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First a Short History and Stock Photography

The technology began with television in the early 1950’s when researchers discovered how to convert video images to electrical signals for storage on magnetic tape. In the 1970’s electronic still photo cameras were developed. These employed the first generations of solid-state image sensors. By the late 1980’s megapixel sensors were introduced – the technology that paved the way to today’s modern digital cameras.

Fundamentally, film and digital cameras do the same thing. Both utilize camera lenses to Stock Photography images on a light sensitive medium where they are stored for later retrieval. But the way each camera does this is radically different.

Instead of capturing the image on film that must be developed and printed, digital cameras measure light and color characteristics using photodiodes built into a sensor – either a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) or Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS). An Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) then converts the signal to binary, or digital, code. This code is sent to a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) which adjusts photographic elements such as contrast and color, and compresses the file for storage in the camera’s memory, compact flash card, or other memory device.Stock Photography

Digital cameras have huge advantages when it comes to viewing and printing photos. It’s nearly instantaneous! We can immediately look at the picture on the camera’s LED screen, and if we don’t like it, delete it and shoot again. Or we download and view it on our computer’s monitor. And the pictures can be cropped or enhanced in minutes on the computer with photo software and printed with a photo printer. Plus many digital cameras have optional printer docks that don’t require a computer at all.

What’s a Pixel?

The human eye perceives a nearly infinite blending of light and color which high-quality film can approximate in a Stock Photography. A digital image however, is a binary code file that records these variations as elements called pixels – short for picture elements.

Pixels are tiny squares of light and color, that when assembled create a mosaic. And like a mosaic, if the squares are small enough we see a smooth, photographic image. However, if the pixels are too big the transitions appear jagged or out of focus.

More pixels equal higher resolution and photos with clearer sharper detail, much like when you look at a mosaic with very small elements. For example, a 3 Megapixel digital camera can produce pretty good snapshots and even enlargements to about 8” X 10”. But the more you enlarge, crop or otherwise manipulate the image, the larger the pixels become, degrading the Designing Training quality.

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March 26, 2009 - Posted by | Stock Photography, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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