Ready, aim, focus
Professionals often use digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. The typical dimension of one of their photos is 4592 x 3061, which is a fairly large image. Do you need to use a DSLR in order to send us images? No. Those are our favorites and usually necessary for a cover image, but you can use almost any camera, as long as you’re able to follow a few basic rules:
* Always shoot in the largest file size/format possible. Most cameras today have settings, such as “JPEG Large.” The larger the better for magazine publication. We also prefer to receive JPEG, TIFF or EPS files at a resolution of 300 dpi.
* Use natural light whenever possible and avoid the flash. A well-lit image is better than one that’s harsh, as is often the case when using a flash.
* Focus. This one sounds easy since a lot of cameras are autofocus nowadays. But you’d be amazed at how many shots we get that we can’t use because everything is too fuzzy. Focus on the subject of the picture and hold as still as possible when you shoot.
*Edit lightly if at all. Please keep in mind that editing can reduce the quality of an image. We prefer images with little or no sharpening or color correction. Allow our graphics department to make those choices as needed.
Sending images to us
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you can stuff 20 pictures in one email, none of them are big enough for print. We need high-resolution pictures, the biggest digital files that you can send us. On this note, downloading an image file from social media doesn’t usually work for us. Many social media programs, like many cellphone cameras, process your images in ways that leave the image unusable for print.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you can stuff 20 pictures in one email, none of them are big enough to work.
Our favorite online option for getting images to us is via Dropbox. You can set up a free account at Dropbox.com, which will install a folder on your computer. Put the pictures in that folder, then share a link to that folder with us. If that doesn’t work, consider WeTransfer, or you can also establish an account on Flickr and send us a link there. If all that seems too complicated, just plop the images onto a flash drive and send it in via snail mail.
If you ever have any questions about your shots, either before or after you take them, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn how to submit an article to Wing World magazine visit our guide.