Submitting Digital images

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by dperez, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. dperez

    dperez Guest

    Guys, I need a sanity check here... I can't decide if I'm missing something or

    We have an organization in MN that puts out a calendar every year. They get
    submissions of prints, slides, and now digital images.

    Their guidelines for submission of digital images was ambiguous, at least to me
    since it didn't provide a resolution they wanted, and specified that images
    should be "unaltered"...

    Then I hit the part where they stated
    "High-resolution digital images are acceptable (see below),
    but a high-quality printout of the images(s) must be mailed
    separately along with the signed entry form."

    Now I'm really befuddled... Isn't one of the major reasons for SUBMITTING
    DIGITAL IMAGES so that they can be examined in DIGITAL form and THEN printed
    when needed for production? So WHY would they want a bunch of prints, with all
    the problems associated with printing when they'll HAVE THE DIGITAL IMAGES?

    SO, I gave them a call and got a person that had no idea... So I sent an email
    to their editor, hoping to find out if the "printout" was an index print or
    something, and what size/resolution they wanted the images in. They also
    specified tif or jpg format and I was a bit concerned about sending jpg since
    its lossy and I wasn't sure how much editing they were going to do...

    Well, today I got an email response...

    They want the images taken at the camera's highest resolution, AND LEFT IN RAW
    FORMAT... Which means they want me to send them the ORIGINAL RAW images right
    out of the camera. No cropping, no levels, no color balance, or any of the
    other things that are necessary to optimize an image. I'd even be relying on
    SOMEONE ELSE to do the RAW conversion... This seems bizarre to me - to put this
    kind of limitation on a digital image. They'd NEVER demand that a print be full
    frame with no correction in the printing...

    And the print is supposed to be a print of EVERY SUBMITTED IMAGE. Which makes
    even LESS sense to me... I'm thinking I may just submit prints since they're
    apparently only going to look at those anyway...

    So, am I missing something or does it seem like a REALLY BAD idea to submit an
    image this way?
    dperez, Aug 25, 2004
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  2. For one thing, they don't want folks to submit 100's of images per
    person; demanding prints is one way to stop that.

    Another is if they see from your print that your image has what they
    want, they are probably in a better position to prepare it for their
    publication than you are, no offense. The print you send will, of
    course, be your own RAW conversion, crop and interpretation, probably
    bigger is better than smaller to be better "seen" by the judges.

    Good luck.
    John McWilliams, Aug 25, 2004
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  3. There is no good technical reason for what they are asking. They may be
    moving into new technology and are not sure what they will need. If its
    important to you give them what they want...and expect that they will mess
    it up. That way you won't be disappointed. Are they paying for the privilege
    of making you sweat? Might be better to pass on the calendar until they
    figure things out.
    Gene Palmiter, Aug 25, 2004
  4. Well, lots of places used to demand that original slides be submitted
    -- which is exactly that, the camera original not altered.

    It sounds like they're set up to deal with amateurs who can't be
    trusted to do a decent job of (digital) darkroom work. That may well
    be the right choice for their normal submitter pool.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Aug 25, 2004
  5. dperez

    Bob Williams Guest

    I kinda doubt that they really mean RAW Format.
    RAW is proprietary to each camera manufacturer. And many cameras do not
    even create images in RAW. They would have to have a RAW converter for
    every camera manufacturer!!! They MAY mean unaltered, which is quite
    different than RAW. I'd make one more pass and try to talk to someone
    who you feel REALLY knows what he is talking about.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Aug 25, 2004
  6. dperez

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Dunno if it's of interest or not, but I've heard
    several people up here refer to raw in the context
    of "uncooked". No noise removal, white balance, etc.,
    just a tiff or jpg as it comes out of the camera.

    Take care

    Ken Weitzel, Aug 25, 2004
  7. dperez

    bob Guest

    [email protected] wrote in

    Not likely. They want high quality prints because they want to pass them
    around a conference table. Besides, you don't really think that your
    monitor is going to display a file in a manner at all similar to thier
    monitor do you?


    First, they expect to work with professionals. Being an editor is a lot
    harder than being a photographer. How many months do you figure you
    deserve? If you think your work is good enough for two months, then you
    should submit two photos. If you think your work is good enough for 6
    months and if your RAW images are 100 mb, then its still only one CD.

    They want RAW files because they know FAR more about their printing press
    than you ever will. That's another reason to ask for the print, so that
    they can see *your* interpretation of the RAW file. The print shows them
    the potential of your vision, the file gives them the ability to
    reproduce it.

    They are, almost without a doubt, using Photoshop CS, which has native
    support for all the RAW formats that count. For their purposes anyway.
    They obviously assume that if you are good enough for them to consider
    then you will have a modern camera by a major manufacturer.

