Definitions

image

image

[im-ij]
image, in optics, likeness or counterpart of an object produced when rays of light coming from that object are reflected from a mirror or are refracted by a lens. An image of an object is also formed when this light passes through a very small opening like that of a pinhole camera (which has no lens). Images are classed as real or virtual. A real image occurs when the rays of light from the object actually converge to form an image and can be seen on a screen placed at the point of convergence. For example, the image produced by the refraction of light rays by a convex lens (when the distance between the object and the lens is greater than the focal length of the lens) is real, and it appears on the side of the lens opposite the one on which the object is present. On the other hand, a virtual image occurs when the prolongations of the light rays converge to form an image, but the light rays themselves do not reach the point of convergence. Thus a virtual image cannot be seen on a screen. The image in a plane mirror is virtual. It appears to be behind the mirror, at a distance equal to that of the object in front, although the rays of light from the object do not penetrate the mirror but are reflected from it. Images of the same size as the object are sometimes produced, as in the case of the plane mirror, but in other cases they are larger, and in still others, smaller. They are sometimes erect and in other cases are inverted. The size of the image and whether it is erect or inverted, real or virtual, depend on the distance of the object from the lens or mirror relative to the focal length and on the type of lens or mirror (plane, convex, or concave) employed.

An image (from Latin imago) or picture is an artifact, usually two-dimensional, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.

Images may be two-dimensional, such as a photograph, screen display, and as well as a three-dimensional, such as a statue. They may be captured by optical devices—such as cameras, mirrors, lenses, telescopes, microscopes, etc. and natural objects and phenomena, such as the human eye or water surfaces.

The word image is also used in the broader sense of any two-dimensional figure such as a map, a graph, a pie chart, or an abstract painting. In this wider sense, images can also be rendered manually, such as by drawing, painting, carving, rendered automatically by printing or computer graphics technology, or developed by a combination of methods, especially in a pseudo-photograph.

A volatile image is one that exists only for a short period of time. This may be a reflection of an object by a mirror, a projection of a camera obscura, or a scene displayed on a cathode ray tube. A fixed image, also called a hardcopy, is one that has been recorded on a material object, such as paper or textile.

A mental image exists in an individual's mind: something one remembers or imagines. The subject of an image need not be real; it may be an abstract concept, such as a graph, function, or "imaginary" entity. For example, Sigmund Freud claimed to have dreamt purely in aural-images of dialogues. The development of synthetic acoustic technologies and the creation of sound art have led to a consideration of the possibilities of a sound-image made up of irreducible phonic substance beyond linguistic or musicological analysis.

Still image

A still image is a single static image, as distinguished from a moving image (see below). This phrase is used in photography, visual media and the computer industry to emphasize that one is not talking about movies, or in very precise or pedantic technical writing such as a standard.

A film still is a photograph taken on the set of a movie or television program during production, used for promotional purposes.

Moving image

A moving image is typically a movie (film), or video, including digital video. It could also be an animated display such as a zoetrope.

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