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f/stop - Fixed openings or settings for lens apertures that, when combined with shutter speeds, determine exposure.
ferrotype - (1) The appearance of shiny patches on the gelatin surface of photographs. Brought about by contact with smooth surface, particularly plastic enclosures or glass, under conditions of high relative humidity. If photographs are stored in plastic enclosures under pressure (i.e., in a stack), ferrotyping can occur at moderate levels of relative humidity. (2) A finishing process involving heat, pressure, and a polished metal sheet while drying fiber-base black and white prints, to create a highly glossy surface.
fiber content - A statement of the types and percentages of fibers used in the manufacture of a paper, board, or cloth. Important because the quality of the fiber significantly affects both the durability and chemical stability of the material.
field-cameras - Large format cameras (typically, 4 x 5", 5 x 7", or 8 x 10" sheet film format) usually made of wood elements. Designed to be compact and relatively lightweight for carrying to locations. Traditional and historic use centered around landscape photography out in the "fields" or remote locations.
film - A transparent plastic material, usually of cellulose acetate or polyester on which a light- sensitive emulsion is coated, or on which an image can be formed by various transfer processes.
film developer - Solution composed of developing agents, preservatives, accelerator or activator and a restrainer. The solution transforms the latent image on exposed film into a visible image.
film holder - Light-tight cartridge used to hold sheet film (4x5, 5x7, 8x10) for large format cameras. Film holder is inserted in the back of the camera and a dark slide is raised to allow for camera exposure. Film holders are usually two-sided.
fixer - A solution used in photographic processing that removes unexposed silver halides (light-sensitive metallic compounds) from the emulsion and makes the image stable and impervious to light. The amount of time the emulsion spends in the fixer is called the clearing time. Fixer is also known as hypo. Some fixers include hardening agents to make the emulsion more resistant to abrasion.
flat files - Primarily used for large print storage, flat file drawers are unusually large width and depth dimensions, but of shallow height. Used typically by museums, artists and institutions where access and careful storage of flat work is desired.
flat plate - Smooth, somewhat heavy metal plate used to hold prints or paper flat. Used in photography during and after the print drying process. Also used in dry mounting to ensure flatness and good bond after removal from the heat press.
floating mat - Matting technique, mounting the image or artwork on the backing mat and cutting the over mat larger than the artwork, leaving a small margin of space between the original artwork and over mat.
flute or corrugation - One of the wave shapes in the inner portion of combined corrugated fibreboard. The flutes most commonly used are: A-flute--3/16"(height); B-flute--3/32"; C-flute-- 9/64"; E-flute--3/64".
folio - (1) A sheet of paper measuring 17" x 22". (2) A leaf numbered on the recto; the numeral itself in a book or manuscript in which the leaves are numbered. (3) A volume made up of sheets of paper folded once; the largest size.
foot-candle (meter-candle) - A term for the measurement of light; the illumination produced when the light from a point source of one candle falls on a source one foot, or meter, away from the candle. See also lux.
formaldehyde - Solution or gas used as preservative or as an agent in many manufacturing processes. Residual formaldehyde may be found in such diversified materials as paper, paperboard, foam board, particle board, fabrics and adhesives. Photographs are adversely affected by formaldehyde.
formaldehyde - A polymer of styrene a rigid and sometimes transparent thermoplastic used in molded products and sheet materials.
foxing - Spots of various sizes and intensity, usually brownish in color,- that disfigure paper. They are caused by a combination of fungi, paper impurities, and dampness.
frame - (1) To enclose a picture in a border. (2) A decorative design around a picture. (3) The area of a photographic film exposed to light in a camera during one exposure, whether or not the area is filled with an image. (4) A single area in a grid pattern.
fungicide - An agent that destroys or inhibits the growth of fungi, as in the chemical thymol.
fungus - Parasitic lower plants that grow by absorbing dissolved organic matter. Includes molds, mildew, smuts, mushrooms and yeasts.