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Glossary of Terms found on Royalty-Free Sites

Bitmap   Bitmap (or BMP) is used in the electronic storage of images. Bitmap images are made up of pixels (or "bits") that store color information. A bitmap can be any size, depending on the number of pixels it contains. Its resolution is fixed so it can't be resized or manipulated without losing image clarity. Some popular bitmap formats are JPEG, GIF and TIFF. A common synonym for bitmap is "raster".

Clipping Path   A clipping path is a vector line that outlines the separation between an image and its background. It assists designers in "clipping" an image from its original background and inserting it seamlessly into a new image.

Digital Photography   Digital cameras record images electronically and store them as an electronic file that is often manipulated later in a software program.

Digital Watermark   A digital watermark is an imprint used to brand images as property of an online retailer. The imprint is removed once the image is sold.

DPI   One of the ways in which resolution is expressed is DPI (dots per inch). It refers to the number of pixels representing one square inch of image information. A high DPI results in greater image detail for printing purposes, but it also means larger file sizes and memory usage. For example, a 1" x 1" image at 72 DPI contains 5,184 (72 x 72) dots (pixels), while the same 1" x 1" image at 300 DPI contains 90,000 (300 x 300) dots.

FTP   File Transfer Protocol. A standard that allows users to transfer files from one computer to another.

GIF   A popular image format and image file extension. "GIF" refers to the Graphics Interchange Format of images, a popular image file used on the World Wide Web. Common GIF images are illustrations or utilities graphics such as buttons, headings and logos. GIF files normally don't require a lot of storage space - especially if they comtain a few colors.

Grain   The sand-like or granular appearance of a print, slide, negative, or digital image. Grain becomes more noticable with higher ISO settings, the degree of enlargement or length of exposure time.

Interpolation   The process of increasing the resolution of a photo.

Image Resolution   The amount of data stored in an image file, measured in pixels per inch (PPI) or dots per inch (DPI).

JPEG   A popular image format and image file extension. "JPEG" (jay-peg) stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the organization that developed the format. The JPEG (or JPG) format is widely used because it can reduce an image file size by as much as 90% without losing a lot of image quality visible to the naked eye. The more an image is compressed, the more the image quality will be negatively affected.

Lightbox   A lightbox is a convenient way to store a selection of images for a certain client, project, or any other use. Lightboxes act like an image keeper for images you select as you browse the collection. They can be named, edited any time, emailed to another person, or deleted completely using the attached features.

License   See Royalty-Free Licensing.

Model Release   This is a signed release from the person/s depicted in a stock photo, giving consent for his or her likeness to be used for commercial purposes as described in the release. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct model releases for your licence use and that you comply with the relevant local laws.

Property Release   This is a signed release from the owner/s of property depicted in a stock photo, giving consent for the image depicting his or her property to be used for commercial purposes. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct property releases for your licence use and that you comply with the relevant local laws. For more information see our release information page.

Pixel   Pixel is the common term for "picture element", the smallest part of television, monitor or photographic images. There are millions of picture elements in any digitized photograph (a 1"x1" square inch image at 72 DPI contains 5184 pixels). Pixels are the units that are manipulated in photo editing software. In bitmap images, the more pixels, the higher the resolution. Enlarging a pixel-based image too much can compromise its quality.

Resolution   In digital photography, resolution is a measurement of the number of pixels that make up a digital photograph. Resolution is one of the benchmarks of digital cameras and images. More pixels allow producing bigger prints. Any of the modern 3, 4 & 5 megapixel cameras will allow making great 8x10 inch prints. Usually for prints 11x14 inches or more, it's more preferable to use 4+ megapixel camera models.

Retouching   In film photography or printing, retouching refers to a process of altering a print or negative after development by use of dyes or pencils to alter tones of highlights, shadows, and other details, or to remove blemishes. In case of digital photography, use of the digital image manipulation software to enhance or modify the digital image.

Royalty-Free Licensing   The Royalty Free sites don't sell images to you; they license them on behalf of the photographer or stock photo library. Royalty-free images can be used repeatedly without having to pay for every usage or reporting each usage for legal documentation. By selling a royalty-free photo, a photographer permits a buyer unlimited use of the photo, including any photo alterations such as, but not limited to cropping, color alterations, etc. Photographer remains a copyright owner of the photo.

Rights-Managed Licensing   Rights-managed products are licensed on a use-by-use basis. The fee for using the product is calculated from several factors including size, placement, duration of use and geographic distribution. At the time you order a rights-managed product, you will be asked to submit information that will specify the usage rights to be granted.

Saturation   Saturation is the density of a colour.

Stock Photos   Stock photography is photography or other imagery of common landmarks, concepts, and events that can be used and reused for commercial design purposes.

TIFF   A popular image format and image file extension. "TIFF" is an acronym for Tagged Image File Format, a complex but flexible file format used to store digital images. TIFF can compress large images without losing information in the process or causing damage to the file. TIFF picks up where JPEG may leave off when it comes to larger files requiring greater compression.

Thumbnails   Miniature images, resembling slides. Thumbnails are small, low-resolution images, typically used to display search results because they are easy to browse through. When you upload an image to a royalty free stock photography site, it will be displayed as a thumbnail.

Watermark   A logo or mark that is superimposed on an image. Preview images are watermarked because they can be saved from the browser without purchase. Hi-resolution images purchased by the buyer are not watermarked.

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