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"M" terms

"Macrograph" to "Multiple flash"


A MACROGRAPH shows the subject at actual size or larger.
A MACROGRAPH shows the subject at actual size or larger.

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MACROGRAPH - A photograph that is the same size as or larger than the subject.

MACRO LENS - A lens with the ability to focus from infinity to extremely closely, allowing it to capture images of tiny objects in frame-filling, larger-than-life sizes. Sometimes called a "Close-up lens," although a close-up lens is usually a lens attachment for close-ups and does not generally have the ability to focus on infinity.

MACROPHOTOGRAPHY - Photography of a subject where the image is recorded in the same or larger than actual size.

MACROSCOPIC - Visible to the naked eye, as opposed to Microscopic, which means so small as to be invisible or indistinct without the use of a microscope.

MAGAZINE - A light-proof metal container for 35 mm film, also known as a cartridge.

MAIN LIGHT - Same as “Key light”- the principal source of light, usually in a studio, and generally the brightest light on a subject or scene.

MAKE-UP ARTIST - A person who specializes in applying and touching up a subject's make-up for photography sessions.

MANUAL MODE - A camera's mode that allows the photographer to over-ride automatic exposure settings, determining shutter speed and aperture as decided upon by the photographer.

A MASK that blocked one half of the lens for the first exposure and the other half for the second exposure (with the subject repositioned to the other side of the car) resulted in this double-exposure.
A MASK that blocked one half of the lens for the first exposure and the other half for the second exposure (with the subject repositioned to the other side of the car) resulted in this double-exposure.

MASK - (1) Opaque material (usually thin plastic) placed in front of the lens like a filter to block some of the light entering a lens. The mask may have a cut-out shape (a keyhole or heart-shape, for example) or may block half of the image frame to facilitate a double-exposure. (2) Opaque frame used to hold down the edges of photographic paper when making a print. Since the margin area beneath the mask is not printed, the print will have a white border.

MATRIX METER - An exposure meter that measures light in several areas of a scene and analyzes the measurements to determine proper exposure. Also called a "Multi-segment meter".

MB - Abbreviation for Megabyte (see Megabyte below).

MEDIUM - Any space through which light passes.

MEDIUM FORMAT FILM - 120 roll film is the most popular medium-sized format film, and provides negatives or slides (transparencies) that are 2" by 2" (6 x 6 cm), 2" by 3", or 6 x 7 cm in size. 220 roll film is used to make the same negative and slide sizes, but has most of the paper backing that is found on 120 film eliminated, so the roll is longer than a 120 roll and provides twice as many frames as 120 film.

MEGABYTE - A miilion bytes, abbreviated as MB, Mb and sometimes Mbyte. Technically and more precisely, it refers to 1,048,576 bytes.

MEGAPIXEL - refers to a million pixels, and is used in describing the number of pixels that a digital device's image sensor has.

MEMORY ADAPTER - Another name for a Memory Card.

MEMORY CARD - A removable device for storing images taken by a digital camera, sometimes also called a "Picture card."

MEMORY STICK - Sony's removable, reusable image storage device that functions in a manner similar to a memory card.

METERING - Using a light meter (exposure meter) to measure the amount of a light falling on or reflected from a scene.

MICROPRISM COLLAR - Focusing aid in a viewfinder screen composed of small glass or plastic multiple prisms. An image that is in focus appears sharp and clear. An out-of-focus image has a broken-up, shimmery appearance. It's called a collar because it is ring-shaped and encircles the center area of the lens (which may have a split-image screen in it) like a collar.

MIDTONE - Area of an image or a scene that displays average tonal values.

MID-ROLL REWIND - Feature on some cameras that permits the film to be rewound before the final frame is exposed.

MINIATURE CAMERA - Camera with a film format smaller than APS film.

MIRROR LENS - Lens with an internal mirror or mirrors that are usually curved, enabling comparatively-light lenses that are shorter than similarly-designated long focus lenses.

MIRROR LOCK or "Mirror Lock-up" - Found in a camera with the ability to keep its mirror in the up position to prevent vibration from mirror movement in a long exposure. Locking up the mirror may also permit certain specialty lenses to be attached that would otherwise come into contact with the mirror, and in some digital cameras, keeps the mirror out of the way when cleaning the image sensor.

MODELING LIGHT - A tungsten light built into a studio flash that remains on while the flash is in standby mode, permitting the photographer to assess highlight and shadow areas that will be created when subsequently exposing the film or the digital sensor in the brighter light of the flash. The modeling light also provides enough light to permit focusing.

MODEL RELEASE - A contract in which a model consents to the use of his or her images by the photographer or a third party. Sometimes referred to simply as a "release."

MONITOR CALIBRATION - Changing a monitor's adjustment to accurately display colors.

A MONOCHROME is an image in differing shades of black or one color.
A MONOCHROME is an image in differing shades of black or one color.

MONOCHROME - An image of a single color in differing shades. A black and white or sepia-toned image is a monochrome.

MONOPOD - A single-leg camera support that functions like a tripod. Also called a "Unipod."

MONTAGE - (1) Combining elements from various sources, such as parts of different photographs, in a single photographic composition. (2) An image produced by this technique.

MOTOR DRIVE - Camera accessory (either built in or attached as a separate unit to some cameras) that automatically advances the film when an image has been taken and continues to recock and fire the shutter continuously, taking a rapid sequence of exposures at a predetermined rate of frames per second. A motor drive usually also rewinds the film when the roll has been completely-exposed.

MOTOR WINDER - Camera motor that automatically advances the film when an image has been taken, and usually also rewinds the film when the roll has been completely-exposed.

MOUNT - Frame or backing used to support and protect prints and transparencies. A transparency is called a "slide" once it is in a mount.

MULTIFOCUS or MULTI-SPOT FOCUS - A camera's ability to focus on objects in different areas (spots) within an image frame.

MULTIPLE EXPOSURE - More than one exposure on the same frame. Called a “Double-exposure” when there are two exposures on a single frame.

MULTIPLE FLASH - Simultaneous use of more than one flash unit.

MULTIPLICITY PHOTOGRAPHY - Similar to Multiple Exposure photography. An individual subject (typically a person or a pet) is photographed a number of times in different poses. Then the subject's images are copied using the clone tool in a digital editing program such as Adobe PhotoShop and pasted into a single image so that the subject appears more than once in the same scene.

MULTI-SEGMENT METER - See "Matrix meter" above.