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Foreword - Pg. ix

Foreword Digital images are the product of two technologies: cameras and graphics. This book is about both kinds of images. Images from cameras may be fed into com- puter vision and image-processing systems; the word "vision" in the title of this book refers first to this kind of analysis, which depends on cues (visual features) and contexts (frameworks and predispositions for interpretation). Images that result from graphical synthesis represent the visions (imaginations) of their creators, and this is the second meaning of "vision" in the title. The prime purpose of the image here is to communicate the vision, and the specific medium (e.g., still image, video, virtual world, game, and so on) is a "channel." The strength of this book lies in its integration of technical information, applica- tion, and reflections on the social consequences of this rapidly expanding aspect of the human experience. Let us consider briefly the two main phenomena that are driving these ideas. First, we have digital cameras rapidly becoming more powerful in three respects: 1. Better imaging, with automatic focus, exposure, high dynamic range, image stabilization, color balance, red-eye reduction, panorama, stereo, and so on.