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Glossary "D"

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Value used to describe the maximum density in an image.
Value used to describe the minimum density in an image.
Used to describe the task of linking computer accessories such as hard disks and scanners to a connection such as a SCSI port on a computer.
Stray electrical charge that appears in areas of the CCD elements that are not exposed to light. The result is irregular noise in image areas such as shadows.
A removable plastic or metal sheet that slides into a sheet-film holder or film magazine to protect film from light when the holder is removed from the camera.
Digital information processed by a computer.
A pattern on the base of APS film cartridges that tells the camera the film speed and number of exposures, so when loading a film you don't have to worry about getting it wrong. Or, in a more general sense, a data disc can be any disc with electronic files on it.
This is how much data (usually indicated in megabytes [MB]) that can be stored on either a hard drive or a drive's removable media disks.
A replacement back for a camera that records the date, time and sometimes more advanced exposure information on the film frame or in the rebates.
An organised list of information, such as a catalogue of pictures or collection of records that can be quickly sorted within fields.
Colour film balanced for subjects lit with a colour temperature source of 5500K.
Name used by Kodak for its range of digital SLR cameras.
A portable flash gun which can be coupled with an automatic camera and can then be controlled by the camera's programmed functions.
Manufacturers' factory settings for hardware or software that can usually be overriden and then returned to the safety of default settings should problems occur.
Automatically joining segments of data that have been split when saved on the hard disk. Doing this tidies up the drive and creates more space.
Areas of a negative or slide that appear dark and don't transmit much light.
An instrument used to measure the density of film or paper images.
A numerical measure for the darkness of a tone.
Program mode on some Canon cameras that sets the optimum aperture to ensure enough depth of field to make the whole of the subject sharp.
The distance between the nearest and furthest parts of a subject that are acceptably sharp. For more information, see this Depth-of-field article in the Techniques section.
A button or lever on the camera that either stops the lens aperture down manually or electronically. This enables you to view the image at the aperture that will be used to take the picture. The view will be darker, but you will be able to see exactly what will and won't be sharp or in focus. See "Using the depth of field button" in the Techniques section.
A scale on the lens that indicates how much of the subject, from the nearest to furthest point from the camera, will be in focus.
The distance the film or printing paper can be positioned either side of the focus point and still maintain acceptably sharp results.
To remove the marching ant selection from an image, returning this, or a file to its unselected state.
The computer window that displays your open files or images, along with folders, program menus, tools and palettes.
Chemical ingredients of a developer that convert all the exposed silver halides into black metallic silver.
A box that appears on-screen that asks for or suggests more information before a task is completed.
The technical name for the lens aperture that is made from overlapping blades.
An optical effect which can soften photographs and make them less sharp. As long as light travels in straight lines, this phenomenon will not occur, but as soon as it starts to bend - disperse or "diffract" - when it has to travel through a hole so small that it has to squeeze through, it will begin to interfere with the quality of the final result. Although a negligible effect in most situations, it actually increases with smaller apertures. There is a break-even point at which the disadvantage of the diffraction of the light captured is still compensated by the advantage of extra sharpness due to greater depth of field. But beyond that point the softening effect of the diffracted light is only partly compensated by the sharpness due to the greater depth of field. Finding the break-even point can help prevent any negative effects of diffraction. And as a bonus it will limit the length of the exposure or the ISO needed to take a photo with a very small aperture. The difficulty is that the effect isn't the same for different cameras and lenses. The aperture isn't the only critical factor - the size of the film or sensor recording the photo counts as well, and so does the quality and the focal length of the lens. For those who don't want to get into complicated mathematical calculations in order to find the ideal aperture, it is good to remember that the sharpest results for most lenses are found around two or three stops below their maximum aperture. Especially cheaper lenses can give very bad results at full aperture.
A digital camera is a modern way to take photographs. They have many advantages including not having to use film, not causing any processing costs, giving instant results, creating e-mailable pictures and pictures that can be improved with the use of a computer. Many are compact shaped, but there are also bigger SLR types.
