Service: The Pixum Photo ABC

We use our Pixum Photo ABC to explain important terms and definitions about Pixum and photography in general.

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Term

Definition

ABK See DPO
Assistant (IT) In IT this generally refers to a program for entering/composing and editing data or objects.
Automatic Image Optimisation See DPO.
Arrow keys Keys on the computer keyboard with arrow icons for up, down, left and right.

Term

Definition

Background The lowest level of a photo book which is filled with a colour, a pattern, or an image. All the other elements in the photo book are arranged (in the foreground) on this background.
Barcode A barcode is a piece of printed information comprising lines and gaps which is machine read using cameras or special barcode scanners and then translated to clear text by cash registers or computers. The barcode typically resolves to a sequence of numbers linked to a specific article.
Brightness Brightness refers to the subjective perception of light intensity, especially in a photograph. If a photo appears to be too dark, the brightness setting is too low. If the photo is too bright, the brightness setting is too high. Both can be corrected by means of digital image editing. As the number of brightness levels is limited and the brightness scale has upper and lower limits, image details is often lost at both ends of the brightness scale. If an image is brightened, a pixel that is almost white (light gray) will become white, and a deep black becomes dark gray. White pixels cannot be brightened because there is no such thing as brighter than white. This means that the extremely bright pixels, and the corresponding white image detail are lost. The same thing applies to dark image detail when darkening an image. a very dark pixel becomes black, and bright white becomes light gray.
Browser Refers to a user interface for Web applications.

Examples: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera.

Burning devices Refers to a CD or DVD writer on a computer. These are drives which use laser light to write optical media (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray).
Burning speed This refers to the burning speed supported by your CD burning device or your CD-R/CD-RW media.
Button In computing this refers to an area that can be clicked using the mouse.

Term

Definition

Cache A cache is a fast memory area which temporarily stores a copy of some data for ongoing, or repeated, use to avoid the need to load the data again from the original source. A cache is typically an area of computer memory reserved for a certain program; some hardware components (e.g. hard discs) have their own internal cache memory. A Web browser stores copies of websites, images and other media in its on disc cache to accelerate the display when reused. (A hard disc is definitely faster than any Internet connection.)
Canvas A canvas is a piece of white coated cloth mounted on a wooden frame which is typically used in painting. Today, photos are printed on canvas and mounted on wooden frames. Thanks to the structure of the weave and the thickness of the wooden frame, a canvas print looks valuable and decorative.
CD-Image A reproducible copy of a CD on another medium, such as a hard disc.
CD-R Compact Disc Recordable. Refers to a write-once CD.
CD-RW Compact Disc Recordable. Refers to a write many CD.
Clipart A clipart is an image file in vector format, i.e. it is not composed of individual pixels like a photo, but of mathematical descriptions of curves, lines, and geometric shapes. Clipart has developed to a separate art form. Clipart collections are available on CD or DVD for use in designing greetings cards and invitations.

Example:

Clipart
Collage This was originally an art form in which cuttings from images and newspaper articles, or other objects, were glued on a background to form a work of art.

Example:

Collage
Colour intensity The colour intensity can be modified by means of digital image editing. To do so, the brightness of a preselected hue is changed. This can affect the image quality; the same rules that apply to brightness in general, however, restricted to a specific hue. (There is no such thing as redder than red.)
Community A community is a group with common interests, experience and knowledge, typically on the Internet today (online community).
Content The contrast is the difference between light and dark pixels. A high contrast image is typically considered more "brilliant" (luminous). The contrast can be modified using digital image editing techniques. This can lead to loss of image detail. To add more contrast to an image, the brightness is extended in both directions. Black and white are at the ends of the brightness scale. Black pixels cannot become darker, and dark pixels are darkened to black; white pixels cannot become lighter and light pixels are lightened to white. If you reduce the contrast in an image, dark black becomes dark gray and brilliant white becomes light gray.
Contrast In the Pixum EasyBook software, content refers to a pre-designed photo book (or part of it) to which users add their own data (photos, text).
Copy (IT) A command for the operating systems clipboard. Copy means that a file or object is stored in the clipboard without deleting it from the original position.
Corner handle In IT/computer graphics, this refers to the handle at the corner of an object frame. You can hold down the mouse button to drag the handles and thus scale the object proportionally. (See arrows)

Example:

Eckanfasser
Crop A border is cut away around the photo. The border can be part of the photo itself. In image editing a photo is cropped to, e.g., move a motif to the center of the photo, or to remove undesirable motifs at the edge of the image.

