An image (from Latin: imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject--usually a physical object or a person, thus providing a depiction of it. In context of image signal processing, an image is a distributed amplitude of color(s).
Images may be two-dimensional, such as a photograph or screen display, or three-dimensional, such as a statue or hologram. They may be captured by optical devices - such as cameras, mirrors, lenses, telescopes, microscopes, etc. and natural objects and phenomena, such as the human eye or water.
The word 'image' is also used in the broader sense of any two-dimensional figure such as a map, a graph, a pie chart, or a painting. In this wider sense, images can also be rendered manually, such as by drawing, the art of painting, carving, rendered automatically by printing or computer graphics technology, or developed by a combination of methods, especially in a pseudo-photograph.
A volatile image is one that exists only for a short period of time. This may be a reflection of an object by a mirror, a projection of a camera obscura, or a scene displayed on a cathode ray tube. A fixed image, also called a hard copy, is one that has been recorded on a material object, such as paper or textile by photography or any other digital process.
A mental image exists in an individual's mind, as something one remembers or imagines. The subject of an image need not be real; it may be an abstract concept, such as a graph, function, or imaginary entity. For example, Sigmund Freud claimed to have dreamed purely in aural-images of dialogs.
The development of synthetic acoustic technologies and the creation of sound art have led to a consideration of the possibilities of a sound-image made up of irreducible phonic substance beyond linguistic or musicological analysis.
A still image is a single static image. This phrase is used in photography, visual media and the computer industry to emphasize that one is not talking about movies, or in very precise or pedantic technical writing such as a standard.
A still frame is a still image derived from one frame of a moving one. In contrast, a film still is a photograph taken on the set of a movie or television program during production, used for promotional purposes.