Thursday, April 19, 2012

Photo Editing The Terminology

Photo Editing Overview Photo Editing Terms 1 - A To D Photo Editing Terms 2 - D To I Photo Editing Terms 3 - I To M Photo Editing Terms 4 - M To R Photo Editing Overview Photographs capture a moment in time. Photos are generally regarded as "factual," as opposed to a drawing or painting, which would be the artist's interpretation. Photos tend to be trusted more, because they accurately depict what was in front of the camera at the moment the picture was taken. At least, photographs are supposed to be accurate. How easy is it to edit a photo so that it shows something different than what really happened? The concept of photo editing is almost as old as photography itself. The first photographic images were recorded in the 1820s, and one of the first widely known edited photos was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Sometime in the 1860s, someone took a standing portrait of Southern Congressman John Calhoun, pasted in Lincoln's face from the portrait for the five dollar bill, and created a historic photo of Lincoln on the spot. Even an action as simple and innocent as cropping the picture can be controversial. Imagine a scene of the wreckage left by a tornado. If the photographer cropped out all of the damage, and focused instead on a single building that somehow survived, it would appear that the tornado hadn't damaged very much at all. In today's world of digital photography, some photo editing is necessary on nearly every picture. Digital cameras have to "guess" at the proper color, contrast, and shading of the pictures they take, and proper use of photo editing tools can correct or even enhance the camera's guesswork. At the same time, digital photographers must keep in mind that photography--especially journalistic photography--is meant to be a record of a moment in time, and not an artistic recreation of what the photographer wants his audience to see. While editing photographs has become quicker and easier, the temptation to alter the photographs has risen as well. Photo Editing Terms 1 - A To D Aperture The Aperture is the size of the opening in the camera lens at the moment a photo is taken. Aperture is measured in fractions, so the larger the number, the smaller the aperture opening. Shutter speed and aperture are the two primary controls for limiting the amount of light that hits the film or sensor. Application An Application is just another word for computer program. Browser A Browser is an application that allows the photographer to sort and rename the pictures in his or her collection. Burning Burning means darkening part of a photograph. In the darkroom, it's done by blocking some of the light that would normally reach the rest of the photo. In digital photo editing, it's usually a paintbrush-like tool built into the application. CD Compact Disks are the typical means of storing digital photographs. They hold about 700 megabytes of information, and can be CD-R for writeable CDs and CD-RW for re-writeable CDs. Cloning Cloning is an image editing term for copying one part of the image into another part of the same image or a different image entirely. It's used for painting out unwanted items, like electric lines. CMYK CMYK is an acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. These are the four colors used in the standard printing process. It's also a color mode in photo editing programs. Compact Flash Compact Flash is one form of digital camera media. It was the original standard, and is still one of the most common formats. Cropping Cropping involves chopping out part of a picture. You might crop to focus attention on the real subject, or to remove extra stuff that intruded on the picture. DVD When it comes to storing digital pictures, a DVD is basically a monster-sized CD. It will hold over four and a half gigabytes of data. Photo Editing Terms 2 - D To I Dodging Dodging is making a section of a photo lighter. When this is done in the darkroom, it's usually by blocking some of the light from reaching that part of the picture. In a photo editing program, it's a paintbrush like tool that lightens instead of painting. Download Downloading is the opposite of uploading. Downloading means to pull data from another location. Normally it means to get data from the Internet, but in digital photography, it also means to get the pictures from the camera. Sometimes used interchangeably with Importing. DPI Most photo printers and monitors measure their resolution in Dots Per Inch, or DPI. The higher the number, the higher the resolution. EXIF EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image Format. Most digital images have two parts. The first is the image itself, which is usually stored as a JPG image. The second is the EXIF data. EXIF data most often includes all of the photographer's information, like the date and time the picture was taken and the shutter speed and aperture set at the time. Flip Flipping an image is the same as reflecting it in a mirror. Flipping is one of the basic image editing tools. Grayscale Technically speaking, a spectrum of gray shades from black to white. A grayscale picture is the digital equivalent of a black and white photo. Highlights The Highlights are the whitest part of a picture. Normally, they are a very small percentage of the picture, because it's very easy to lose details in highlights. Histogram A Histogram is a chart that graphs all of the tones in a photo. Most programs will generate histograms, and most digital cameras can create them also. Image File Format The format of an image file determines the size of the file, the overall image quality, and several other things. Common image file formats are JPG, GIF, TIFF, and PNG. Photo Editing Terms 3 - I To M Image Resolution The Resolution is the number of pixels, or dots, in a picture. Inkjet Printer An Inkjet printer sprays tiny jets of ink onto paper. ISO The sensitivity of film is measured by ISO, and the larger the number, the more senstive the film. ISO 100 needs a lot of light, like outdoors on a sunny day. ISO 1600 doesn't need much light. However, higher ISO means more grain in the film. Digital images borrowed the ISO scale to measure the sensitivity of a camera sensor. Just like the grain that's added to film at higher ISO settings, more "noise" is added to digital images at higher ISO. In general, as ISO goes up, quality goes down. JPG or JPEG The Joint Photographic Experts Group developed a method for making digital images smaller while sacrificing only a little bit of quality in the process. This is called JPG compression, and is the most common picture format on the Internet. Landscape The word landscape, like portrait, actually has two meanings. The first and original is the photography term for a picture of wide open spaces, like a mountain or sunset. The second meaning is a description of the alignment of a picture. Pictures that are oriented horizontally--with the narrow sides upright--are known as Landscape images, whether they depict a mountain or not. Layers Think of Layers as sheets of tracing paper or transparency film laid over top of your image. Graphic designers use layers to separate out elements of their project, so that they can work on individual pieces without damaging others. Adjustment Layers are a special kind of layer that shows the results of whatever filter or function is attached to that layer. Media Media is a technical term for storage. Compact disks, memory chips, even floppy disks, are all storage media. Removeable media is a chip or disk that can be moved from one computer to another without losing data. Photo Editing Terms 4 - M To R Megabyte A megabyte is generally about a million bytes, or a thousand kilobytes. Technically, a megabyte is 1024 kilobytes. Megapixel A megapixel is one million pixels, or dots. Megapixels are the de facto standard for measuring the power of a digital camera. Generally speaking, a four megapixel image can be printed at about 5x7 or perhaps even 8x10 without making the pixels so large it ruins the picture. Memory Stick (R) One brand of digital camera media. It looks like a small stick of chewing gum. Online Photo Printing Online Printers are Internet companies that allow their members to upload pictures for printing. Once the prints are done, the company then mails them to the customer. Panning Panning the camera involves following a moving subject while snapping the picture. Done properly, the subject will be sharp and the background behind it will be blurry. This technique can be duplicated by using a radial blur on the background in a photo editing application. Photochopping Also Photoshopping. Digitally altering a familiar photograph into a visual joke of some kind, usually by merging two pictures (like a shark and a rescue helicopter). Pixel Pixel is short for Picture Element, and it's basically a dot. All digital pictures are made up of these dots, and counting them is a measure of the image (pixels per inch, or PPI), print (dots per inch, or DPI), and camera power (millions of pixels or megapixels). Portrait The word Portrait actually has two meanings. The first and original is the photography term for a picture of a person. The second meaning is a description of the alignment of a picture. Pictures that are oriented vertically--with the long sides upright--are known as Portrait images, whether they depict a person or not. RAW RAW is the internal format of a digital camera. Many cameras "pre-process" images. They will do JPG compression, white balancing, and a number of other adjustments. The RAW image is the starting point for all of these. Digital photographers prefer to start from the RAW file so that they can make their own changes to these items.


Canon EOS Rebel XT

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