Example:

(before)
Beschneiden

(after)
Beschneiden
Ctrl key "Control" key on the computer keyboard.
Cursor The cursor marks the current editing position on screen. For text input, depending on the program or operating system you use, this is a flashing vertical I bar, a flashing underscore, or a flashing square. The text cursor indicates the position the next letter you type will appear. A mouse cursor can be an arrow, a hand, an arrow with a question mark, etc. The computer mouse movements on the table are converted to mouse cursor movements on the screen.
Cut (IT) A command for the operating systems clipboard. Cut means that a file or object is removed from its current position and stored in the clipboard.

Term

Definition

Del key "Del" key on the computer keyboard for deleting selected items, or text to the right of the text cursor.
Design A design is an artistic draft. In the Pixum EasyBook- software, a design is a pre-defined layout template to which you can add your own content (photos, texts).
Directory A directory is a structure for organizing files on a hard disc. Also known as a folder. Should be named intuitively to match the files it contains and thus help you find them. Examples: "Photos_Vacation_June2008", "Letters to Julia", or "My statements of account" etc.
Directory browser A program for navigating the directory tree. Referred to as the Explorer on Windows.
Directory tree A directory tree is a organizational structure on the hard disc in which the directories and subdirectories spread like the branches of a tree. Each branch can be expanded by clicking on the small plus sign to the left of the directory name in the file browser, and closed by clicking on the minus sign.
Double click Two clicks of the left computer mouse button in quick succession. (In the case of left handed computer mice, the right button.)
dpi Dots per inch. States how many pixels per inch (=2.54 cm) exit in the output. A resolution of 72 to 96 dpi is sufficient for on screen display; the resolution for high quality prints can be up to 360 dpi. dpi is referred to as the relative resolution as it changes proportionally with the display size in contrast to the absolute resolution which specifies the total number of pixels in an image (e.g. 1024 x 768 px).
DPO Short for Digital Photo Optimisation. The DPO is a software in a digital photo lab, which automatically tries to correct exposure, white balance and sharpness errors in the digital photo. This photo optimisation is activated by default for all Pixum orders. In the Pixum EasyBook software you can manually deactivate this feature per image. For photo and gift products you can deactivate the DPO in the shopping basket for all products in the shopping basket. Find out more here »
Drop-down menu A menu window that drops down to display the commands available for the selected object. The menu appears when you right click the object.

Example:

Auswahlfeld

Term

Definition

Esc key "Escape" key on the computer keyboard for quitting the computer command that is currently running.
Esc-Taste
EXIF data "Exchangeable Image File Format", a standard used to store additional information (meta data) in an image file. The Exif data often includes the camera settings (make, type, focus, exposure time, shutter speed, etc.), and keywords for finding and sorting the image files along with additional information such as the geodata, or the copyright. In the explorer, or the image file's drop-down menu, check the "Properties" and take a look at the entries in the "Details" tab. Much of the listed information is taken from the EXIF data.
Explorer A software provided by the user interface for file and directory management. Also known as a file manager. Supports easy navigation of directory trees using a computer mouse. Web browsers are often referred to as "Explorers". ("Internet Explorer")
Exposure In photography, exposure relates to the amount of light that strikes a film or camera sensor. It depends on the exposure time and on the camera shutter setting, but also on the sensitivity of the film or sensor. If a photo is underexposed, it will be too dark; if it is underexposed, it will be too light. To a certain extent, the exposure of a digital photo can be adjusted using (image editing) software to mitigate the affect of the exposure error.

Term

Definition

Firewall This is hardware or software that controls (filters) the exchange of data between computers and networks, and attacks by viruses, Trojans and hackers.
Format This means: "To give something a shape". this relates to all objects where you can modify the "Format", e.g. the position or size of an object, or a font in the case of text. It also refers to preparing a storage medium for recording data.
Font A font is the graphical representation of a typeface. Many different fonts are installed on your computer by default. And you can add more fonts. The font is an important design element.

Examples of fonts:

Schriftarten
Font size The font size refers to the distance between the lower edge of a font (e.g. in "p") and the top edge of the font (e.g. capital letters), and is typically quoted in point (pt). The unit "point" (pt) is 0.376 mm (Didot point).
Font style The font style is the font mark-up: normal, bold, italics, bold italics. Underlining is often regarded as a font style.

