Digital Photography Vocabulary List
BMP – Windows Bitmap image compression
Buffer – Memory in the camera that stores digital
photos before they are written to the memory card.
CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. The four
colors in the inksets of many photo-quality printers. Some printers
use six ink colors to achieve smoother, more photographic prints. The
two additional colors are often lighter shades of cyan and magenta.
CompactFlash™ – A common type of digital
camera memory card, about the size of a matchbook. There are two types
of cards, Type I and Type II. They vary only in their thickness, with
Type I being slightly thinner. A CompactFlash memory card can contain
either flash memory or a miniature hard drive. The flash memory type
is more prevalent.
Contrast – The difference between the darkest
and lightest areas in a photo. The greater the difference, the higher
Digital camera – A camera that captures the photo
not on film, but in an electronic imaging sensor that takes the place
Download, downloading – The process of moving
computer data from one location to another. Though the term is normally
used to describe the transfer, or downloading, of data from the Internet,
it is also used to describe the transfer of photos from a camera memory
card to the computer. Example: I downloaded photos to my PC.
External flash – A supplementary flash unit that
connects to the camera with a cable, or is triggered by the light from
the camera’s internal flash. Many fun and creative effects can
be created with external flash.
FireWire – A type of cabling technology
for transferring data to and from digital devices at high speed. Some
professional digital cameras and memory card readers connect to the
computer over FireWire. FireWire card readers are typically faster than
those that connect via USB. Also known as IEEE 1394, FireWire was invented
by Apple Computer but is now commonly used with Windows-based PCs as
Floppy Disk – Used for storing images in some
digital cameras (Sony Mavicas)
GIF – (Graphics Interchange Format) Compresses
images for transfer without dumping any important image data. This compression
is limited to pictures using 250 colors or less.
Grayscale – A photo made up of varying tones
of black and white. Grayscale is synonymous with black and white.
Histogram – A graphic representation of the range
of tones from dark to light in a photo. Some digital cameras include
a histogram feature that enables a precise check on the exposure of
Image editor – A computer program that enables
you to adjust a photo to improve its appearance. With image editing
software, you can darken or lighten a photo, rotate it, adjust its contrast,
crop out extraneous detail, remove red-eye and more.
Image resolution - The number of pixels in a digital
photo is commonly referred to as its image resolution.
Inkjet – A printer that places ink on the paper
by spraying droplets through tiny nozzles.
JPEG – A standard for compressing image data
developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, hence the name JPEG.
Strictly speaking, JPEG is not a file format, it’s a compression
method that is used within a file format, such as the EXIF-JPEG format
common to digital cameras. It is referred to as a lossy format, which
means some quality is lost in achieving JPEG’s high compression
rates. Usually, if a high-quality, low-compression JPEG setting is chosen
on a digital camera, the loss of quality is not detectable to the eye.
LCD – Liquid Crystal Display: a low-power monitor
often used on the top and/or rear of a digital camera to display settings
or the photo itself.
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 flash-based storage for your photos.
NiMH – Nickel Metal-Hydride: a type of rechargeable
battery that can be recharged many times. NiMH batteries provide sufficient
power to run digital cameras and flashes.
PICT- Native graphics format for Macintosh Computers
Pixel – Picture Element: digital photographs
are comprised of thousands or millions of them; they are the building
blocks of a digital photo.
RAW – The RAW image format is the data as it
comes directly off the CCD, with no in-camera processing is performed.
Red-eye – The red glow from a subject’s
eyes caused by light from a flash reflecting off the blood vessels behind
the retina in the eye. The effect is most common when light levels are
low, outdoor at night, or indoor in a dimly-lit room.
RGB – Red, Green, Blue: the three colors to which
the human visual system, digital cameras and many other devices are
Serial – A method for connecting an external
device such as a printer, scanner, or camera, to a computer. It has
been all but replaced by USB and FireWire in modern computers.
Sharpness – The clarity of detail in a photo.
SmartMedia™—a wafer-thin, matchbook size
memory card. This is also a flash-memory based storage medium.
Thumbnail – A small version of a photo. Image
browsers commonly display thumbnails of photos several or even dozens
at a time. In Windows XP’s My Pictures, you can view thumbnails
of photos in both the Thumbnails and Filmstrip view modes.
USB – Universal Serial Bus: a protocol for transferring
data to and from digital devices. Many digital cameras and memory card
readers connect to the USB port on a computer. USB card readers are
typically faster than cameras or readers that connect to the serial
port, but slower than those that connect via FireWire.
White balance – A function on the camera to compensate
for different colors of light being emitted by different light sources.