An Incomplete Glossary

You will come across many terms that you may be unfamiliar with. Here are notes on some photo editing jargon.

Glossary of some terms used in Post Processing FROM Tim Keane

(Tim Keane’s explanations)

TermExplanationComments
Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)A piece of software built into Lightroom and used as a plug-in for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to convert RAW files and do some global editing.
Aspect RatioFormally, the ratio of the height of an image to its width (or vice versa). Describes how square or long and narrow an image is.Full frame Aspect Ratio is 3:2, Square is 1:1, a Micro four thirds camera’s (native) aspect ratio is 4:3.
BlurringHas the reverse effect to sharpening.
BurningDecreasing the brightness selectively and gradually (with a brush).
ClarityA feature in some software which generally adjusts the mid tone contrast.
CloningA feature of some software for copying and pasting from one part of an image to another (with a brush), e.g to block out a distraction.
CompositeAn image composed from more than one shot from a camera.
ContrastThe balance between light and dark areas of an image.
CropReducing the field of view of an image to emphasize something or remove unwanted portions.
CullingChoosing or prioritising which photos from a shoot you will delete, think about or process.
DodgingIncreasing the brightness selectively and gradually (with a brush).
EditingUsually used to mean the same as post processing. Sometimes used to mean just the culling phase.
ExposureGenerally the brightness or darkness of an image or part of an image.If exposure is not correctly applied, important details can be lost in shadows or “burnt out” in bright areas. Sometimes losing detail in distracting areas can be good.
FeatheringWith selective tools, you can often select how abrupt or gradual the difference is between what is selected and what is not. More feathering is more gradual and helps blend the adjustment applied to the selection into the surrounding image.
HighlightsBrighter areas/ pixels within an image.See also shadows, split tones.
HueThe colour produced by the various proportions of red, green and blue in a pixel. Adjusting the hue changes the colour. Some software includes adjustment simply for Hue, others split the adjustment into Tint and Temperature.See also Tint, Temperature (Warmth).
LuminanceA feature of some software which allows you to adjust the brightness of a particular colour range within an image. Luminance sometimes also affects the saturation of the adjusted colour.
Post ProcessingPost means after capturing an image with a camera; Processing means manipulating the image (to enhance it and prepare it for viewing).
Pre-SetA group of adjustments which can be applied to the image as a single step.Often included in software packages to give a certain feel or look. Can be purchased or developed yourself.
SaturationStrength/ intensity of colour, regardless of hue.
ShadowsDarker areas/ pixels within an imageSee also highlights, split tones.
SharpeningA feature of some software which attempts to emulate sharpening the image by manipulating the detailed contrast.Easily overdone!
Split tonesA function in some software whereby you can adjust the split between what is a highlight and what is a shadow in order to make adjustments to a range of tones.
Spot removalA feature of some software which allows you to remove unwanted spots/ areas. Generally the software does this by cloning (copying and pasting) what it thinks is a similar area of the image over the spot.Can have some surprising results; if so, try undoing and doing again, perhaps with your brush set at a slightly different size.
TemperatureAdjusting the Temperature moves the Hue between Blues and Oranges.Sometimes called Warmth.
TintAdjusting the Tint moves the Hue of the colour between Greens & Purples.
ToneThe brightness of a particular pixel in an image. The position (left to right) of a pixel’s brightness on the image histogram.Mid tones are the greys in a B&W image. Usually there are 256 possible tones for each pixel.
VibranceA feature of some software which cleverly increases the saturation of muted colours in an image, leaving the more intense colours alone.
VignetteAdding a vignette darkens (or lightens) the edges and corners of an image, usually to highlight a more central subject.
WarmthIncreasing the Warmth moves the hue more toward the orange.

This section will get moved to separate post pages indexed from the main page once I get closer to finshed.

Pixel. pixels are the basic elements of images. Each pixel is a point in the image and has associated values for the brightness of the colours that make up that pixel (Red,Green,Blue or RGB). Black is (0,0,0) ie no brightness in red, green or blue. White is (255,255,255) ie full brightness in red, green and blue. A mid red pixel might be (128, 0,0) ie partial brightness of red and no green or blue. Bright yellow is (255,255,0) ie equal amounts of red and green, and no blue at all. It’s a bit like mixing paint colours. Each image may be thousands of pixels high and thousands wide. For example an Olympus OMD-EM1 makes images 4608 pixels wide and 3456 pixels high.

In this enlarged section you can see the individual pixels that make up the eye of a bird

Feather. This does not refer to plumage of birds, but the fuzziness in a selection or mask or brush. If you will forgive the visual pun, the image right illustrates on the left panel a hard selection (low feathering) with sharp edges (zoomed in section at the bottom). In the right panel is a loose selection with large feathering, where the edges of the selection fade off into the background. Below is a comparison of a hard (low feathering) and soft (high feathering) brush .

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