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Digital Photography Glossary

Photography Glossary - R

Understand the terminology of digital photography, digital printing and digital imaging so that you will become a better photographer. Photographic terms such as Raw, Red-eye, Reflectance value, Resolution, RGB, Ringlight, and more.



Raw is an image storage file format in which there is nearly zero loss of captured image information. Raw is not an acronym; it basically means you're acquiring "raw", unprocessed image information, which you have to convert to a viewable format later.

Click here to learn more: Understanding Digital Photo File Formats


Reciprocity Law

Reciprocity Law is a photographic rule or law in which photographic exposure is a function of both light intensity and exposure time. If you double one, then you need to reduce the other by half to achieve the same exposure.



Close-up image of a smiling, attractive, college-aged woman with dramatic lighting

Red-eye is a photographic phenomenon in which the light from a flash fires directly into a person's eye and reflects off the blood vessels within the eye; the result is an eye with a disconcerting red iris.

Click here to learn more: Top 10 Digital Photography Mistakes


Reflectance Value

Reflectance Value is the relative value of an object's surface reflecting level. The higher the number, the greater the ability of an object's surface to directly reflect light.


Reflected Light

Reflected Light is the light that is being reflected off of an object, and represents a softer and different level of intensity than the light that is hitting a subject.


Reflected Light Meter

Hand Held Light Meters

Reflected Light Meter is a specific light meter configuration (or type) that directly measures the reflected light from a subject and provides an exposure value in f-stops or foot candles.



White Board Reflector

A typically circular device that acts to reflect light back at a subject; reflectors are designed to control contrast and color saturation, and boost luminance levels. There are two types of reflectors - lamp and board. Lamp reflectors fit onto the flash unit and help control the light coming from the lamp. Board reflectors are independent of any light source and are used to shape and re-direct light for control over shadows and highlights. Board reflectors are white, silver or gold and provide specific lighting effects depending on the color.



Resolution is the total number of dots or pixels that make up a final photo. Resolution is measured for each individual component in the photographic system - such as the film or image sensor, or can measure the entire optical system - e.g. the combination of a particular lens, the camera, film and film transport.



RGB is one of the several color spaces available, RGB stands for Red Green Blue; it is an additive color space in which the colors, as light, are added together to achieve all the other various colors in the spectrum.



Macro Ringlight Camera Flash

A Ringlight is a type of flash unit, shaped like a ring, which fits directly on the lens barrel. It provides uniform non-directional light; ideal for Macro Photographs.

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