    At work we always tell our clients, "Just send whatever you have; we can
    open it." The only time that didn't work was when they mailed us a reel
    of 3/4 inch tape.

    bob, Aug 26, 2004
  8. dperez

    Mark M Guest

    I suspect you may have heard from someone who doesn't even understand what
    RAW means. The interpretation of this may be better understood if we knew
    what info you included in your inquiry. I'd send them a print, and a tiff.
    I would put money on a bet that the person who e-mailed you assumed you
    meant something resembling a tiff image, as some cameras record as their
    only uncompressed option.
    Mark M, Aug 26, 2004
  9. dperez

    Colin D Guest

    You haven't mentioned what their policy is regarding reproduction
    rights, or if they want to claim the actual copyright to your images.
    If you do get around to submitting some images, make real sure you get a
    contract specifying what they expect to get. For a calendar, I should
    think a one-time non-exclusive right of reproduction would be all they
    need. Any more than that, would be suspect in my book. If they want
    exclusive, you will be prohibited from ever using your image anywhere
    else. Same if they want copyright. I get the feeling that they don't
    pay for images, expecting that you will be satisfied with seeing your
    picture in a calendar. That may be acceptable to you, but you should
    sort this out *before* you submit anything.

    Colin D.
    Colin D, Aug 26, 2004
  10. dperez

    dperez Guest

    OK, there've been some more emails going back and forth...

    For those of you that thought they were confused and didn't know what RAW was,
    you're right...

    It turns out they want the prints because they want to group things by month and
    then review them. It seems like they may not have their digital workflow fully
    defined yet so they apparently aren't prepared to do the evaluation by
    projection... Which is interesting because even if they force the digital image
    submitters to print, they've still got transparencies they'll either have to
    project or put on a light table...

    So, in my mind, it still doesn't make a lot of sense to accept transparencies
    without prints, but force digital images to be printed...

    In any case, the most revealing statement was in the email I received that asked
    "Do you think most photographers would be reluctant to provide RAW files?"

    They evidently get most of their submissions as jpegs, of quality varying from
    images taken using cell phones, and go upward from there...

    What I'll do is instead of submitting the allowable 30 images, I'll select the
    half dozen (or fewer) I think are most interesting and print those. Which is
    probably not a bad thing...
    dperez, Aug 27, 2004
  11. dperez

    Mark M Guest

    ONLY EVER show your best stuff.
    Forget the rest.
    You'd be amazed what CRAP even top expert shooters throw away before anyone
    sees it.
    They build their reputation on their BEST work, and hide the rest from should you.
    Mark M, Aug 27, 2004
  12. dperez

    kashe Guest

    Contact them and get a _written_ statement of the agreement.
    If you (or your lawyer) don't feel comfortable with the conditions,
    you'd not likely be helping yourself to put your work in their hands.
    You don't know where those hands have been. :)
    kashe, Aug 28, 2004
  13. dperez

    Colin D Guest

    Firstly, read the entry conditions very carefully. The conditions
    should spell out what they want from your images - and what they don't
    want, i.e. your rights. If they want to claim copyright, or exclusive
    use, then don't submit anything you might want to use later - even if
    you can't think how as of now.
    If the conditions simply don't mention copyright or exclusive use, be
    very careful. It's not unknown for the contest organizers to simply do
    what they want with your image, with or without your permission, on the
    grounds that a) you probably won't do anything even if you find out what
    they have done (you might not, if they use or on-sell the image
    elsewhere), and b) if you try to claim against illegal usage, their
    lawyers will chew up and spit out any legal aid you could afford.

    There's a helluva lot of photo competition organizers who don't know
    squat about rights, and don't want to - all they see is a quick and
    cheap way of getting their hands on a large pile of images. Ultimately
    you have to make the decision whether you trust them.

    Good luck,

    Colin D.
    Colin D, Aug 29, 2004
  14. dperez

    dperez Guest

    What I'll do is instead of submitting the allowable 30 images, I'll select
    Mark, I absolutely agree! I suspect there's nobody more critical and brutal on
    my own work than me... Its one thing to show "good" to friends and family, but
    for everything else its gotta be "really good"...

    I edited, edited, edited... Before I even did any work in Photoshop I threw out
    75% of what I thought was "good". Then I did some work and got my wife in to
    look over the results. Threw out some more.

    Then I printed the remainder and went thru THOSE... Got my wife back and laid
    out the prints. Threw out some MORE.

    Eventually, from the several hundred I started with, and dozen or so I printed,
    I selected the ones that seem to be best... At this point it was really small -
    like "do the feathers on the back of the hummingbird's head seem really sharp to
    you?" And out it would go.......

    So, I'm happy with my choices of the half dozen survivors. And off they went.

    OH, the organization does specify their terms for use right up front - it is a
    one-time, non-exclusive use contract. And if you provide a self-addressed
    envelop with postage they return the prints... Of course since they get tens of
    thousands of images I figure my chances of needing to worry about the terms of
    the contract are very slim... BUT, they're better than if I HADN'T submitted
    dperez, Sep 1, 2004
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