to create harmony and equilibrium. Description applied to colour films to indicate their ability to produce acceptable colour response in various types of lighting. The films normally available are balanced for daylight (550~6000K photo lamps (3400K) or studio lamps (3200K).

Balanced Fill-Flash : A type of TTL auto flash operation which uses the camera's exposure meter to control ambient light exposure settings, integrated with flash exposure control. That is, flash output level is automatically compensated to balance with ambient light, resulting in a better exposure for both subject and background.

Balanced fill-flash operation :

A flash photography technique that balances flash illumination with the scene's ambient light. This automatic operation utilizes the some camera's Automatic Balanced Fill Flash System with TTL Multi Sensor and a compatible dedicated TTL Speedlight.


The folding (accordion) portion in some cameras that connects the lens to the camera body (like the Mamiya RZ). Also a camera accessory that, when inserted between lens and camera body, extends the lens-to-film distance for close focusing or macro phtography. Some retains the automatic functions where some have to stopdown the lens for manual exposure reading.

Between-The-Lens Shutter

A shutter whose blades operate between two elements of the lens. Most medium format cameras like the Hasselblad have one family of lens with shuttle and another without. Most lenses in this family have a smaller maximum aperture than the other family.


An enlargement; a print that is made larger than the negative or slide.

Bounce Lighting

Flash or tungsten light bounced off a reflector (such as the ceiling or walls) or attachment that fits on the flash (like the LumiQuest's Pocket Bouncer) to give the effect of natural or available light.

Bracket flash

Often called handle mount flash. It comprised of one arm of the L-shaped bracket extends under the camera body and uses the camera's tripod socket to mount the camera on the bracket. The vertical arm of the bracket serves as a handle and mounts a flash unit in an accessory shoe often on top of the handle portion, but there are other methods. Flash mounted in a bracket usually requires a separate electrical cord to make the electrical connection between camera body and flash unit.


Taking a series of photographs of the same subject at different exposures to insure the "correct" exposure; useful when shooting in situations where a normal metering reading is difficult to obtain. Taking additional pictures of the subject through a range of exposures-both lighter and darker-when unsure of the correct exposure.Some top cameras have provision for automatic bracketing, while manually you can bracket by the use of, say, adjust apertures or shuttle speeds setting or both, manually influent the ASA setting or even adjust the flash output power etc..


Basically, a darkroom process that gives additional exposure to part of the image projected on an enlarger easel to make that area of the print darker. This is accomplished after the basic exposure by extending the exposure time to allow additional image-forming light to strike the areas in the print you want to darken while holding back the image-forming light from the rest of the image. Sometimes called printing-in.


Flashbulbs - A special flashbulb that can be used at certain shutter speeds is called "FP" where the initials stand for Focal Plane. Designed for use with focal-plane shutters these bulbs make a nearly uniform amount of light for a relatively long time. The idea is to turn on the light before the focal-plane shutter starts to open and keep the light on until the shutter is completely closed. Firing delay for flashbulbs is indicated by code letters: "F"- fast; "M"- medium; "MF" - mediurn fast; "S" - slow

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Image Map B.jpg

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