A photograph or work of art which is made up of pixels.
Developed jointly by Kodak, Canon, Fuji and Matsushita, DPOF is a function that appears in some digital cameras to allow users to order prints of specific pictures from files stored on the cameras memory card, such as CompactFlash, SmartMedia or floppy d
Cameras with figures in this column have a digital zoom that increases the magnification of the optical lens by the quoted figure. To do this it uses part of the CCD so the resolution is reduced to allow for the increase magnification. If you dont intend making big enlargements this is useful other wise stick to the optical zoom. Most cameras have the option to turn the digital zoom on or off.
The process of converting something into a digital format.
A plug-in chip that contains (part of) a computer's internal memory or RAM.
German-based film speed rating used in Europe before ISO became the norm. A three DIN increase doubles the films light sensitivity.
The product is no longer being made.
A computer device that can use storage media like floppy disks, hard disks or optical disks.
Where pixels are added to make a digital image look smoother.
A documentary photographer takes series of photos of a particular subject, generally involving people. His aim is to tell the story of the subject, or document/record events, through these photographs. He tries to capture truthful and objective (often candid) images of the chosen subject, although these images unavoidably illustrate the photographer's individual take on the subject. Often the photographs are meant to be published or exhibited. And some documentary photographers receive commissions from institutions or companies to document their activities. Also see street photography
The part of the Web address that sits between the http:// and .co.uk or .com. These can be registered for a minimal fee from many web sites.
Operating system used by older personal computers.
The resolution of a computer monitor, scanner or printer. The more dots per inch, the higher the image quality - provided, of course, that the image is sharp in the first place.
The action of pressing the mouse button twice in quick succession to open a folder or launch a programme.
Used to describe the view seen through a pair of binoculars when the internal prisms or optics have been knocked out of alignment or the body is sprained. When this has happened, you see two separate images that cannot be brought together.
To bring a file from the Internet or other remote computer to your own using an internet or network connection. Or to load pictures from a digital camera using a cable connection. (Sending pictures to another computer, a camera or the Internet is "uploading".)
An action which allows you to move text, picture elements or folders by holding down the mouse button and moving the selected item to its desired destination.
Standard type of memory chip used in computers.
A file that controls a printer, scanner, disk drive or other device which is part of, or connected to, a computer.
High quality and very expensive scanner used by repro houses to scan transparencies, negatives and prints. Originals are mounted on the curved surface of a transparent drum. As the drum rotates, a fine beam of transmitted or reflected light scans the original.
Method of mounting a photograph to stiff backing material using dry, heat-sensitive tissue between the two. Can be ironed into place, but a press is preferred as it applies even pressure and heat to the whole surface.
Irregular marks on a film emulsion caused by uneven drying when processed. This can be prevented by using wetting agent in the final wash.
Digital version of an SLR camera.
Producing newsletters, magazines, stationery, and other printed material using a software programme on a computer.
Coding on a film cassette that is read by sensors in the camera's film chamber. The coding holds film characteristics such as the ISO rating and number of exposures.
A process with which certain areas of ready-formed coloured dyes are removed or bleached, leaving the remaining dyes to form the final coloured image.
A form of digital printing that uses tiny heating elements to evaporate pigments from a CMY ribbon and deposit them smoothly onto a receiving paper to make a high quality photo with good longevity.
Often quoted on scanner specifications to indicate the maximum tone range that the scanner can capture. A higher figure indicates that the scanner will capture more detail from the highlights to shadows. With flatbed scanners that are being used to scan prints this isn't too important because the tonal range has already been reduced in the printing process. A higher dynamic range is essential on film scanners when scanning transparencies that have a wide tonal range. Specialist films, such as Fuji Velvia, are said to have a range of around 3.7D, so the scanner needs to have at least the same dynamic range to ensure every bit of highlight and shadow detail is captured in one scan. Also see "High Dynamic Range"