Digital Imaging Basics
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Definitions of Terms

File Formats

Image Production

Image Size

Best Practices

Viewing File Info

Editing Images

File Management

Additional Resources

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Digital imaging has become more than just a popular pastime in contemporary culture. Personal computers, in addition to a plethora of hand-held electronic devices, have become the preferred mode of communication for increasingly large portions of the population. Digital cameras and camera phones have made taking, processing, and sharing photos almost instantaneous, making digital images a common component of hi-tech communications.  

With all this fast-paced instant gratification going around, one might not notice the extent to which professional industries also rely on digital imaging. Publishers of both print and web materials depend heavily on the quality and accessibility of their images. Attention to the details (how an image is created, how it is stored, who will be using or accessing it, and how it used) is crucial to successful digital imaging.  

An understanding of these details can also be useful to the average consumer who just wants to shoot some pictures and email them to friends, or post them on a Web site.

Frustrating scenarios that can be avoided after learning digital imaging basics:

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You get a picture emailed to you from a friend, and when you open the image file, it takes forever to open, and when it does, you have to scroll around on your computer screen to see the whole thing, never seeing all of it at once.

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You downloaded all the images from your digital camera onto your computer, and then tried to burn them onto a cd to give to someone.   You have dozens of pictures, and only a few will fit on a cd before it is full!   This is going to take too much time, too many cds, and this is more complicated than you thought!

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You tried to print a digital image that looks great on your computer monitor, only to realize that the image file prints really small, looks really bad, and you don't know how to fix that.

Objectives of this tutorial:   

Review basic concepts in digital imaging, including

  • Digital image production
  • Resolution & File size
  • Image editing
  • File management

Digital imaging concepts pertinent to Conservation students in the School of Information can be found in the pdf document available for download here.

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