Term

Definition

Gamma value In the case of the gamma value, the mean colour brightness curve is manipulated. The advantage is that it does not change the darkest and lightest pixels. However, the brightness values between them are shifted, making the lighter or darker. This is not a linear process, but a curve that flattens at both ends of the brightness curve, that is, the brightness values in the middle of the brightness curve are shifted more than the values at the end of the brightness scale. This means that you can brighten or darken an image without any substantial loss of quality. This should not be overdone.
Geodata Geodata refers to the positional data on the earth such as the longitude and latitude. Some digital cameras and photo mobiles have a GPS receiver that ascertains the geographic position at the point where the photograph was taken based on satellite data, and storing this information in the EXIF data of a photo file. Alternatively, you can use some image editing programs to manually add the geodata to a photo file by marking the position at which the photo was taken on a map using the computer mouse.
Grayscales This is the equivalent of a black and white image in photography. A digital photo contains brightness and colour information. The colour information is removed when a colour image is converted to grayscale.

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Term

Definition

Image format 1. The size and/or resolution of an image (See resolution).
2. The file format in which the image was stored, e.g. JPG.
ISO image A reproducible copy of a CD in ISO-9660 format on another medium, such as a hard disc. ISO 9660 is standard CD format which many burning programs support.

Term

Definition

JPG Also known as JPEG. This a file format which is particularly suited to photos and capable of displaying over 16 million colours. It compresses the image data to save disc space. Due to the small file size without impact display quality, this format has asserted itself as the standard for digital cameras and on the Internet in particular.

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Term

Definition

Layout When designing printed products (newspapers, brochures, posters, etc.) the traditional technique was to cut out texts and images on a background (e.g. a blank newspaper page), in order to decide how to arrange these elements in printing. Today, digital techniques with layout frames and text boxes are used.
Layout template A pre-defined arrangement of layout frames and text windows which can be re-used multiple times.

Term

Definition

Megapixel 1 Megapixel is 1 Million Pixel.
Move This refers to moving and object using the computer mouse. To do this, first select the object by clicking with the left mouse button (or the right button for left handers), hold down the mouse button and drag the mouse. The object on screen will follow the mouse movements on the desk. As an alternative, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the object in small steps.
Multicolour background Special backgrounds available in 36 colours/scales in the Pixum EasyBook software and that can be inserted into a layout.

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Term

Definition

Object In philosophy, an object is an entity that is acted upon. In the context of the Pixum EasyBook software, any (virtual) entity that you use for design purposes is an object. It can be a photo, a text; anything that you use or can edit in a photo book is an object. In turn, an object can comprise multiple other objects; e.g. a layout is an object that comprises layout frames and text boxes, a text comprises words, which in turn comprise individual letters. Products and the shopping cart are objects that comprise other objects. Wherever you perceive something that you can edit, or insert, as an entity, this something is an object.
Operating system An operating system is the software that makes a computer accessible to users. It controls the hardware (hard discs, display, keyboard and mouse) and manages other software and data. Examples: Microsoft Windows, Unix, Linux, MacOS.
Options Options are settings that define how the software should perform a certain action. Options are set via drop-down lists, radio buttons and checkboxes.
Order This refers to the order in which objects are superimposed in a layout. The objects can cover each other or overlap. If an object partially covers an object, you can use the order commands to push it back behind the other object, or to move one of the objects in front of the other. If an object in the foreground completely covers another object, so that you cannot see or select the background object, simply select the foreground object and keep moving it back until the hidden object becomes visible.
Original format This refers to the aspect of your original photo. Ideally, it will have an aspect of 3:2, however, the digital camera often uses a different aspect (4:3, 16:9) to store images, or the image size may have been modified by cropping in an image editing program.

