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Image
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Image

In common usage, an image (from Latin imago) or picture is an artefact that reproduces the likeness of some subject -- usually a physical object or a person.

Images may be two-dimensional (e.g. a photograph) or three dimensional (e.g. a statue). They are typically produced by optical devices -- such as a 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 or illustration, e.g. a map, a graph, a pie chart, an abstract painting, etc. In this wider sense, images can also be produced manually (by drawing, painting, carving, etc.), by computer graphics technology, or a combination of the two (see pseudo-photograph).

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

A mental image exists in someone'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 or function -- or an imaginary entity or being.

Specialized meanings

The word also has many specialized meanings in various disciplines and contexts:

See also