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Management of digital image files
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FROM THE EDITOR
editorial will be short - I have so much to share with
First a valuable gift - well in fact a few gifts.
If you are a website owner you will be very happy for
I offer them now to my new subscribers. As you have
been my reader for several issues you deserve them,
too, so please read the instructions below.
globalization is over us, also regarding more peaceful
things like how to handle digital image files.
You get a more firm footing by reading the
'Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines'
included here from UPDIG. It is at the end of the
newsletter. I recommend you to save and print it for
the other important updates and information at the
content list. Be especially aware of how Google and
are continuing to change the web.
enjoy reading Stock Photo News!
"Find Stock Photos from most of the World"
tips and relevant articles are appreciated. Send
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GOOGLE IS ASKING FOR WEB SITES WITH TEXT
demand for focused texts on web pages has spurred a
whole industry producing articles. You can get f'ree
articles you are allowed to publish as long as you keep
info below with the link to the author. You find some
mine articles for use at http://www.free-articles.net
same f*ree articles might be used by many ezine publishers
and webmasters. This isn't good for the high ranking
these websites in Google. Unique text content is much
better, and many struggle to produce it. But you have
another option: you can buy private label articles (PLA).
With PLA you can change everything and you can publish
anonymous or with your own name on. Personally I would
never put my name under an article I hadn't written
completely myself. But it is nice to have the freedom
that kind of content when you can make it relevant for
quest for text for websites is enhanced dramatically
after the success of Goggle's AdSense Program. Huge
can be generated to high traffic niche websites.
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OF DIGITAL IMAGE FILES
Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines from
15 guidelines — along with the accompanying Best
Practices documents at the website of UPDIG —
clarify issues affecting accurate reproduction and
management of digital image files. Although they largely
reflect a photographer’s perspective, anyone working
digital images should find them useful. The guidelines
three primary goals:
images look the same as they transfer between
devices, platforms and vendors. Digital images are
prepared in the correct resolution, at the correct size,
for the device(s) on which they will be viewed or printed.
Digital images have metadata embedded that conforms
to the IPTC standards, making the images searchable,
usage and contact information, and stating their creators
or copyright owners.
Guidelines (version 1.0 of Universal Photographic
Digital Imaging Guidelines - UPDIG) - for updates later
Manage the color. ICC profile-based color management
Calibrate the monitor. Monitors should be calibrated
and profiled with a hardware device.
Choose a wide gamut. Use a wide-gamut RGB color space
(show footnote) for capturing and editing RGB master
We recommend Adobe RGB (1998) or ProPhoto RGB. Professional
digital cameras have selectable color spaces. Photographs
intended for print should be captured in a wide-gamut
space, such as Adobe RGB (1998). Photographs intended
for the web can be captured in the narrower-gamut sRGB
color space. It is possible, but not strictly necessary,
create custom camera profiles. When such profiles work,
they can speed workflow and yield more accurate colors.
Adobe’s Camera Raw program allows for calibration
digital camera, creating in effect a custom profile.
essential that a photographer choose the correct color
profile when capturing JPEGs or TIFFs, because the camera
will process images into these formats using the specified
Capture the raw data. For best quality, digital cameras
should be set to record RAW files.
Embed the profiles. All digital files should have
embedded profiles (should be “tagged”),
noted. Photoshop’s Color Management should be
“always preserve embedded profiles,” and
the “ask when
opening” boxes should be checked to alert you
mismatches and missing profiles. When profile mismatches
occur, you should elect to preserve the embedded profile.
Color space recommendations:
For the web, convert images to sRGB and embed sRGB
profile before delivery.
For display prints from professional digital color labs
(show footnote), if a custom profile is available, use
for soft proofing. Then submit either sRGB or (more
Adobe RGB with embedded profiles, as specified by the
If a lab does not have a custom profile, it’s
to use the sRGB color space with that profile embedded.
Most professional digital color labs that do have an
workflow usually require sRGB as the color space to
their RIP or other printer software. A few labs will
from Adobe RGB files, so it is best to ask before
submitting files. Those labs that offer custom profiles
provide them as “soft proofing” profiles
only, since they
update their actual profiles on a regular basis, when
change chemistry, paper batches or software versions.
