What is a Digital Photograph?
This book is about digital cameras and the photographs they capture. Understanding the end product, the digital photograph, is a good place to begin understanding the whole digital photography process.
Digital photographs are actually mosaics of millions of tiny squares called picture elements or just pixels. Like the impressionist painters who painted wonderful scenes with small dabs of paint, your computer and printer use these tiny pixels to display or print photographs. To do so, the computer divides the screen or printed page into a grid of pixels. It then uses the values stored in the digital photograph to specify the brightness and color of each pixel in this grid—a form of painting by number.
This reproduction of the famous painting "The Spirit of `76" is done in jelly beans. Think of each jelly bean as a pixel and it's easy to see how dots or pixels can form images. Jelly Bean Spirit of '76 courtesy of Herman Goelitz Candy Company, Inc. Makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans.