What is the best word to describe someone (a person) who acquires a digital image with any instrument (which could be a digital camera, microscope, telescope or any other instrument that will produce an image)?

I was thinking of the terms "imager", but a simple Google search gives me the definition "software or equipment that makes images". "Photographer" is, I consider, too narrow.

If such a term does not exist what is the smallest way to describe this concept? "image creator"?

4 Answers 4


The author of an image is called its author.

That includes digital images acquired with a digital camera, microscope, telescope or any other instrument that will produce an image. Go to Wikimedia Commons, navigate to a digital image of your choosing produced with an instrument of your liking, and see for yourself.

  • I have accepted this answer, because it seems to best fit for my use case. I also liked photographer suggested by Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, but I can only choose one. I wanted to give someone credit for answering.
    – Jorisslob
    Sep 3, 2014 at 7:29

I think the best word for this is photographer. You can find examples of people referring to astrophotography or electron microscope photography:

Scharf started tinkering with electron microscopes after hours in a lab where he worked as an electronics engineer in the 1970s. Back then, most electron microscope photographers took out-of-focus photos of dead and dusty specimens. — Inside the Lab of an Electron Microscope Photographer

The problem is that most photography is the standard camera sort, with visible light used to image regular objects, and we lack a commonly-used word to delimit this particular subset. But there are no clear boundaries between zoom lenses and telescopes, or macro lenses and microscopes, so all the images are presumably taken by photographers.


Probably image/imaging technician is close to what you are looking for. The term is often used in medical context but it may also refer to a wider context:

  • Imaging technicians are more specifically known by the type of equipment they operate, and include X-ray technicians, magnetic resonance imaging techs, diagnostic medical sonographers and radiologic techs. Although these machines use different methods, they all help physicians assess medical conditions by displaying images of the interior of the human body.

Also , Digital image technician

  • Prior to the DIT position, several other positions, such as Video Controller, Video Shader or Video Engineer, performed similar functions of exposure and color control over the live video image. While these positions continue to exist, especially in live broadcast and studio television, the DIT position has become entrenched in Cinema, Commercials and Higher End television.


  • I don't think "photographers" is a subset of "image technician". The technician doesn't take the photo, they operate equipment or adjust things afterwards. Aug 27, 2014 at 23:35
  • @Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 - OP is looking for a general term of someone who 'acquires images' and an image technician does that with a wide variety of means according to their context. According to what OP says 'photographer' is too narrow a definition.
    – user66974
    Aug 28, 2014 at 4:57
  • "Photographer" may seem "too narrow" but the word he needs must at least include photographers, and there is no way that photographers would ever agree that they are "image technicians". My view is that "image technicians" are a subset of photographers. Aug 29, 2014 at 2:57

The only thing that comes to mind seems to be a graphic designer.

The definition of graphic design on thefreedictionary.com

  • graphic design-The practice or profession of designing print or electronic forms of visual information, as for an advertisement, publication, or website.
  • 3
    Nobody who takes a photo with a telescope would consider themselves a graphic designer on the basis of that photo. Nor an electron microscope. Or even a regular camera. Aug 27, 2014 at 23:35
  • 1
    Yes, my feeling is that a graphic designer is someone who uses already acquired images and creates new images from them.
    – Jorisslob
    Aug 28, 2014 at 6:27

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