When you are new to photography you will often come across unknown words or concepts in manuals, in books, on homepages, in software, or when talking to other photo enthusiasts. Today, in the world of photography, new terms are continually being introduced. Consequently, this list of words may be helpful to you.
If you are unable to find the word you were looking for in the list below, you might try searching for it at www.google.com or www.wikipedia.com.
In an 8-bit colour image/file each pixel is represented by eight bits, this equals 256 colours or shades of grey.
In a 24-bit colour image/file each pixel is represented by 24 bits, this equals 16.7 million colours. Eight bits – or one byte – are connected with the red, green, and blue colour components of a pixel.
A screen resolution generally assumed to produce life-like colours, it has a colour palette of more than 16 million colours.
Based on the primary colours red, green, and blue it is possible to create any given colour. For instance, combining 100 percent red, green, and blue will result in white.
Analog transmitted data can be represented by an unbroken continuous wave form that corresponds to the original signal. Examples of analog sources include: traditional photos, phonograph records, and cassette tapes.
A function that makes it possible to work on your computer while it is simultaneously performing another task, e.g. editing one image while printing another.
Digital information represented by either 1 or 0 (on/off).
An image formed by dots or pixels. The general structure is the same as in a raster image which contains rows of dots or pixels instead of vectorized coordinates.
Light intensity. The light intensity of a pixel is normally defined on a scale from 0 (black) to 255 (white).
A temporary storage located in the RAM (“working memory”) of a computer. This buffer allows the CPU (the processor) to process data quickly before they are transmitted to, for instance, a printer.
A package of digital information. 1 byte = 8 bits.
The amount of information that it is possible to transmit between two locations in a given period of time.
The mutual colour calibration/colour adjustment of two units. E.g. monitor/printer or scanner/phototypesetting machine.
A writeable Kodak product which allows the optical storage of texts, images, or graphics - permanently or temporarily. As the CD allows multiple “recordings” (multisessions) it is possible to write and erase again and again.
CD-ROM (Compact Disc, Read-Only Memory)
Non-writeable CD for storing programs et cetera.
Sensor(s) that record the image taken with a digital camera. CMOS sensors are usually found in digital cameras of high quality equipped with megapixel sensors.
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black/K)
One of several colour systems used in printing for combining primary colours in order to produce a four-colour image or filmset. The CMYK system is based on the subtractive primary colours (cyan, magenta, yellow) and black. The latter is referred to as K or keyline as the matter (text) is situated in this layer/on black film.
Correcting colour and colour density.
Compact Flash Card (“Digital film”)
A type of memory card used in digital cameras for storing images. The data stored on the card may be erased when needed - when the images have been transmitted to the computer or if they are not wanted. It is used in all Kodak digital cameras. Compact Flash has a very large share of the market (approx. 75 percent).
Compressing data in order to reduce the size of files that need to be stored. Data compression can be “lossy”, i.e. highly compressed (such as a JPEG file) Or “lossless” i.e. less compressed – such as TIFF or LZW files. The greatest level of compression is achieved by using the “lossy" method. By the way, JPEG files automatically decompress (expand) when they are used/opened.
The difference between dark and bright parts of an image.
High contrast: the image contains many dark or bright elements. Medium contrast: a good distribution of black and white. Low contrast: little difference between black and white values in the image.
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
The central processing unit. This chip (e.g. Pentium II or 585) Processes, more or less, all data in a computer.
The common denominator for everything stored on the hard disk of a computer ranging from input to output or information. For a computer to be able to work with data it must be stored digitally, that is “resolved” in ones or zeros.
The basic setting/the setting made by the manufacturer – which can be changed by the user.
A device that measures the amount of light reflected or transmitted by an object – e.g. a photo.
A system or unit containing information (data) which can be stored or operated/activated by using on/off impulses, consequently every element of information has a precise or periodically uniform value (code).
Digital film (NC)
See Compact Flash.
A digital camera records an image via a CCD. The image can subsequently be downloaded (transferred) to a computer on which it will be possible to work on the image.
An image consisting of pixels.
Using digital zoom it is possible to increase the zoom level of an optical lens. When using digital zoom the centre of the image is trimmed (cropped) and subsequently restored in the desired level of magnification or resolution.
