Chapter 16. Correcting Graphics Disgrace

O, shame! The powerful computer is slowly consuming the gentle, patient art of photography. Although the camera companies continue to strive toward making things easier, computer users' graphical efforts are often met with disgrace and shame. Grandma bemoans, "It took me 40 minutes to download your baby's picture, and all I can see on the screen is one big eye!" Then, to make matters worse, she adds, "I thought you were supposed to be some sort of computer genius!"

The problems surrounding graphics images, scanning, and digital photography aren't centered as much on computer problems as they are on misunderstanding. Graphics is a big arena. There are plenty of places where things can go wrong, and problems can crop up. This chapter helps smooth those rough edges and offers soothing words of advice for grappling with graphics.

Unraveling Resolution

Most of the basic graphics questions and problems orbit the mysterious planet of resolution. To understand why an image appears too large on the monitor or prints too tiny on paper, you need to understand resolution.

This section helps break down the concept of resolution, as well as other graphical terminology, into easy-to-see, byte-size chunks.

"What are pixels?"

All graphical images — whether on the screen, in a file, or printed — are composed of tiny dots. On the computer screen, these dots are called pixels, which is a contraction of picture elements. A typical pixel is shown in Figure 16-1, enlarged ...

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