The data used to create digital photos is split up into three colour ‘channels’ – red, green and blue, or ‘RGB’. These are then mixed to produce the millions of different colours required for lifelike pictures. In commercial printing, this red, green and blue (RGB) colour model is swapped for cyan, magenta, yellow and black […]
Software designed to organise large collections of photos using an internal database that speeds up searches and lets you create ‘virtual’ albums and smart albums without actually having to move images on your hard disk. Adobe Lightroom is a good example, using a database ‘catalog’ to organise search and display images. Cataloguing software is more […]
All-in-one image capture (tethered shooting), cataloguing and editing software from Danish company Phase One. Born out of its medium format studio camera products, Capture One is now a professional RAW conversion tool for DSLR and mirrorless camera owners too. It’s a premium product and its closest rival is probably Adobe Lightroom.
A mode in Analog Efex Pro, part of the Google Nik Collection, where you can manually choose the filters you want to combine to create your own custom ‘camera’ look – hence ‘Camera Kit’.
A panel in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw which you can use to change the appearance of camera RAW files. The default Adobe profile can produce quite flat-looking generic results, but the Camera Calibration panel may also offer simulations of the camera’s own picture styles – for example, ‘Velvia’ for Fujifilm cameras or ‘Landscape’ for […]
A tool in Silver Efex Pro for darkening the top, bottom, left or right sides of a photo, or any combination of these. You can use it at the top to simulate a graduated neutral density filter or on all four edges for a controllable vignette effect.
A simple manual tool for painting colour on to an image, making a selection or a mask, or applying an adjustment. You can change the size of the brush, its ‘hardness’ and its flow rate or opacity, all of which can help you adjust the effect and the way it’s built up.
Image and file browsing tool from Adobe that’s used alongside its creative applications like InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Many photographers find it perfectly adequate for organising their photos.
Software that can ‘browse’ through the folders on your hard disk and show you any photos inside them as thumbnail images. This is the simplest form of photo organisation tool and works perfectly well for many photographers, even though it lacks flexibility. Adobe Bridge is a file browser, for example, while Alien Skin Exposure X2 […]
A comparatively new tool in Lightroom CC that fills in the blank wedges at the edge of a panoramic image stitched together from overlapping frames. Normally, you’d have to crop these off and lose parts of the picture, but the Boundary Warp tool ‘pushes’ parts of the picture out to the edges so that you […]
Another word for frames, a digital effect that simulates the look of a real photographic border, such as a matte, the edge of a filmstrip, the borders on a snapshot or a Polaroid and so on. Some borders, like pretend wooden frames, wouldn’t fool anyone, but others, such as negative edges, slide frames or rough-edged […]
The way the pixels from one layer in a montage interact with those in the layer below. In ‘Normal’ blend mode, the pixels on the top layer completely cover the ones below, in ‘Multiply’ mode their values combine to produce images that are darker overall, in ‘Overlay’ mode, pixels lighter than 50% grey lighten those […]
Creating a smooth transition between one photo and another in a montage, or between areas where different adjustments have applied. A sharp division gives the photo an unnatural look, but blending in an adjustment smoothly looks more natural. One technique is to ‘feather’ a selection before making adjustments. Blending is often used with graduated or […]
‘Bits’ are the basic building block of digital data, and the more bits of information used in digital images, the subtler the colours and tonal transitions. Bits and pixels are related, in that the greater the ‘bit-depth’ used to create a pixel, the better the quality of the colour/tone information in that pixel. Digital cameras […]
A filter in Color Efex Pro which applies one colour to the top half of the picture and another to the bottom half. You can adjust the vertical position (where the colour changes) and choose colour sets from a menu. There is another filter which lets you choose the colours yourself.
Applying the same image adjustments to a whole batch of photos. For example, you might choose a black and white conversion style and apply it to all the photos from a particular shooting session. Batch processing can save a lot of time, but only if all the images will benefit from the same settings.
HDR software developed in conjunction with HDR specialist Trey Ratcliff. It can work with single images or merge a series of bracketed exposures. You can apply one of many different preset effects or create your own with the manual controls.
The professional term for image cataloguing, and often used in photographic or design studios managing large numbers of images on a commercial basis. They may include not just photos but illustrations, logos and other graphics, hence ‘assets’ rather than photos.
This the picture’s proportions as width versus height. DSLR sensors have a 3:2 ratio, so that photographs are 3 units wide to 2 units high. Most compact camera sensors have a slightly squarer 4:3 aspect ratio. It doesn’t matter what the units are – the ratio stays the same, so a photo could measure 3 […]
Analog Efex Pro is part of the Google Nik Collection. It’s a plug in which offers a selection of ‘analog’ film styles which mimic a variety of film types, darkroom processes and ageing effects. It’s also possible to choose these effects manually and build your own preset styles.