Term

Definition

Paragraph (Text) A paragraph is an area of text between two manual newlines (Enter key presses).
Paragraph format A paragraph format is a text format that relates to a whole paragraph. This particularly includes the text alignment (left, right, centered).
Paste (IT) A command for the operating system's clipboard. Refers to inserting data or objects previously copied to the operating system's or a program's clipboard using the "Cut" or "Copy" commands.
Photo community A community of people on the Internet who share a hobby such as "Photography" or "Image editing". The members upload images to a website to show, discuss and exchange tips on them.
Pixel A pixel is a single dot in an image; the smallest unit in a digital photo. In digital photography, pixels are typically defined by mixing the colours red, green, and blue. 0 (zero) parts of red, 0 parts of green, and 0 parts of blue give you black. 255 parts of red, 255 parts of green, and 255 parts of blue give you white. This system makes it possible to display more than 16 million different colours.
Premium photo This is a print on high quality photo paper. Premium photos are also supplied with the filename and date of creation on the rear side, and a photo index, an overview of the photos with thumbnails.
Preview image A thumbnail of an image or another file (e.g. the pages in a photo book).
Print (photo) This is a term from analog photo development and refers to the results of contact coping, enlargement or exposure of a negative on photo paper.
Product In the Pixum EasyBook software, a product is a ready-to-order, compiled photo article.
Proxy A proxy links various networks, e.g. a company network and the Internet. It runs on dedicated hardware or as a program on a server. A router (for the Internet) can also act as a proxy.

Term

Definition

Quality indicator In the Pixum Photo Book Software, the quality display indicates whether the resolution of a photo at the required size is sufficient to ensure good image quality when exposed or printed. It is indicated by a coloured smiley in the product editors object toolbar, or by a coloured bar at the bottom of the thumbnail for individual images.

Smileys

Green means: The image resolution is high enough to achieve good quality. No quality loss with an image of this size.

Yellow means: The image resolution is not ideal for achieving good quality. This means that you will have to accept minor quality loss if you keep the image size, or you might prefer to scale down the image.

Red means: The image resolution is too low to achieve good quality. (An additional Caution icon is displayed in the image itself.) You should avoid using the image at this size as this would lead to clearly visible loss of quality. You can either scale down the image, or use another image with a higher resolution.

Term

Definition

Red eyes The "red eye effect" occurs in flash photography. The flash is reflected on the subject's (an animal's or human's) retina and makes the inside of the eye show red.
Resolution (digital photo) A digital photo comprises individual pixels. The number of pixels is referred to as the absolute resolution. We speak of e.g. 4000 x 3000 pixels, or 12 Megapixels (million pixels), both refer to the same resolution. The higher the resolution the more granular the details are at a larger scale, and the size of the image file on disc. The quality display indicates whether the resolution of a photo at the size used in the Pixum EasyBook software is sufficient for printing. This relates to the relative resolution, that is, to the pixel density during output.
Rotate In the Pixum EasyBook software rotating an object (layout frame, image, text field) in the product editor, either in 90° steps via corresponding buttons or drop-down menu commands, or free rotation by holding down the mouse button and dragging the frame around its rotation point.
Rotation handle In IT/computer graphics, this is a handle that lets the user rotate an object about its midpoint. (See arrow)

Example:

Drehanfasser

Term

Definition

Saturation Refers to the intensity of the colour in a photo. The saturation can be changed using digital image editing. High level of saturation: the photo appears very colourful. Low saturation: the photo appears pale. Lowest saturation: the photo comprises grayscales only.
Scale Change the size of an object.
Scroll box DScroll boxes appear at the side or bottom edge of the program window, if the content does not fit into the program window due to, say, the high zoom factor. Pushing the scroll boxes moves the view within the program window left, right, up, or down.
Select Selecting means marking an object to which the subsequent commands are applied. Objects are selected by hovering the mouse above them and then clicking with the mouse. You can select multiple objects to edit them simultaneously. To select multiple adjacent objects at the same time, use the mouse to draw a frame around the objects you want to select, or select the first image you want to remove, hold down the shift key on your keyboard, and click the last object you want to select. Multiple non-adjacent objects are selected (or unselected) by holding down the "Ctr" key on the computer keyboard and clicking with the mouse.
Sepia Sepia is originally a natural reddish, brown dye made from squid ink; it was used in ancient times for ink drawings, or as ink for writing. When old black and white photographs age due to UV light and oxidation, there appearance is similar to that of sepia ink drawings on parchment. White photographic paper turns yellow and darker image elements become brownish. This typical appearance of old black and white photos is imitated by the sepia effect in digital image editing.
Shift keys Keys on the computer keyboard. Typically used to type upper case letters, or to access a second set of key assignments.
Shopping basket The shopping basket in a shop system collects and lists the products which you can order online or on a CD. The name is explained by the fact that you can deposit the products you want to order here just like in a real shopping basket. The shopping basket is typically represented by a shopping basket icon. After filling your shopping basket, you can proceed to order.
Smiley The "smiley" is a very popular, iconic, graphical representation of a smiling face. Has enjoyed cult status since the 70s. Also known as an emoticon.
Storyboard A storyboard is a graphical sequence of individual views of a media product, like the settings for a movie script, for example. In this case, it refers to the preview pages of a multiple page photo book such as a photo book or calendar.
Subdirectory This is a directory within another directory (within another directory ...). Also known as a subfolder.

