One major advantage of Digital Photography is that the photo can be manipulated readily on the computer. There are numerous software packages that can be used for this task, and usually a basic package is provided when you purchase a digital camera.
For serious or preofessional image processing though, one of the best and most popular software packages is "Photoshop". You can learn the basics of Photoshop in a thorough yet easy to follow distance education course with ACS Distance Education. Click here for details or to enrol.
Scanning 35 mm Transperancies (Slides)
Prior to digital photography a major form of photography for many people was 35mm transperancies; and some photo collections still consist mostly in this form.
Slides can be scanned on a simple flat bed scanner if an appropriate mounting is used; but the quality of such a scan will never be close to the quality of the original. To achieve a top quality scan of a 35mm transperancy, you need to use a "film scanner".
The whole process of scanning slides can be relatively slow, but once scanned it is possible to make copies and in theory, retain photographic images indefinitely with no loss of quality. The original slide on the other hand can deteriorate over time. Dust, light and general wear and tear can all cause deterioration. In view of this, any valuable transperancy images are in the long term better scanned and stored digitally.
Raster Graphics and Vector Graphics
A raster graphic is an image that is made up of large numbers of dots. Each dot is called a pixel (short for “ picture element”).
The number of pixels per inch (ppi) relative to the page size, is used to create the image we see in a raster imaging program on a computer screen.
High resolution images (eg. 300 dpi or more) are used for printing images, while lower resolutions (smaller dpi) are used for displaying images on a computer monitor (eg. On an internet page)
Different types of software are used for processing raster images for different applications (eg. Adobe Photoshop is well suited to processing higher quality images for printing on paper or some other surface. Adobe Fireworks is better suited to processing raster images for web applications).
Vector images are different to raster images in the way they are constructed. They are not made up of pixels; rather, they are created with points or paths.
Example. A vector graphic of an box would be constructed by prescribing the location of the four corners of a box, then instructing the computer to draw lines between each of those points. There would be no pixels, just “anchor points”.
Complex vector graphics can contain a very large number of anchor points, and can be extremely complex
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