The Ultimate Photography Jargon-Buster

A-Z glossary of miscellaneous photographic terms

First published:
February 27, 2023
January 31, 2024

A-Z glossary of miscellaneous photographic terms

First published:
February 27, 2023
January 31, 2024


- Jargon-buster overview
A-Z glossary of general photographic terms
A-Z glossary of lighting terms
A-Z glossary of miscellaneous photographic terms

A glossary of all the miscellaneous photography terms you'll come across, especially those when you're saving, selling & printing photos. This section of the jargon-buster also includes many of the terms you're likely to come across when using Picfair Stores - so take particular note of these.

All terms are listed in alphabetical order for ease of viewing or locating a particular term.

A-Z glossary of miscellaneous photography terms


AI-generated imagery in a photographic context is images that look like photographs but have been created by artificial intelligence with no camera involved.


Composite/collage images are photos that have been created using elements from more than one photo. For example, a person cut out from one image is placed into the scene in another photo. These types of images can also be much more surreal and it’s masking in Photoshop that allows you to create seamless blends between the different elements that have been brought together in a new image.

Copy space is space around the subject for magazine or advertising text to be placed. If shooting a landscape format portrait to be used as a double page spread in a magazine, you might position the person to one half of the frame leaving the other half empty with a clean background so that text can be placed there.

Cropping is when you cut out the outer area of an image to improve composition, change the meaning of the photo and/or to remove distracting elements. Some photographers can shoot perfect compositions in-camera depending on the subject they’re shooting while others, such as street photographers, may rely more heavily on cropping due to the more spontaneous and fast-paced nature of their work.

CSV file (comma-separated values) is a spreadsheet that allows you to apply titles, captions and keywords/tags to multiple images when uploading to stock libraries. This is a particularly useful time-saver when uploading a series of different images of the same subject.


Download is when you save a file from another source such as a website to your computer or smart device. This could be an app, software, a PDF or a photo etc.

DPI (dots per inch) is the dot density of images and is most relevant to printing. When printing, the best DPI is 300 because lower values create a larger image but reduce quality, while higher values make images smaller but have little to no effect on print quality.


FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a method of sharing files to other computers, websites and servers using FTP desktop apps. These are usually free and allow you to upload large number of images at once to websites such as stock libraries.


Giclée print is a type of inkjet print that’s designed to create a higher quality, longer lasting image than standard inkjet printing. This means that giclee prints are often sold for higher prices than standard inkjet prints.


Image license is when a license is granted to an individual or company to use an image from a stock library or directly from the photographer for a fee. The license can come in many different forms and could include exclusive/no-exclusive use, royalty-free, time durations, rights to edit and the usage itself such as editorial or commercial based on the content and releases associated with the image.

Picfair Stores:
View the full breakdown of what licences are available for images in Picfair Stores on our Picfair's image licenses page.


JPEG is one of the most common image formats in photography due to its compression which allows them to take up little storage. This makes them easy to share and resize for fast loading on websites. Cameras can capture JPEGs, but these are processed in-camera by the camera with less latitude than Raw files for making adjustments, which is why many photographers favour shooting in Raw.


Matts/mounts are the usually rectangular window of (often white) card that photos are attached to when framed. This produces a pleasing finish, although there are other finishing options when framing images.

MB/megabytes are a unit of data made up of 1024 bytes. 1024 megabytes make up a gigabyte and so on.

Metadata/IPTC is the information contained in an image including the camera used, camera settings, lens, title, caption, keywords, copyright information, photographer contact information and much more. This is useful for identifying the image owner as well as helping search engines to index images uploaded to the internet.

Model release is a legal document that allows the photographer to sell images depicting a model for commercial use. Without a model release, an image depicting a person or people will be severely limited in how it can be used by an image buyer, not to mention you could find yourself in a legal battle with the model if an unreleased image was used commercially.

Moderation is when content uploaded to a website has to be checked before it can be made live on the website. This is usually to confirm that the content complies with the website’s policies and, that it doesn’t show harmful, offensive or discriminatory material etc.

Picfair Stores:
See Picfair's moderation policy for images uploaded to Picfair Stores.


NFT (non-fungible tokens) in a nutshell are digital content, such as images, that are attached to a blockchain such as Ethereum. It’s the blockchain that provides your proof of ownership once an NFT has been purchased, where you may receive a JPEG of the image (and sometimes a physical). You don’t own the copyright to the image, music or text in the NFT unless otherwise stated, just the NFT itself, so it’s seen by many as a strange way to ‘purchase’ art. There’s much more to NFTs than this basic explanation, so for more information search the web for ‘NFT’.


Pixels are the tiny digital squares that make images such as photos.

Pixelation occurs, for instance, when a low-resolution image is printed at a large size so that the individual pixels that make up the image become obvious.

Presets are editing settings that are saved in editing software so that techniques and effects can be applied to images at the touch of a button.

Property release is a legal document that allows you to sell images depicting a privately owned property for commercial use.


RAW files are image files that contain unprocessed and uncompressed image data and contain more image data than any other photographic file type. In the early days of digital photography, they were often described as being ‘digital negatives’, and Adobe even created the DNG (Digital Negative) Raw file that’s used by some camera manufacturers including Leica and DJI. Raw files allow for more processing because of the amount of detail and colour depth they contain, which is a great deal more than a JPEG. See our 10 top tips for working with RAW files.

Resolution is the pixel count of your camera, such as 24MP. It also refers to the pixel dimensions of an image where a small image is called low-resolution and a higher quality version is called high-resolution. So, if you have a 24MP camera and upload a full-size JPEG to your Picfair Store, this would be high-resolution. The version of the image that’s displayed in your gallery will be around 1000 px wide and this is low-resolution.

Royalties are the money you earn from the use of your images when a license to use the image has been purchased from a stock library.


Tags are keywords that can be typed into the metadata of your photos and added to images on stock libraries to help search engines and potential image buyers find your images. Other ways to help people to find your images online are to give them a relevant title and to include a caption describing what the image shows.


Upload means sending an image from your computer or smart device to a website, app or cloud storage etc.

Picfair Stores:
See our guide on uploading your images to Picfair Stores.


Watermarks are often, but not always, a faded photographer’s logo or copyright symbol placed on an image to prevent unauthorised use of the image. While this does create some security when sharing images online, it also ruins images and looks unprofessional.