Select glossary of photography terms used by
auction and collectibles people - with examples.
Albumen print Prints made on a paper coated
with an egg white and salt solution, then sensitized with silver nitrates.
Candid Shot The refinement of smaller cameras
and better lens in the 1920s made practical the "candid shot" -
a non-posed, photograph taken indoors with available light. Unburdened by
large apparatus and distracting flashes, photographers could capture
relaxed moments for the first time.
Cliché verre From the French for "glass
negative," denotes a particular use of glass as a negative for a
drawing. Used as early as 1835, this photographic method allows the artist
to add painterly touches to the photographic negative.
early photographic process invented by the Frenchman Louis Jacques Mande
Daguerre in the 1830s. Images were imprinted on sheets of copper that had
been coated with silver on one side, then polished to a mirror-bright
sheen. Thousands of daguerreotypes were produced but the lack of
reproducibility doomed it to obsolescence once glass negatives were
introduced in the 1850s.
Group f.64 Loosely affiliated group of mostly
West Coast photographers who advocated the "straight" style of
photography. Inspired by the work of Edward
Weston, charter members
included Ansel Adams and Imogene Cunningham. These non-pictorialists named
their group for the aperture position that secures the maximum image
sharpness in both the foreground and distance.
Gelatin print The "driest of the dry
processes." Developed in the 1870s, gelatin dry plates solved many of
the technical problems associated with developing photographs and led to
the standardization of materials.
Platinum print Also known as a contact
print. Because its taken directly from the negative, it has the
highest level of detail possible.
Photogravure An intaglio printing process for
reproducing photographic images in printers ink.
Photomontage The pasting together or
otherwise assembling of separate or disparate elements to form a new
visual whole. Photomontage's origins lay in the Dadaist movement and, by
mixing photography, illustration and other elements, helped bridge the gap
between photography and other art forms.
Early 20th century movement that sought to promote photography as an
expressive medium. Typical pictorialist works are characterized by
soft-focus, low tonality and careful composition.
Photo Secession American movement spearheaded
by Alfred Stieglitz at the turn of the 20th century. Works of the
Photo-Secessionists were showcased in seminal photography journal, Camera
Work, and in exhibitions at Stieglitz's Little Galleries at 291 Fifth
Avenue in New York. Helped establish the credibility of photography as an
Silver print A generic term referring to all
prints made on paper coated with silver salts. Most contemporary black and
white photographs are silver prints.
reversal of tones in a photograph due to gross overexposure. Solarization
causes a negative to revert to a positive.
Vintage print A
photograph printed within approximately five years of the date when the
negative was made. Later prints are called modern prints.