Glossary of Art Terms




Paper made from pulp containing little or no acid so it resists deterioration from age. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.

The albumen print, also called albumen silver print, was invented in 1850 by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and was the first commercially exploitable method of producing a photographic print on a paper base from a negative. It used the albumen found in egg whites to bind the photographic chemicals to the paper and became the dominant form of photographic positives from 1855 to the turn of the century, with a peak in the 1860-90 period. During the mid-1800s, the carte de visite became one of the more popular uses of the albumen method. In the 19th century, E. & H. T. Anthony & Company were the largest makers and distributors of the Albumen photographic prints and paper in the United States.

A collodion positive created by placing an underexposed, bleached glass collodion negative in front of a dark background, often cloth or lacquer, to give the image the appearance of a positive image. Patented in the United States in 1854 by James Ambrose Cutting. Popular 1850s-70s.

A print in which a digital file is outputted from a computer to an inkjet printer using archival quality paper and the image is printed with archival inks, which are UV stable and have a longevity of about 70-100 years.

The relative sizes of the height and width of an image. Many different aspect ratios have and continue to be used in photography. In film photography, the 3:2 ratio became the most commonplace, as it was the native ratio of 135 films. The 4:3 ratio of 645 formats also saw alot of usage. Many film cameras used a 1:1 (square) ratio, exemplified by the popular 126-film format.

Almost all digital camera models today natively use the 4:3 ratio. There are few exceptions to this rule among compact cameras but the majority of dSLR cameras use 3:2 sensors. A small number of compact cameras have had 3:2, 16:9 and 5:4 aspect ratio sensors.

An assortment of aspect ratios is used with photographic prints. This means images are often cropped to fit.

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