For display prints from many consumer digital-print
vendors, a database of custom profiles is available.
source note.) Otherwise, deliver files in the sRGB color
space with embedded profile.
is a free database of ICC printer profiles for
digital labs worldwide at the Dry Creek Photo site.
printers covered include Fuji Frontier, Noritsu, Agfa
D-Lab, LightJet, Durst and Chromira printers, among
Because these printers do not recognize embedded profiles,
it is necessary to convert your files to their profiles,
then save them with the profile embedded. Converting
these profiles will give you the best color fidelity
allow you to soft-proof your digital files before
committing them to print. Labs that don’t use
usually require that submitted files be converted to
To avoid confusion on your end, it’s still best
the embedded profile, even if the lab will ignore it.
the sRGB color space instead of a custom profile may
less accurate color that doesn’t take advantage
of the full
gamut such printers can produce.
For offset printing, it’s always best to begin
the printer or the client’s production expert
format, resolution and color space they require. RGB
contain many colors that cannot be reproduced by
conventional CMYK printing. This has often led to a
situation where the final result looks nothing like
screen version of the file, or the inkjet print of the
file. There are two ways to avoid this confusion:
can be delivered as CMYK files. This is the “safe”
way to go, because the image itself will contain no
that can’t be reproduced by the CMYK process.
delivered as RGB files can be accompanied by a
cross-rendered guide print that includes only colors
reproducible in CMYK.
can also be delivered in both CMYK and RGB. This
allows the photographer to make the artistic decisions
about color rendering, and gives the printer more tools
recover from mistakes the photographer may have made
converting RGB to CMYK. Ideally, CMYK image files should
converted from RGB using the printer’s CMYK profile
that profile embedded in the file. It is not always
possible to get the printer’s profile, either
printer does not have one or the client does not know
will print the images. In such cases, it’s often
deliver an RGB master file (show footnote), with an
embedded profile and a ReadMe file that explains that
accurate color, the embedded RGB profile should be
preserved” when opening the file. CMYK profiles
and the RGB
alternative are discussed on page XREF 6.
master files are Photoshop (.PSD) or TIFF files,
optimized in a wide-gamut color space (such as Adobe
RGB or ProPhoto RGB), at either at the digital camera’s
file size or interpolated to a larger size (consistent
any possible future use) by a RAW file conversion program.
They should be left unsharpened or sharpened only on
removable layer, since resizing for future uses is likely.
Master files should be archived along with the RAW files
for a project.
For inkjet and dye-sub printers (show footnote), use
wide-gamut color space, such as Adobe RGB, for the source
space. Use a custom profile for the printer-paper
combination in the print space to get the best quality
the best match to a profiled monitor. You can easily
desktop and wide-format printers into a color-managed
environment with the help of profiles. If working with
manufacturer’s printer driver, turn off all color
management and print a copy of the color target file.
measure the printed target with a spectrophotometer
generate a profile for accurate output on a particular
paper or other medium. Repeat this process for each
stock you use. Most RIP (Raster Imaging Processor) software
offers profiles for a wide variety of papers. Many RIPs
will also allow use of custom profiles.
Formats and names. File formats should always be
denoted by standard, three-letter file extensions.
For the web, use JPEG files.
For print, uncompressed TIFFs are best. Use JPEG only
when bandwidth or storage constraints require it. Use
highest JPEG quality setting possible. We recommend
using less than “8” quality.
avoid problems with files that will be transferred
across computing platforms, name files with only the
letters of the alphabet and the numerals 0 through 9.
punctuation marks (other than hyphen and underscore),
accented vowels and other special characters. Keep the
full name (including extension) to 31 characters or
less for files on a network or removable media, and
to 11 characters or less (including the three-letter
file extension) when burning to CDR, in case a recipient’s
support long filenames. For the complete guide to file
naming protocol, see the Controlled Vocabulary website.
Appropriate resolution. Resolution of digital images
described by three numbers: height, width and ppi (pixels
per inch). Beware: It’s easy to confuse ppi with
per inch), which refers to the resolution of a printing
device, or with lpi (lines per inch), which describes
halftone grid or screen used for printing images on
press. The following target resolutions are meaningful
when paired with the height and width at which an image
will appear in the final form:
Low (monitor or “screen”) resolution is
defined as less
than 100 ppi.
Inkjet prints normally need resolutions of 180 ppi to
Continuous-tone printing requires resolutions of 250
to 400 ppi.
The offset-printing standard is often considered 300
ppi. But resolutions of 1.3 - 2 times the halftone screen
for the project are considered safe. If the images will
printed at 150 lpi, the appropriate image file resolution
range would be 195 ppi to 300 ppi.
Sharpen last. All digital images require sharpening,
during capture or after, and the correct amount to apply
depends on the type of use and size of the final output.
