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Digital Photography Glossary

Photography Glossary - P

Understand the terminology of digital photography, digital printing and digital imaging so that you will become a better photographer. Photographic terms such as Panning, Pigment, Pixel, Polarizing Filter, PPI and more.




Panning is the act of tracking the lateral movement of an object in order to successfully capture the object – without blurring, but sacrificing the clarity of the background (this occurs because the moving object is followed by the camera, while the stationary background is blurred by the camera Panning).

Click here to learn more: Top 10 Digital Photography Tips



Pigment is the specific, raw coloring material that is put in liquid form for inkjet printers. Pigment-based printouts, which are slightly less dynamic, have a longer lifespan than dye-based printouts.



Image Resolution

Pixel stands for Picture Element, and it's the smallest and most basic unit for capturing or reproducing a digital image. Each pixel can express one of three or four colors at a specific intensity (red, green and blue or cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to create a digital image.


Polarizing Filter

Polarizing Filter

A Polarizing Filter is a photo filter that eliminates polarized light, which is perpendicular light that hits the lens. A Polarizing filter reduces reflections on highly reflective materials, like glass, polished metal, water, etc. In addition, a Polarizing Filter is useful for making a sky and clouds look more dramatic in a photo, and will saturate colors.

Click here to learn more: Camera Lens Filters Explained


Polarized Light

Polarized Light is when the light waves are oriented and vibrating on one plane. Polarized light is a natural occurrence for light that reflects off of various reflective surfaces, such as water, glass, or polished steel. Hence the need for a polarizing filter when photographing into water or through glass windows, in order to eliminate the reflection (of the photographer!).



PPI stands for pixels per inch and it measures pixel density which determines image resolution on displays, scanners and digital cameras. The pixel density on digital camera relates to how many pixels are squeezed onto the image sensor, such that a camera with a high megapixel count and a high PPI will render smoother photographic images when they are enlarged.


Program Mode

Program Mode is the camera setting mode in which the camera's computer controls all the photography functions (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focusing, etc.). It effectively makes your DSLR a point and shoot camera. Program Mode will normally assign a shutter speed of 60th of a second or higher if possible, and attempts to obtain maximum depth of field (i.e. a higher f-stop) to make the entire subject, and the scene, as sharp as possible.

Click here to learn more: Understanding DSLR Camera Shooting Modes

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