Topic: Imaging Terminology

Aliasing

What Is Aliasing and How Does It Relate to Digital Photography? In photography aliasing is a form of distortion that occurs when two elements of the signal being processed to form a digital image become indistinguishable from one another. Aliasing often appears in an image in the form of moiré or false colouring. Many digital cameras feature a built in ‘anti-aliasing filter’ to counteract the effects of aliasing by preventing high frequencies of light from reaching the sensor. This introduces a small amount of blur to detailed areas of an image that can prevent aliasing from occurring. The image...

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Ambient Light

What Is Ambient Light and How Can It Be Used When Taking Photographs? Depending on the scene you are shooting ‘ambient light’ can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. The term ambient light refers to any natural sources of light illumination a scene i.e. any light that is not artificially created. The most obvious source of ambient light is the Sun, at sunrise and sunset it will bring a scene alive with warm tones punctuated by subtle shadows and soft detail, at high noon it will wash out your photographs with overwhelming highlights and deep impenetrable shadows. the correct timing and reading of available ambient light is key to capturing compelling lifelike photographs. Overcoming the problems that can be caused by ambient light requires extreme skill in exposure techniques, supplemental lighting and often post-processing. Also known as ‘Natural...

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Anti-Shake

What Is Anti-Shake and how Is it Used In Photography? In photography an anti-shake system compensates for unwanted movement of the camera which would otherwise blur a photograph whilst shooting, for example hand holding a camera whilst shooting in low light conditions. There are two main types of anti-shake system; Lens based anti-shake uses a moving optical element to counteract shaking. Camera based anti-shake uses a mechanism which allows the image sensor to move to compensate for unwanted movement. Anti-shake systems are also extremely popular with videographers who’s cameras do double duty as both a stills and video capture...

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Color Palette

What is a Color Palette When Talking About Photography and Image Editing? Also referred to as ‘palette’ the term ‘color palette’ describes the entire range of colors that can be rendered by a digital device such as a camera LCD or a computer monitor, or the range of colors contained within a specific image. A computer monitor may have a color palette of 16 million colors, an image on the other hand often contains a much smaller number, often 256. The term is also used to describe a collection of colors, usually displayed graphically in RGB triplets, which a...

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Light Painting

What Is Light Painting and How Is It Used in Photography? A ‘light painting’ is an image that is created by capturing a long exposure of a dark scene that contains a moving light source. By moving the light source within the scene whilst the photographic medium is being exposed the photographer is able to produce an effect which resembles the brush strokes made by an artist’s paint brush, only composed entirely of light. A classic example of a light painting is writing your name using a sparkler at a firework display. Light Paintings can be created by capturing...

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Magnetic Storage

What Is Magnetic Storage When Talking About Photography? when talking about photography magnetic storage refers to a form of storage in which information is recorded on a magnetised plate within a storage device. The data is stored by applying different levels of magnetism to different areas of a magnetic plate using a write head. This information can then be read at a later time by a read head which can measure the levels of magnetism applied to the plate. Magnetic storage is non-volatile and can be found in the hard drives which you use to store your digital images....

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Multi-Pattern Metering

What Is Multi-Pattern Metering and What Is It Used for When Taking Photographs? ‘Multi-pattern metering’ refers to a metering mode selectable on a camera which is designed to meter a scene accurately in challenging lighting situations. Multi-pattern metering reads light levels in multiple areas or ‘zones’ within a scene and compares the results to calculate exposure settings that will produce the clearest exposure of in focus areas. Multi-pattern metering is particularly useful in challenging lighting situations, for example backlit subjects. In this situation multi-pattern metering can ‘sense’ the difference in light between the subject and background and compensate for...

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Multi-Zone Focusing

What Is Multi-Zone Focusing and How Is It Used When Taking Photos? ‘Multi-Zone focusing’ is an auto focusing mode which determines which zone within a scene (center, upper left, right, lower left, right) should be used for determining an images focus point. Multi-zone focusing is often used in point and shoot cameras to determine where in a frame the image subject is, the camera will then perform auto focusing based on a point in the zone within which it determines the subject is located. Multi-zone focusing is not always completely accurate, often becoming confused when a scene contains multiple...

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Multiple Exposure

What Is a Multiple Exposure and How Is It Used When Taking Photographs? A ‘multiple exposure’ is a type of photograph that is created by exposing the same frame of film to light more than once. Multiple exposures allow a photographer to superimpose one subject or scene over another on the same frame of a photograph. Think of the classic ghost photograph, often caused by forgetting to wind on an analogue camera between shots thus creating a ghostly multiple exposure image! Multiple exposures can also be created digitally, although this is done during post processing by overlaying multiple photography...

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Natural Light

What Is Natural Light and How Can It Be Used When Taking Photographs? Depending on the scene you are shooting ‘Natural light’ can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. The term natural light refers to any natural sources of light illumination a scene i.e. any light that is not artificially created. The most obvious source of ambient light is the Sun, at sunrise and sunset it will bring a scene alive with warm tones punctuated by subtle shadows and soft detail, at high noon it will wash out your photographs with overwhelming highlights and deep impenetrable shadows....

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