The invisible image formed in a camera or printer by the action of light on a photographic emulsion.

There are two types which you can see, negative and positive. The negative image is one in which the tonal values are reversed in respect to the original subject (black and white, for example a white shirt will appear black in a negative but a middle grey subject will appear middle grey in a negative).

In a colour negative the colours of the original are represented by colours complementary to those of the original scene. The black and white positive image has tonal values with the same distribution as in the original subject. In a colour positive image the colours are substantially those of the original subject.(BS)

A latent image cannot be seen until developed to a negative or a positive.


British Standard Glossary of Terms used in the Motion Picture Industry