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    Example and Directions
    Words (or words that have the same definition) The definition is case sensitive (Optional) Image to display with the definition [Not displayed in Glossary, only in pop-up on pages] (Optional) Caption for Image (Optional) External or Internal Link (Optional) Source for Definition
    (Eg. "Genetic, Hereditary, DNA ...") (Eg. "Relating to genes or heredity") The infamous double helix CC-BY-SA; Delmar Larsen
    Close up of the definition of dictionary in a book
    Figure \(\PageIndex{25}\): Close-up of the word "dictionary" with definition in a book. (Public Domain)
    Glossary Entries



    Adobe Bridge A free digital asset management app that allows you to organize, select the individual images to import into image editing software, and rename or export images.
    Adobe Camera Raw Software that lets you import and enhance raw images.
    Ambient light Any light that is available in a scene. It can be natural or artificial.
    Ambient lighting Overall brightness of a scene.


    Also known as “f-stop,” it is the opening in the camera lens that allows light to be recorded on the image sensor. It controls the depth of field and the intensity or amount of light that reaches the image sensor. A wide aperture (low f-stop) lets in more light, and a narrow aperture (high f-stop) restricts it.

    Artificial light The light that comes from artificial sources.
    Autofocus When the camera sharpens the image automatically.
    Back light Type of third light in a three-light setup that separates the tones and subject from the background by adding depth and creating a pleasing glow or halo around the figure.
    Bracketing The intentional overexposure and underexposure of an image by a photographer to capture a wider range of information for your image. This technique can capture details in highlights or shadows that might be otherwise lost and can be especially helpful during the editing process when you have a scene with a great variance of tones, such as backlit subjects, sunsets, night scenes, or landscapes with dramatic clouds.
    Calotype Early photographic process developed by William Henry Fox Talbot that included the creation of a paper negative and technology that involved the transformation of the negative to a positive image, allowing for more than one copy of the picture.
    Camera obscura A device that contains a small hole for light to pass through and projects an inverted image of an external object.

    Collodion method

    Early photographic process that involved fixing a substance known as gun cotton onto a glass plate, allowing for shorter exposure time than previous processes of three to five minutes and producing a clearer image.

    Color management

    The coordination of color across various devices from cameras, computers, and editing software to printers and the various paper types to ensure that the color and tones of your image are reproduced accurately.

    Color space The range of colors shown in a photo.
    Composition Also known as the principles of design. How the design elements are arranged to produce a specific effect.
    Contact sheet A document that shows all the images captured for a particular project.
    Continuous lights Also known as constant lights; lights that stay on during the photo shoot.
    Correct images Images free from unrealistic color casts, that have appropriate brightness in the mid-tones with details in both highlights and shadows, and have adequate contrast for the subject.
    Daguerreotype Early historic photographic process developed by Louis Daguerre that significantly reduced exposure time needed to create an image and resulted in a lasting image.
    Depth of field The distance of focus or sharpness between the closest and farthest objects in a photograph, and is controlled by the aperture.
    Destructive editing Adjustment that permanently affects the pixels in an image. These types of edits cannot be undone once the file is saved and closed.
    DNG Stands for digital negative files. It is the most universally used file format supported by Adobe


    The relationship between ISO, shutter speed, and aperture that produces the right balance of tones (or correct exposure) in an image. For any scene, there is a correct exposure determined by the amount of light available and the specific camera settings the photographer chooses. However, correct exposure is relative; you can adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to capture the image you envision.
    Fill lights The supporting light sources in a scene.
    Focal length Describes the optical capabilities of a camera lens and is represented in millimeters.
    Form Also known as the elements of design. The physical parts or visual components of a work. These include line, shape, mass/volume, perspective, texture, and color.
    Golden ratio The relationship of parts achieved when the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. It is thought to provide the most harmonious and visually pleasing proportions in art and architecture.
    Hair light Type of third light in a three-light setup that separates the subject from the background, adding dimension to the image.
    High key lighting Creates large white areas that are light and bright with white and grey tones that can translate to upbeat, youthful, or happy feelings.
    Histogram Feature in editing programs that shows the tonal distribution of the image.
    Image quality The resolution of the image.
    Image sensor Medium for digital cameras that records an image.
    ISO Stands for International Standard Organization. It is the numerical rating that describes the image sensor’s sensitivity to light. The ISO determines how much light is needed for correct exposure.
    Key light The main light on a subject and the most powerful light in the scene.
    Lens Part of the camera that collects light from an object and focuses it through to the recording medium.
    Light booth Device designed to create the most accurate light scenario for assessing prints.

    Light direction

    The relationship between the camera, the subject, and the light, which will impact where you add lights, and can be determined by the highlights and shadows present.
    Lighting The intensity or quality of light, the effect lights have on a particular scene.


    The physical objects that emit light into the world.

    Low key lighting Produces large dark areas that can express somber, serious, or more formal tones.
    Manual focus Allows the photographer to control the part of the image that is sharp.
    Megapixel Represents the camera’s resolution. 1 million pixels = 1 megapixel (MP).
    Metering Mode Setting that determines how the light meter inside the camera measures exposure and amount of light available in the scene.
    Natural light Light produced by the sun and varies depending on the time of day and the season.
    Non-destructive editing Pixels are not discarded or lost in the editing process and the quality of the image is maintained.

    One-light setup

    Typically used to create a dramatic portrait or still life and is usually a low key lighting situation.

    Quality of lighting Determined by the light source and whether or not it is modified. Described by observing the highlights and shadows within a scene.
    Rule of thirds The placement of the subject at the intersection of the imaginary horizontal and vertical lines that divide the image into three parts.
    Shutter speed The time measured in fractions of a second that the shutter is opened, which determines the length of time the light hits the image sensor.
    Shutter The mechanism that controls the length of time that the image sensor is exposed to light.
    Strobe lights Lights that create short bursts of light and are the most powerful lights with bright intensity that most accurately replicate daylight in color temperature.
    Three-light setup Consists of a key light, a fill light, and one additional light best used to create a more balanced image with more light.
    Vantage point The place from where you take a photograph, or the photographer’s perspective. An integral part of taking a photograph that can affect the angles, composition, and narrative of the image.
    White balance The camera function that matches the temperature of light in a scene with the color recorded on the image sensor. Correct white balance produces a more accurate representation of color within an image.
    Workflow A sequence of steps needed to complete a project.
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