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About Pixels

A Pixel–the Fundamental Component of a Digital Image

A pixel, which stands for picture element, is the smallest area within an image that has uniform color. In a digital photograph, a pixel represents the intensity measurements of red, green, and blue light. To the right is an example of pixels that make a digital photograph of trees in a forest. The percent intensity is based on a linear scale with 0% representing no light of that color to 100% representing the maximum intensity of color that may be measured with the camera (greater intensities would be recorded at 100% by the camera). In computers, where the binary scale is used, 0% is recorded as 0 and 100% is recorded as 255.

How do pixels affect what can be seen in a digital image?

View a movie on the impact of pixel size on what can be seen in digital photographs

Download DigitalImageBasics, software that changes the pixel size (pixelates) of any digital image.

How are colors made with red, green, and blue light?

Explore the digital image investigations

Stitching Your Own Pictures Together to Make Ultra-High Resolution Pix

Picture with relatively large pixels