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Digital Imaging Vocabulary Study Guide

2011 - 12


The size of the lens opening which is measured in f-stops.

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of the width of an image to its height.


The scene behind the subject in a photograph


Lighting in a photograph that comes from behind the subject.

Blending Mode

How two Layers are blended into each other in Photoshop.


Streaks or halos around bright areas of an image that are caused by gross overexposure.


to shoot frames at exposure levels above and below the correct exposure.

Burst Mode

Burst mode is a camera feature that allows you to take a set amount of pictures in a short time.

Canvas Size

The height and width dimensions of the area in which your image is created.

CF Card

A popular card that uses flash memory to store data in a very small card.


A shot in which the subject is tightly framed and shown at a relatively large scale.


One of the two main image capture devices found in digital cameras


A color model based on cyan, magenta, yellow, and "key" (or black).


The sensation by the effect of light waves striking the retina of the eye.

Color Balance

Balancing the color in a photograph based on the type of light in a scene.

Color Select

A way to select or isolate one single color in an image.

Color Temperature

A term used to describe the overall color of an image, whether ‘warm’ or ‘cold.’


The placement or arrangement of visual elements in a work of art or a photo.


Reducing the file size and quality of an image to an acceptable level.

Contact Sheet

A collection of multiple small images printed on a single sheet for proofing.


The relative difference between the light and dark areas of an image.


To cut out or trim unneeded portions of an image using.


A function found in photo editing software that adjusts the tone of an image.

Depth of Field

The distance in front of and behind the subject that is in focus.


A term used to soften or spread light with umbrellas, soft-boxes or other ‘modifyers.’

Digital Zoom

Using a lens to digitally zoom in or magnify a scene, usually with a low of resolution.

Digital Single-Lens Reflex

A DSLR camera uses a system of mirrors to look directly through interchangeable lenses.


Exposure is how the camera adjusts the shutter speed and aperture to ensure the right amount of light reaches the sensor.


The measurement of the aperture setting in a camera lens.


Softening the edge of a selection by making it gradually fade out until it becomes transparent.

File Compression

 The compression of data in a file, usually to reduce file size.

File Type

Type to enter text

The kind of data stored in a file.


A particular effect that can be applied to an image or part of an image.


A very wide angle lens with a field of vision covering up to 180 degrees.


A device that produces a short ‘flash’ of light to help illuminate a scene.

Focal Length

The distance between the center of a lens or mirror and its focus.


The part of a scene in front of the main subject.

Full Bleed

When any image or element on a page extends to the end of the page.


A measure of storage capacity equal to 1 billion bytes.


Rate of change in density with exposure, pixel intensity, and image processing.

Gray Scale

A range of gray shades from white to black.

High Dynamic Range

HDR is an increase in the range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image.


A graphic representation showing how possible levels of brightness are distributed in an image.

Hot Light

Traditional tungsten lights that are always on at full power.

Hot Shoe

A bracket on a camera body that provides support for a flash attachment.


The name of any color as found in its pure state in the spectrum.

Image Sensor

A device that converts an optical image to an electric signal.

Image Size

The actual size of the image and not the printable canvas size.


The sensitivity of the image sensor to light.

Joint Photographic Experts Group

A standard file format for the compression of digital color images.

Key Light

The main light that illuminates the subject.


Images or effects overlaid on top of one another.

LCD Screen

A flat screen available on digital cameras which displays an image using liquid crystal molecules.


A tool that adjusts the brightness levels of a photo using three main components: a black point, white point and midtone.

Light Meter

A device used to measure the amount of light and determine the proper exposure for a photograph.


A close-up photograph, usually of a small object.

Main light

The primary light source illuminating the subject (also known as Key Light).


A simple way to hide parts of a layer.


A unit of image sensing capacity in a digital camera.


Colored dots or specks in an image caused by high ISO or low light.

Optical Zoom

A lens that magnifies the subject before recording the image on a digital sensor.


An image that appears too light because of too much light reaching the sensor.


Horizontal movement or rotation of a still camera or video camera.


The relationship of objects in a photograph.


An image manipulation program developed by Adobe Systems, Inc.


The smallest unit of a raster image.


Visible pixels in a digital image.

Portable Network Graphics

A compressed image file format similar to jpeg, maintaining transparency.


Editing an image with software after the initial photography.


Setting the focus of the lens to a point in the scene where you expect the action to take place.

Prime Lens

A lens whose focal length is fixed.

Photoshop Document

The native file format created in Photoshop.

Raster Graphic

A pixel based graphic with a fixed resolution.


An uncompressed file captured from a digital camera.


The number of pixels in an image.


The color range for computers made of red, green, and blue light.

Rule Of Thirds

Dividing the frame into 9 imaginary sections inorder to create reference points to anchor the subject.


The strength of a color in an image.


A device that captures images from prints for computer editing and display.

SD Card

A small flash memory card designed to provide highcapacity memory in a small size.


An area of the image that is ‘selected’ to manipulate in software.


Areas which define objects in a space.


A mechanical device for opening and closing the aperture of a lens during exposure.

Shutter Priority

A camera setting where you set the shutter speed and the camera determines the aperture.

Shutter Speed

The effective length of time a camera’s shutter is open during an exposure.


A light source that discharges a controllable amount of light.

Telephoto Lens

A lens that has a narrow angle of view and long focal length.


The surface detail of objects with in a photograph.


A small image representing a larger graphic, document, or image.

Tagged Image File Format

An image file format with less compresion then png or jpeg.


Using lenses or layer masks to manipulate the focal area.


The degree of lightness or darkness in an image or print.

Through the Lens

TTL metering is a cameras capability of measuring light levels in a scene through their lenses.


Inadequate exsposure to light causing the image to be too dark.


The degree of lightness or darkness in a photograph.

Vector Graphic

An image created as lines rather then pixels that can be scaled w/out loss of resolution.

View Finder

What a photographer looks through to compose, and in many cases to focus a photograph.


An image with an edge that gradually fades to black or white.

White Balance

The ability to adjust colors based on white as a reference color.

Wide Angle Lens

A lens with a short focal length and a large angle of view.

Wide Angle Lens

A lens with a short focal length and wide angle of view.


To enlarge part of an image or scene.

Zoom Lens

A lens with a variable focal length.

Digital Imaging Vocabulaery Guide  

An extensive study guide to digital imaging created by DATA Di students.