Chapter 2. Thinking Digitally


  • Comparing digital images to traditional photographs

  • Understanding the difference between types of digital images

  • Working with the attributes of digital images

Before getting knee-deep in all of the detailed ins and outs of GIMP, it's well worth your time to familiarize yourself with some of the details and terminology of digital media. If you're a seasoned professional, much of this chapter might be a review for you. However, it never hurts to have a good reference that you can point to as a refresher or as a means of explaining things to someone else.

As with any other creative medium, the more you know about how digital imagery works, the more you can take advantage of its strengths and circumvent its deficiencies. You may even be able to find novel ways of using its perceived shortcomings to your advantage. Fortunately, there aren't so many differences between digital work and traditional, meatspace (what some people refer to as "the real world") work. Digital graphics borrows a lot of terminology from the analog world and quite a few techniques have been ported to our digital realm. And these days it's extremely common for artists to shift from analog to digital almost seamlessly, using the most effective tools in each medium to create images that would be difficult to create in either one by itself. This is especially true in commercial photography and illustration where deadlines are tight and efficiency is paramount.

By the time you ...

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