Transmitting files/documents to the computer – e.g. from a floppy disk, CD, digital camera, or a scanner.
DPI (Dots Per Inch)
Indicates the resolution a printer or monitor is able to produce. Laser printers usually produce a resolution of 300 DPI and most monitors will produce 72 DPI. Most PostScript typesetters produce a resolution of 1200-2450 DPI. The DPI unit is also used for indicating the number of pixels in a file or the raster density (line screen dots).
Drag and drop
Drag and drop editing. A process or function that allows you to move blocks of text, graphics, or photos/images from one location on a page to another using the mouse.
A program that contains instructions that allows a computer to communicate with an external unit – a digital camera, a scanner, or a printer. Often the operating system of a computer (e.g. Windows) will contain several drivers that can be activated when installing, for instance, a new digital camera or a printer. These devices are, however, always supplied along with drivers – on floppy disks or CDs. It is often possible to download updated drivers from the internet.
Exif (Exchangable image format)
A file format used for digital cameras.
Transferring data/information from one computer to another; from one program to another; from one file to another; or from one unit to another.
File/document; a package of information, such as text, data, or graphics/images stored on a hard disk or a floppy disk.
A specific type of file/document, e.g. graphics files such as TIFF, JPEG (JPG), RAW, and EPS. The specific type of file is very important for the amount of space a finished image will take up on a hard disk or memory card.
Optical filters of glass or acetate that are placed in front of the camera lens in order to change its characteristics or to create a specific effect.
Software filters used for manipulating an image/a graphics file. Using the built in software filters of a program such as Adobe PhotoShop, you are able to make a blurred photo more distinct/clear.
A chip (integrated circuit) which is able to retain data after power has been disconnected. This means that in digital cameras equipped with a flash memory, chip images will not be lost even if the camera batteries should fall out.
Graphic Interchange Format. A raster-based graphics file format that can be used (read) on a PC as well as on a Mac. The format was developed by CompuServe.
Memory capacity. 1 GB = approx. 1000 million bytes - or 1000 megabytes (1,073,741,824 bytes = 1024 megabytes).
A monitor, RAM, CPU, hard disk (HD), printer monitor, or a disk drive.
A gradation of colour; refers to the entire colour spectrum.
A tool for graphical analysis which can be used for identifying problems with contrasts and with dynamic range in an image. Histograms are standard tools in most image editing programs.
ICC (International Color Consortium)
A screen icon. A tiny graphic symbol or image on the screen/desktop which represents a file, a folder, a disk, or a command.
Image editing. Capturing and processing images for the purpose of treating and/or transferring information.
E.g. the number of pixels per inch or per millimetre.
To enter into a document data collected from another computer, program, or file.
A printer that uses ink for operating. A relatively cheap alternative to a laser printer. An ink printer creates text and images/graphics by spraying tiny ink dots. Colour ink printers support many different formats and print options.
Wireless data transfer. The standard for wireless infrared transfer of information/files between two computers is fixed by The Infrared Data Association.
A compression format. A standard format developed by The Joint Photographic Experts Group which enables the compression of graphics/images. This format is based on the so-called “lossy” compression algorithm and results in a slight decrease in graphics/image quality.
The size of the memory of a computer, a disk, or the size of a document, is indicated in bytes. 1 Kilobyte equals 1024 bytes.
A printer using laser copy technology that produces prints of a high quality. The laser charges an electrostatic roll that “sucks up” the carbon based toner and prints signs or graphics on paper, acetate, et cetera.
Liquid Crystal Display. A built-in colour display/monitor used in, e.g., digital cameras. The display allows the user to see digital recordings.
A compression system/method that does not reduce the quality of the original image.
A compression system/method that removes irrelevant information during compression. This method results in a slight reduction in image/graphics quality. JPEG compression is a “lossy” method.
Masking. Defining specific image segments/areas in order to minimise the workload of image editing. Using an electronic image editing program, masking is done either manually, using the mouse, or automatically based on specific density levels, colour requirements, colour saturation, or luminance (light intensity). The method is comparable to the method of masking on a photo enlarger.
