In digital photography and digital video, clipping is a result of capturing or processing an image where the intensity in a certain area falls outside the minimum and maximum intensity which can be represented. It is an instance of signal clipping in the image domain. The clipped area of the image will typically appear as a uniform area of the minimum or maximum brightness, losing any image detail. The amount by which values were clipped, and the extent of the clipped area, affect the degree to which the clipping is visually noticeable or undesirable in the resulting image.
In a color image, clipping may occur in any of the image's color channels separately.
Clipping can occur at many different stages. It may occur in the image sensor when initially capturing the image using a digital camera or scanner. It may occur due to internal image processing or color space conversion in the camera or scanner. It may also result from later image processing using image editing software. Clipping that is due to internal image processing in a digital camera may often be partially or fully recovered if the raw sensor data is available, such as when saving to a raw image format.