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)

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.
A sequence of images and videos presented with transitions and audio to make a dynamic presentationsee Audio-Visual
BlurringHas the reverse effect to sharpening. May be used to soften skin, to make backgrounds less distracting, to soften masks in post processing, etc.
BurningDecreasing the brightness selectively and gradually (with a brush) in post processing.see Dodging
Calibration /
Colour Calibration
A digital image has a fixed numerical value for each colour it can represent. However, different monitors may differ in how they present colours to the eye. Colour calibration of your monitor attempts to adjust the signal going to the monitor so that colours are represented consistently and truely. If you have two monitors, each image should look the same regardless of which monitor you show the image on.
Likewise you may want to calibrate the colour representation of your camera sensor, so colours match the scene regardless of which camera body you use, and to colour calibrate your printer/paper combination so the prints you make match what you see on screen.
see also Monitor Calibration and Colour management
ClarityA feature in some software which generally adjusts the mid tone and local contrast. A positive clarity setting can increase mid-tone contrast and make the image look sharper. A negative clarity setting can soften and blur the mid-tones. A useful tool to consider for processing portraits, waterfalls etc.
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. also see Content aware fill
CompositeAn image combining more than one image. You can use this for simple tasks like replacing a boring sky in a landscape. Or, for example, to add a person to give a point of focus at the end of that leading line. Or make a fantasy scene by combining parts from many images.
Content Aware FillA lot of software now allows you to fill areas of an image using the textures and colours and features of surrounding areas. It may use simple convolution filters, but more commonly these days, it uses AI techniques. It can be very useful if you need to, for example, take some distracting object out of an image. A content aware fill can often replace the removed area so well that the repair is undetectable.
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).see Burning
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).
IBISIn Body Image Stabilisation. In this system the sensor is moved to correct for camera shake, rather than moving lens elements.Depending on brand, in-lens image stabilisation may be called IS, OIS, VR and others.
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.
PixelThe basic unit of a digital image. Each image is made up of an array of pixels. A pixel may contain numbers that represent, say, amount of Red, amount of Green and amount of Blue, and, perhaps transparency. The exact components of a pixel differ depending on the colour model used, whether the image uses 8 bits per channel or 16 (or some other value), and so on.
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.

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