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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Definition of image and imagery, from Thomas Blount's Glossographia Anglicana Nova, 1707.
The top image is captured using photography. The bottom image is rendered. Images are produced by capturing or rendering.

An image (from Latin imago) is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, 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 hard copy, is one that has been recorded on a material object, such as paper or textile by photography or digital processes.

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.

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.

See also

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to A Picture article)

From Wikisource

A Picture
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Passion (1883)

I strolled last eve across the lonely down;
          One solitary picture struck my eye:
          A distant ploughboy stood against the sky—
How far he seemed above the noisy town!

Upon the bosom of a cloud the sod
          Laid its bruised cheek as he moved slowly by,
          And, watching him, I asked myself if I
In very truth stood half as near to God.

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

Simple English

A picture, also called an image, is a group of colored points on a flat surface that looks the same as something else. For example, a picture can look the same as an object or a person. Pictures can also be drawings, paintings or photographs. People who make such pictures are called artists, photographers or painters. Pictures are very helpful. Sometimes people say pictures are worth a thousand words.

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:



An image is something that can be seen, but it is not physically there. It can be a photograph, a painting, or a picture on a television or computer screen. A lens can make an image of an object appear somewhere else. Cameras use this to make the image that becomes a photograph.

Making Pictures

Using Cameras for Pictures

Most pictures today are really 'photographs'. Photographs are made with cameras. A camera makes a picture that looks very real.

Before Cameras

When there were no cameras, people had to make their own pictures by using paint, brushes, pencils, crayons, pens, and other things that people can write or draw with.

Pictures made with paint and brush are called 'paintings'. Before cameras, some artists were able to make very real looking pictures with just paint. Sometimes pictures made with pencil or pen are called 'sketches', if they are made very fast and only look a little bit like the real thing.

Where are Pictures?

Usually pictures are put on paper. Pictures made with paint are usually put on a strong, rough fabric called 'canvas'. Sometimes pictures can be put on walls or other things, even glass.

In special or old places, such as churches, sometimes people can see pictures on windows made out of colored pieces of glass. These are called stained glass.

Special types of Pictures

Moving Pictures

If people take a lot of pictures, and show them one at a time, very fast, they can make a picture look like the picture are moving. This is called a "moving picture", or a movie. A television shows people a picture by using light shined on a glass screen. A projector shines light from a light bulb through a kind of picture that the eyes can see through. When light shines through this kind of picture onto a wall or another flat place, the picture can be seen on that flat place.

Three Dimensional Pictures

Some people can make pictures that do not look flat by taking two regular flat pictures at the same time. People have to move their eyes in a special way so that they can see both pictures together. When they look at the pictures the right way, the picture does not look flat. This is called '3D' or 'three dimensional'.

Use of Pictures

Pictures and Diagrams can be used to explain how to use tools, and thus a picture is itself a kind of tool.

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