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Digital Video and HD, 2nd Edition by Charles Poynton

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27

Gamma

In photography, video, and computer graphics, the gamma symbol (γ) represents a numerical parameter that estimates, in a single numerical parameter, the exponent of the assumed power function that maps from code (pixel) value to tristimulus value. Gamma is a mysterious and confusing subject, because it involves concepts from four disciplines: physics, perception, photography, and video. This chapter explains how gamma is related to each of these disciplines. Having a good understanding of the theory and practice of gamma will enable you to get good results when you create, process, and display pictures.

Luminance is proportional to intensity. For an introduction to the terms brightness, intensity, luminance, and lightness, see page 27. ...

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