1 Megabyte = 1 million bytes (1,048,576 bytes).
A term that indicates the number of pixels in millions. In theory, the more pixels in an image the higher the resolution and the higher the quality. There are, however, many other factors that influence the quality of the finished image: when the number of pixels is increased the size of the individual pixel element will be reduced and the ability to record light will consequently be reduced. The same principle applies to colour formation. In order to avoid these problems it is very important that the CCD chip is of a very high quality.
A term from graphic design. A wavelike pattern (interference) created when one or more half-tone films are out of registry – i.e. they do not match each other 100 percent.
Nickel Metal Hydride Battery (Ni-MH)
This type of battery is generally recommended for use in digital cameras. Partly, because of the high performance which is 50 percent better compared to nickel cadmium batteries (Ni-Cd). And, partly, because this type of battery can be recharged 500 times. But also because they recharge quickly and they maintain a high performance longer than other types of batteries. finally, Ni-MH batteries are also environmentally safe.
An overview of colours.
Shows you all available colours/colour combinations. Using the palette you will be able to choose what colours you want to work with. You should, however, pay attention to the fact that the many possible colours increases the total amount of data and reduces working speed. In other words, "painting" will take a little longer. If your system/palette is based on 24-bit colours your palette will contain more than 16.7 million colour combinations.
An abbreviation. A plug-in card with a large memory capacity that eliminates the necessity for using a cable for transferring data/images from camera to computer as the card is inserted into a card reader. (PCMCIA = Personal Computer Memory Card International Association).
A photo CD.
A photo CD combines the best qualities of the 35mm film and digital technology and makes it possible to show images on a television screen or a computer monitor. Images can be transferred to a photo CD from 35mm film, slides, or other sources.
A file format used particularly in Macintosh computers. PICT-files can contain object graphics as well as bit-map graphics. The format comprises two versions: PICT I and PICT II. The latter is the latest standard and it supports colour graphics files of up to 24 bits.
PictBridge is a new technology that makes it possible to print images directly from camera to the printer without the use of a computer, if both the digital camera and the printer are PictBridge compatible.
When they are having their photos developed and printed, customers will be given the option of having their photos stored on a CD. The CD is delivered complete with a printed inventory, and besides containing photos in a high as well as a low resolution format, it contains an image editing program. This program developed by Kodak, in cooperation with Intel, contains Adobe software for image editing, archiving, et cetera. Built-in “guides” or instructions take the user safely through the many different options. Using this program, printing or mailing your photos to your friends is very easy.
Pixel (PICture ELement)
The smallest element in a digital image.
Plug and Play
An automatic process of installation used for connecting printers, CD drives, modems, et cetera to a computer. The installation/connection of new devices is automatically registered by the computer that takes the user through setting up and installation procedures and accesses the necessary files on the floppy disk or CD.
Random Access Memory – the working memory. The processor of the computer uses the RAM for temporary storage in connection with carrying out/working with: commands, programs, data processing, and operations. Data stored in the RAM will, however, disappear the moment power is turned off or if the computer crashes. The larger the RAM the faster the computer will be able to work. If you want to use your computer for working with large graphics/image files it would be best to have at least 64MB RAM available.
Changing the horizontal as well as the vertical size of an image.
Red, Green, and Blue... The primary colours used for creating colours in computer monitors and television sets.
The level of saturation indicates how “pure” a colour is, “pure” meaning how little white has been added to the colour. If a colour is 100 percent saturated it does not contain any white. If a colour is not saturated it is called a shade of grey.
An optical unit which can convert images/photos into a digital format that can be stored and manipulated on a computer.
A “filter” used for reducing the difference between adjacent pixels. Smoothing may reduce contrast somewhat and the image may appear slightly out of foucs.
A filter used for enhancing edges/outlines and thus creating sharpness in areas of an image that are not quite sharp. This process is often carried out with an image editing program, however, some scanners are able to carry out a similar function.
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
A port. Connecting external devices is simplified by using the USB port, as the computer will immediately "recognise"/find the device. For instance, images from several Kodak digital cameras can be transferred to the computer using the USB port. USB ports are approx. 10 times faster than serial ports.
A compression program. A windows based program that allows you to “pack up” or “unpack” files regardless of the file type. The advantage of compressing large files is that it saves space and thus sending files attached to e-mails will take less time. Compression does not damage or change the content of a document or a file. Depending on the format, files can be compressed up to 70 percent.
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