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Digital Photography Glossary

Photography Glossary - B

Understand the terminology of digital photography, digital printing and digital imaging so that you will become a better photographer. Photographic terms such as Bitmap, Bounced Flash, Blur, Bracketing, Bronzing, and more.



Bitmap is a type of digital image file format that enables maximum color depth and stores image pixel information bit by bit. Bitmap images contain a finite number of pixel, so the resolution of the output device effects the detail and quality of a bitmapped image. Therefore, when you scale a bitmap image there is image degradation.


Blend Mode

Blend Mode is one of the essential photo editing options available in Adobe's Photoshop for image manipulation. Blend Mode enables you to control the intermixing of various layers within Photoshop to obtain different, subtle changes in the image.


Blown Out

Blown Out images occur when the brightness intensity of the image is more than the recording medium can effectively store. Blown out images are usually the result of accidental overexposure, but one can use this as a technique for artistic purposes. The term Blown Out also refers to highlights that have lost the majority of their detail.



When your camera is unable to effectively freeze the movement of an object and captures it with soft, indistinct edges. Blur is denoted by a distinct lack of sharpness in an image. Camera or subject movement during a slower than needed shutter speed is what typically causes blurring.


Bounced Flash

Bounced Flash - the flash photography technique in which the photographer bounces the intense light from a flash unit off of another surface (e.g. the ceiling, a bounce card, foam core, etc.) in order to illuminate the main subject with a diffused light. This technique provides a softer, less contrasted light source.



Auto Bracketing

Bracketing is the technique of shooting multiple images of the same subject at different exposure values in order to discover the most optimal image in terms of color, contrast and lighting.



Brighthness is a discreet measurement that indicates the distinction in luminance from the darkest area of a picture to the lightest area of the picture. In addition, Brightness describes the relative value of a color, in that the higher the brightness value the closer the color is to white.



Brozning occurs with inkjet printers when the printer mixes another color with black ink, and when the ink is applied to glossy photo paper. The mixed black ink will appear “bronze” when viewed from an indirect angle. While this happens all the time with color inkjet printing, the effect is masked by the other colors when you make a color print. Bronzing is most apparent with strict Black & White prints. To avoid this headache, use a printer that accepts Photo Black and Matte Black inks to manage the grayscale of the image.


Bulb Mode

Bulb mode is a shutter speed mode that allows the camera operator to hold open the shutter for as long as the shutter release button is held down. The longest shutter speed on most cameras is 30 seconds, however, bulb mode enables you to extend your exposures as long as necessary. It's recommend that you use a cable release when using bulb mode to eliminate camera shake.


Burned Out

Burned Out – refers to when the highlights are burned out or severely overexposed, so all the detail is lost and there is usually color saturation shifts in the midtones and shadows. This is usually caused by either too long a shutter speed, or too large an aperture setting.



Burst is a shooting mode in which the camera fires off multiple shots in a short, a staccato fashion, upwards of 4 or 5 frames per second. Burst mode has replaced the motor drive feature on film cameras.

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