A4 Paper

ISO paper size 210 x 297mm used for letterhead.


A transparent sheet placed over originals or artwork, allowing the designer to write instructions and\or indicate a second color for placement.

Acid-Free Museum Board

Thin, archival acid-free board suitable for portfolios and framing.

Acid-free Paper

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.

Acid Resist

An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching.

Additive Color

Color produced by light falling onto a surface, as compared to subtractive color. The additive primary colors are red, green and blue.

Adjustable camera

A camera with manually adjustable settings for distance, lens openings, and shutter speeds.

Adjustable-focus lens

A lens that has adjustable distance settings.

Against the Grain

At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. Also called across the grain and cross grain. See also Grain Direction.


Keeping the developer, stop bath, or fixer in a gentle, uniform motion while processing film or paper. Agitation helps to speed and achieve even development and prevent spotting or staining.


Pen-shaped tool that sprays a fine mist of ink or paints to retouch photos and create continuous-tone illustrations.


Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author alteration and customer alteration.

Aluminum Mount

Archival museum quality mount with a thickness of .063”. thicker aluminum (.08“) is available for 20% more.

Aluminum Tube Brace

1” aluminum tube brace for archival mounting. Ideal for museum and exhibition mounting.

Ambient light

The available light completely surrounding a subject. Light already existing in an indoor or outdoor setting that is not caused by any illumination supplied by the photographer.

Angle of View

The area of a scene that a lens covers or sees. An angle of view is determined by the focal length of the lens. A wide-angle lens (short focal length) includes more of the scene—a wider angle of view—than a normal (normal-focal length) or telephoto (long focal length) lens. Camera Angles Various positions of the camera (high, medium, or low; and left, right, or straight on) with respect to the subject, each giving a different viewpoint or effect.

Anodized Plate

An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use.

Anti-Offset Powder

Fine powder lightly sprayed over the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave a press. Also called dust, offset powder, powder and spray powder.

Antique Paper

Roughest finish offered on offset paper.


The opening of a camera lens through which light passes to expose the film. The size of the aperture is either fixed or adjustable. Aperture size is usually calibrated in f-numbers—the larger the number, the smaller the lens opening.

Aperture Priority

An exposure mode on an automatic or autofocus camera that lets you set the aperture while the camera sets the shutter
appear in sharp focus; often misused to mean depth of field.

Aqueous Coating

Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press
to protect and enhance the printing underneath.


All original copy, including type, photos, and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.

Author’s Alterations (AA’s)

At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided. AA’s are considered an additional cost to the client usually.


The camera focuses automatically on the subject in the automatically sets both the aperture and the shutter speed for proper exposure.

Automatic Camera

A camera with a built-in exposure meter that automatically adjusts the lens opening, shutter speed, or both for proper 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.

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