All digital cameras record the time and date and embed it in the photo’s EXIF data. It’s important to set the time and date correctly on the camera because it’s used later on when you want to search for photos on your computer or sort them in chronological order.
A specialised type of lens which can be tilted relative to the camera body. This changes the plane of sharp focus and can be used to extend or contract the available depth of field. It can also be simulated digitally using tools which leave a central strip of the photo in sharp focus but progressively […]
An image file format that uses ‘lossless’ compression but produces much larger files than JPEGs. It’s sometimes offered as a file format on more advanced cameras but it’s more useful later on as an image file format for image editing and manipulation on a computer.
Overlays used by some image effects software to simulate dust and scratches on a negative, paper textures or other ‘distressed’ surfaces.
A detail enhancing adjustment that emphasises object outlines by adjusting local contrast over a larger radius than regular sharpening tools. It makes finer details more prominent.
It’s very easy to accidentally shoot with the camera slightly skewed so that horizons or vertical objects aren’t straight. Most photo editing apps have a simple Straighten tool to put this right.
Software that you launch directly and which doesn’t need any other program to run – as opposed to plug-ins, which need a ‘host’ application.
A way of keeping related images together in an image cataloguing program – such as different exposures in a bracketed series, the individual frames of a panoramic image, the shots from a continuous shooting sequence or edited and original versions of a photo. Adobe Bridge can stack images, as can Lightroom. Apple’s now-discontinued Aperture offered […]
Cameras with interchangeable lenses do not have sealed interiors and the sensors can pick up spots of dust. These can be removed in software using spot removal tools – you dab on the dust spot and the software uses nearby pixels to cover it up. It’s like cloning but easier, because you can leave the […]
Image ‘healing’ tools in Apple’s Aperture. They are not really designed for large-scale cloning and repairs – that’s where you need a program like Photoshop – but they are ideal for smaller objects and blemishes, including sensor spots.
This is a tool for simply brushing away blemishes, sensor spots or unwanted objects in your pictures. You can ‘dab’ once with the brush for spots or paint over irregular objects. It uses pixels from surrounding areas to fill in the gap, and it works really well with small objects against larger backgrounds. It’s less […]
A more complex type of toning where two colours are used not one – shadows are tinted with one tone and highlights with another. The results can be very effective, though it’s not always easy to find good-looking toning combinations and split toning doesn’t work with all images.
A technique for reversing the tones in the brightest parts of the picture to produce a ‘semi-negative’ photo. It can create a very dramatic and surreal effect. It used to be done in the darkroom by re-exposing a print to light part-way through development, but can now be done much more controllably using software.
An interesting localised contrast adjustment in Silver Efex Pro, part of the Nik Collection. Positive values give images increased contrast but with a dark ‘glow’ effect around objects that can be very effective as a ‘look’. Negative values brighten shadows and dim down highlights and can be a useful pseudo-HDR tool – though you will […]
A new way of paying for software where you pay a monthly or a yearly subscription rather than paying a single sum for a licence to use the software for as long as you like.
An effect often used for portrait photography which gives a flattering or glamorous look to female faces. There’s more to it than just defocusing the picture, though – soft focus filters add a soft haziness to highlights and areas of even tone but preserve the underlying image detail.
A Snapshot is a record of the current image state while you’re editing it. You can create a Snapshot in Photoshop or Lightroom when you reach a point that you think you might want to return to during editing. You can save a number of Snapshots to quickly compare different editing steps.
A simple image-editor and effects tool originally published by Nik Software, but then by Google when it took that company over. Google has since discontinued the desktop version of Snapseed, but it still exists as a free app for Android and iOS smart devices.
Snapheal is a Mac-only software tool for removing unwanted objects from pictures. It does this using one of three removal algorithms which use surrounding detail to produce an ‘invisible’ repair. It also offers manual cloning tools, and it works as a standalone app or a plug in.
An online photo sharing/portfolio website designed for photographers to display their work, create online portfolios and sell images.