Term

Definition

Tab This term refers to the sub-headings in a program window which can be organised horizontally at the top or vertically at one side of the program window.

Example:

Reiter
Tag/Tags See "Keywords".
Text cursor A text cursor marks the insertion point in a text (editor). This is where new text that is written appears. To help differentiate this cursor from the normal mouse cursor (arrow symbol), it is typically shown as a flashing I-bar, a flashing underscore, or a flashing box.
Text box This is a frame in which you can enter, align and format text.
Thumbnail Thumbnails are miniature views of normal sized photos, layouts, documents, etc.. Also referred to as a preview image.
Tooltip A small text window that pops up when you hover the mouse over an icon. Gives a short clear text explanation of the function of the icon.

Example:

Tooltip

Term

Definition

Undo In the editor, this restores the state prior to the previous action. It undoes the previous action.
Update Install a new version of a software or specific data (e.g. price lists). Settings that existed previously are typically kept. The new version is often downloaded off the Internet. Can be performed automatically or by clicking a button in the program.
User account Users require accounts to access IT systems. The user is required to log in using an ID (often their email address) and a password, and is then given specific rights on an IT system. The user account typically stores additional information for the user, e.g. their name and address, to avoid the need to re-enter this information for each order.

Term

Definition

Voucher Vouchers are distributed in the course of advertising or as special low price offers.
Vector graphic A vector graphic is a computer graphic that does not comprise individual pixels but is made up of simple geometric shapes such as circles, squares, polygons, arcs and curves. For example, a line has a start and end point, a thickness and a colour. A circle has e.g. a center point, a radius, a line thickness, a line colour, and a fill colour. This is far less information than you would need to describe a line or circle in pixels. Especially considering the fact that the background, the square around the shape, would also need to be stored. In comparison to a photo, a vector graphic saves memory space and the image quality stays the same when scaling up or down. However, it is only suitable for comic-style images which can be broken down into coloured areas.

Term

Definition

White balance White balance in photography refers to the act of adjusting the colours to match the colour of the light at the location where the photo was taken to achieve as natural a look as possible. Light comes in many different colours which the human eye can only detect in direct comparisons, and which are otherwise compensated by our individual colour perception. For us, a white piece of paper (in normal lighting) is only white because we know it is white. For the sensor in a digital camera the white piece of paper is only more or less white in bright sunshine; if the sky is blue and the paper is in shadow, it is slightly blue, in the light from a light bulb, it would be slightly yellow and in neon light it can even look slightly purple. This affects all the colours in a photo. A digital camera often gives you several options for achieving white balance, that is, adjusting the photo to achieve as natural colours as possible when taking pictures. You can set the lighting semi-automatically at the camera. The options are typically, "daylight", "artificial light", "neon light" and son on. This will not work in mixed lighting, e.g. sunlight and artificial lighting. The cameras fully automatic white balance attempts to modify the hues by measuring the colour of light via a sensor. The lightest pixel is then white for the camera. Manual white balance is achieved by pointing the camera at a pure white area and measuring the reflected light colour. Cards with standardized colours are available for holding in front of the camera lens for this purpose. Otherwise you can use a piece of paper. Some cameras have semi-transparent, white lens caps which the camera uses to measure the colour of the reflected light automatically when switched on. In many cases, the photo lab will use an automatic image correction software to make sure that the colours in the photos are as natural and neutral as possible. In photos of sunsets (where the lightest pixel is reddish orange), or in candlelight (where the lightest pixel is yellowish), you should disable this function, as the fact that the colours are not natural is what makes these snaps interesting.

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Term

Explanation

16:9 A TV format introduced in the 90s also known as widescreen. Modern digital cameras which can display images directly on a TV support this aspect for photography.
3:2 The traditional print aspect ratio. It is this 3:2 aspect ratio that results in the typical 10x15cm or 6"x4” print size.

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