Photo Editing Terms
Don't Pull Your Hair Out
Photo Editing Terms; do we really know and understand them? Most editing programs seem to take it for granted that we do.
With the emergence of easy to use, less expensive(some are free) photo editing software, we can now take all the photos of family occasions and other special memories and edit them ourselves before adding them to a slideshow or album.
So don't pull your hair out if you don't understand the graphics-related jargon. On this page we have listed many of the most common terms for you to refer to.
Anti-aliasing - The process of smoothing out jagged edges, making an image look less blurry.
Aperture – 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..
Application – A computer program, such as an image editor or image browser.
Burning – Darkening part of a photograph.
CD – Compact Discs are a means of storing digital photos.
Cloning – Copying one part of an image into another part of the same image or a different image. Can be used to remove things in the photo.
CMYK – cyan, magenta, yellow and black - the four colors used in a standard printing process.
Contrast – The difference between the darkest and lightest areas in a photo. The greater the difference, the higher the contrast.
Cropping – To remove part of the picture so as to focus attention on the real subject; or to remove background clutter.
DVD – Similar to a CD, but stores a lot more, 4 ½ gigabytes of data.
Dodging – Selectively lightening part of a photo with an image editing program.
Downloading – Means to get data from the internet or to get pictures from a camera. Sometimes used interchangeably with importing.
DPI – Dots per inch - A measurement of the resolution of a digital photo or digital device, including digital cameras and printers. The higher the number, the greater the resolution.
EXIF – Exchangeable Image Format – Most digital images have two parts. First is the image itself, and second is the EXIF data, which most often includes all of the photographers information, like the date and time the picture was taken and the shutter speed and aperture set at the time.
Flip – Flipping an image makes it a mirror image of the original.
Grayscale – A photo made up of varying tones of black and white.
Highlights – The brightest parts of a photo.
Histogram – A chart that graphs all of the tones in a photo.
Image File Format – The format of an image file determines the size of the file, the image quality, and several other things. Common image file formats are JPG, GIF, TIFF and PNG.
Image Resolution – The number of pixels, or dots, in a picture.
Inkjet – A printer that places ink on the paper by spraying droplets through tiny nozzles.
ISO – The sensitivity of film is measured by ISO, and the larger the number, the more sensitive the film..
JPG or JPEG – The Joint Photogenic Experts Group – they developed a method for making images smaller while sacrificing very little quality. It's called JPG compression and is the most common picture format on the internet.
Landscape – Turning the image on its side so that the narrow part of the photo is upright.
Layers – Think of layers as transparency sheets that are used in an overhead projector. You can work on each sheet, without damaging others.
Media – Material that information is written to and stored on. Digital photography storage media includes CompactFlash cards and CDs.
Megabyte (MB) – A measurement of data storage equal to 1024 kilobytes (KB).
Megapixel – Equal to one million pixels.
Memory Stick® - A memory card slightly smaller than a single stick of chewing gum. Like CompactFlash and SmartMedia, it is a flash-based storage for your photos.
Online photo printer – A company that receives digital photos uploaded to its Web site, prints them, then sends the prints back by mail.
Panning – A photography technique in which the camera follows a moving subject. Done correctly, the subject is sharp and clear, while the background is blurred, giving a sense of motion to the photo.
Photoshopping -Slang for the digital editing of photos.
Pixelated - A grainy look of images, especially when enlarged, where you can see the individual dots of color.
Pixel is an abbreviation for Picture Element and refers to the individual dots of an image that you can see on screen. Digital photographs are comprised of thousands or millions of them.
Portrait – The photo will be upright with the widest part of the image from the top to the bottom.
RAW – The RAW image format is the data as it comes directly off the Camera, with no in-camera processing.
Red Eye – The reflection of the camera flash off the back of the subject's eyes. It happens most often when you have a bright flash in dim light.
Resize – It's used to change the size or resolution of an image.
RGB – Red, Green, Blue: the three colors to which the human visual system, digital cameras and many other devices are sensitive. Each is given an amount between 0 and 255, and the blend of the three produces all other colors.
Saturation – How rich the colors are in a photo. When desaturated, all of the color is removed and only grayscale or black and white remain.
Shadows – The darkest part of an image, just as highlights are the brightest.
Sharpness – The clarity of detail in a photo.
Shutter Speed – The amount of time the shutter remains open when a photo is being taken. Shutter speed and aperture together determine how much light hits the camera sensor or film. Shutter Speed is also a fraction; 500 is actually 1/500, or one five hundredth of a second.
SmartMedia™ - A wafer-thin, matchbook size memory card. This is also a flash-memory based storage medium.
Thumb Drive – Also known as a jump drive, plugs into a computer's USB port. It's like having a hard drive that fits in your pocket.
Thumbnail – A small version of a photo. Image browsers commonly display thumbnails of photos several or even dozens at a time.
Uploading – The opposite of downloading, it involves sending a file from your computer to another system, either through cable or over the internet. Can be used interchangeably with export.
USB – Universal Serial Bus – An industry standard for connecting things to a computer.
White balance – A function on the camera to compensate for different colors of light being emitted by different light sources.
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