For most uses, it’s best to sharpen little or
capture with a camera or scanner. Sharpening is an art,
requires study and practice.
are several schools of thought regarding proper
sharpening. One recommended method is to remove capture
softness using a gentle sharpening pass followed by
sharpening and/or output sharpening. Sharpening should
the final step in reproduction, because resizing and
contrast adjustment affect an image’s sharpness.
is best evaluated at 100 percent and 50 percent
views on your monitor, or by making a print. The most
common sharpening method is to apply an “unsharp
filter (higher settings for higher-resolution files)
images, but other sharpening methods and Photoshop plug-in
programs can be useful, too. Oversharpening creates
obvious halos around edges within images.
Delivery. Digital image files may be delivered on
removable media (removable hard drive, CD-Rs or DVD-Rs),
or via FTP or e-mail. If files are delivered on CD-R,
standard disc formatting is ISO 9660 or “Mac OS
and PC (Hybrid) CD.” When delivering images on
make sure the recipient can read the chosen format,
there are multiple standards. Often speed and convenience
require delivery by File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Although
not a preferred method, e-mail delivery usually works
image files are small in number and size, and both sender’s
and recipient’s internet service providers permit
delivery sometimes works better if the image files
are first compressed using RLE compression software
such as WinZip or Stuffit. Check to make sure the recipient
access your specific version of compressed files. Delivery
by FTP or e-mail usually precludes delivery of a “guide
print” (discussed below), so a disclaimer should
included that states accurate viewing and reproduction
depend on the recipient properly applying ICC color
File info. All digital image files should have
embedded metadata — including copyright, usage
license and contact information — that conforms
to the IPTC or the
newer IPTC Core standards. Photoshop users can input
edit this information by choosing “File Info”
File menu. Adding caption, title, origin and keyword
enhances searches and organization with digital asset
Describe what’s there. Provide a ReadMe file in
.PDF, .HTML, or .TXT format with all files delivered
output. Such files should specify image size(s), color
space(s) and any licenses granted, the copyright owner’s
contact information and, if certain rights are being
withheld, the words “other uses, reproduction
distribution are specifically prohibited.” The
should also include disclaimers noting recipients are
responsible for following an ICC-based color management
Send a guide. Whenever possible, include a guide print
with digital image files. A guide print is typically
inkjet print that serves as a color reference for
reproduction of a digital image file.
Disk labels. Do not use adhesive labels on optical
media, since they may separate and damage an optical
Printing directly on inkjet-writable CDRs or DVDRs is
good way to provide information such as your copyright,
usage license, file lists and disclaimers.
Long term. Archiving responsibilities should be
clearly stated in writing for everyone involved.
Photographers should note that charging for archiving
mean assuming liability for maintaining such archives.
Prudent photographers keep back-ups on external magnetic
drives, as well as on optical media and, if possible,
keep duplicate back-ups offsite.
consult for updates at the website of Universal
Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines UPDIG
http://www.updig.org/ and get information about the
background and organization of Universal Photographic
Digital Imaging Guidelines UPDIG - sign up for future
LOST: BLOG ABOUT STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY
have lost all my web logs at Google's Blogger a few
weeks ago. I had so many posts in English as well as
in Danish (on other blogs). All decent and useful.
general account for me remained but all archives
were gone, no single post remained and the blogs were
completely gone. I don't have a clue of the reason,
had absolutely no warning before. The frustration isn't
less because I haven't been able to get in contact with
real person, only the standard auto responders. The
reason I can imagine is that I was prosecuted because
had reserved I think 4 extra sub domain names (= other
blogs) without starting them.
that I have stopped to recommend people to sign
up for a blog at Google. My next step will be to host
it myself and probably to use WordPress as the software.
I will come back to that in the future.
us in Denmark the world has been rather crazy the later
months. Personally I have from the beginning been 100%
against these cartoons of the Prophet in the newspaper
haven't seen them in fact. But to my simple sole it
of proportion to burn and kill as a reaction.
the hottest time of the reactions my wife and I were
on travel in the Arab Sultanate Oman on the Arab Peninsular.
were everywhere treated with outstanding hospitality
friendliness. Very civilized people, interesting culture
and superb nature. We will definitely come back. Let
hope that people in Denmark as well as in other countries
can see in the future that we all need to share this
fantastic planet and pay respect to different cultures
STOCK PHOTO NEWS
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THANK YOU! / Soren
2006 by Soren Breiting, A-Z FOTOS.
"Find Stock Photos from most of the World"
Email me at: sb@ azfotosTAKETHISAWAY.com (email spaced
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Photo News is 'in principle' a monthly newsletter
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Due to many travels abroad it is impossible for me to
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