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Holography Glossary


  • Nadar - the name adopted by the first aerial photographer, G. F. Tournachon, who took photographs from an air balloon.
  • Nanometer - a unit of measurement of light wavelength. A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter. (1/1000 micron; 10 angstroms).
  • Naphtha - a volatile petroleum based solvent such as benzine or gasoline (but not kerosene).
  • ND - an abbreviation for neutral density.
  • Near ultraviolet - wavelengths from about 400nm down to 250nm. Most photographic emulsions are sensitive to this range of bands.
  • Negative - the image produced on a photographic emulsion by the product of exposure and development, in which tones are reversed so that highlights appear dark and shadows appear light.
  • Negative carrier - supports the negative between the light source and the enlarging lens of an enlarger.
  • Neutral density - a technique which makes possible shorter printing times in color printing.
  • Neutral density filter - a gray camera filter which has an equal opacity to all the colors of the spectrum and so does not affect the colors in the final image. It is used to reduce the amount of light entering the camera when aperture or shutter settings must remain constant.
  • Neutral filtration - in color printing is the filtration at which color balance is achieved, rendering a neutral gray ion the film image as a neutral gray on the photographic paper.
  • New Objectivity - an approach to the subject matter of photography originating in Germany in the 1920s. The photographer remains an impartial observer, intensifying the appreciation of forms and structures in ordinary things but de-personalizing his/her approach.
  • New Realism - an alternative name for New Objectivity.
  • Newton's rings - rings of colored light produced when two glass or transparent surfaces are in partial contact.
  • Nitrate base - an early flexible film support which was highly inflammable.
  • Nitric acid - used in emulsion manufacture, in toners, and in bleaches, it is highly corrosive.
  • Nodal plane - an imaginary line passing through the nodal point, perpendicular to the optical axis.
  • Nodal points - located in two areas in a compound lens system. The front nodal point is where rays of light entering the lens appear to aim. The rear nodal point is where the rays of light appear to have come from, after passing through the lens. Nodal points are used to calculate optical measurements.
  • Non-silver processes - image making processes that do not require the use of metallic silver, such as Gum bichromate.
  • Non-substantive - a name given to color film in which the color couplers are not contained within the emulsion, but are introduced during processing.
  • Notch - a V or U shaped cut into one edge of sheet film. It denotes the location of the sensitive side of the film as well as identifying the type of film.