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"E" terms

"Easel" to "Extension tubes"


Hand-holding an off-camera ELECTRONIC FLASH.
Hand-holding an off-camera ELECTRONIC FLASH.

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EASEL - A darkroom device used to hold paper flat while exposing it to light from an enlarger. An easel creates a white border surrounding a print because its "arms" block light from striking the print paper's edges. The sliding arms can be adjusted vertically and horizontally in order to create prints of specific measurements - e.g. 4" X 6" or 5" X 7" and so on.

An EASEL holds paper flat while exposing it to light from an enlarger.
An EASEL holds paper flat while exposing it to light from an enlarger.

ED - "ED" refers to "Extra Low Dispersion" glass made by Nikon for some of its lenses. It ensures apochromatic-like performance, with high contrast and sharper images. An ED lens is one that has ED glass in one or more of its elements.

EF - Abbreviation for "electronic flash."

EI - Abbreviation for Exposure Index (See definition below).

ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM - The entire range of electromagnetic radiation - all of its wavelengths, including those of visible light.

ELECTRONIC FLASH - Artificial light source produced by an electrical discharge traveling between two electrodes through a gas-filled tube. The light from electronic flash is brief and approximately the same color as daylight.

ELECTRONIC NOISE or just NOISE - This is the grainy look you find in a digital image caused by image artifacts. It may also appear as flecks of color that should not be there. It is usually noticeable in shadow areas, and generally produced when shooting in low light. Noise is almost always unwanted and unattractive.

ELECTRONIC NOISE REDUCTION - Better known simply as NOISE REDUCTION. In some cameras, noise reduction can be activated or switches on automatically at slow shutter speeds. Note that noise reduction often requires more time for the photo to be written to the memory card, during which you will be unable to take a picture.

ELEMENT - A single lens that is a component of a compound lens.

EMULSION - A light-sensitive composition consisting of one or more of the silver halides suspended in gelatin for coating a surface of a film, photographic paper and the like. The image is formed in the emulsion.

EMULSION SIDE - The side of the film or photographic paper that has the emulsion coating on it. The emulsion side of film is recognized by being dull, whereas the emulsion side of paper is shiny.

ENLARGEMENT - A photographic print in which the scale of an object is larger than the same object in the negative, or a digital image that is larger than the camera's image sensor. In popular use, however, most people think of an enlargement as being substantially larger than the image area of most negative sizes or sensors - a print that is at least 5" X 7" or 8" X 10" in size. Also known as a "Blow-up."

ENLARGER - An adjustable light projection device used in a darkroom to project an enlarged image from a negative through a lens onto photographic paper in various degrees of enlargement.

ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAIT - A portrait in which the subject’s surrounding environment is also included in the photograph.

EPS - Short for "Encapsulated Post-Script," EPS is useful in transferring Postscript art from one application to another.

EQUIVALENT EXPOSURES - Shutter speed and aperture combinations that provide proper exposure for the same scene are called "equivalent exposures." See Shutter speed/aperture combinations for information on choosing the right exposure settings.

EV - Abbreviation for Exposure Value (see below).

EXIF - Exchangeable Image File Format. Data produced by a digital camera that becomes attached to each image made by the camera, including make & model of camera, date & time, image format (e.g. jpeg, tiff, etc.)and dimensions, color & exposure modes, shutter speed, aperture setting, sensitivity, focal length of lens, whether the flash was on or off, white balance, exposure bias, metering mode and camera orientation when the picture was taken.

EXISTING LIGHT - The light that is naturally illuminating a scene without any additional light that has been added by the photographer. Ambient light and available light are two other terms that mean the same thing.

A tricky play of light and shadow presents a challenge to obtaining proper EXPOSURE.
A tricky play of light and shadow presents a challenge to obtaining proper EXPOSURE.

EXPOSURE - (1) Exposure occurs when light is permitted to strike a digital camera's image sensor or a traditional camera's film - i.e. when the sensor/film is exposed to light. (2) Exposure is the total amount of light striking the sensor/film or other photographic material. (3) Also refers to a combination of shutter speed and aperture used in exposing the sensor/film in a camera, as in “My light meter shows an exposure (or an exposure reading) of 1/125 second at ƒ/11.” Aperture and shutter speed combinations are referred to as “exposure settings.” “Proper exposure” refers to an exposure setting that produces an image satisfactory to the photographer.

EXPOSURE COMPENSATION - Deliberately changing the exposure settings recommended by a light meter in order to obtain proper exposure. (Sometimes an exposure meter or light meter is “tricked” into providing settings that will underexpose or overexpose an image, for example, when the subject is relatively small in a field of bright, white snow. In such a case, a light meter may provide exposure settings that would underexpose the subject, and the photographer needs to “compensate” to obtain proper exposure.) The range of brightness, including shadow detail, that a film or digital sensor can record in a single image before the highlights wash out or the shadows become muddy - is that film's or sensor's exposure latitude.

EXPOSURE INDEX or EI - A number that indicates a film's effective speed.

EXPOSURE LATITUDE - A measure of a specific film’s or a digital sensor's ability to be overexposed or underexposed and still produce an acceptable image. It is measured in a range of ƒ-stops. Most negative films (regardless of brand name) have an exposure latitude of five to seven stops, whereas most transparency (slide) films have less exposure latitude –– in the range of three to five ƒ-stops. There is almost no exposure latitude when shooting digitally - perhaps a third of a stop.

This handheld EXPOSURE METER measures both incident light and electronic flash.
This handheld EXPOSURE METER measures both incident light and electronic flash.

EXPOSURE METER - An instrument containing a light-sensitive cell used to measure the amount of light reflected from or falling on a subject. The measurement is usually expressed in shutter speed and aperture combinations that will render an acceptable exposure. (Also known as a light meter.)

EXPOSURE SETTING - The aperture and shutter speed combination used to expose the film in a camera.

EXPOSURE VALUE - The Exposure Value (EV) system, which originated in Germany in the 1950s, was created to be a simple-to-use substitute for the shutter speed/aperture combination, using a single number instead of two.

EXTENSION TUBES - Tubes made from metal or rigid plastic inserted between the lens and the camera, thereby making the lens to film distance greater. The result is increased magnification for close-up photography. They are sometimes also referred to as "extension rings". They are frequently sold in sets of three different lengths, each of which can be used on its own or in combination with the others. When stacking more than one extension tube between the camera and lens, magnification can exceed life size. However, exposure time can be quite long as magnification increases since light must travel much further to strike the sensor or film.