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Submitting Photos Into The Magazine

Discussion in 'The Railway Magazine' started by jonathonag, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

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    Now, I have probably asked this before, long time ago most likely, as I can't find a similar post. Anyway, for help with those of us who are hopeing to start sending photos into the megazine, would it be worth putting up a step by step guide perhaps. E.g recommended pixel size, what shoud be contained in the Right Click>Properties>Comment section of the jpeg. info, e-mail address'? Even this s.a.e. abbreviation has puzzled me? I think it would be a really great help to those of us who haven't really done it before.

    Thanks

    Jonathon

    ( P.S. If anybody is wondering why this post seems to appear in both RM and SR sections, it's because this post is relevant to each magazine but yet there is no universal forum to target questions to both magazines unless going into the Off-Topic forum )
     
  2. steve45110

    steve45110 New Member

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    You must be very young, not to know that s.a.e. means stamped addressed envelope.

    Good idea though. I would like some technical info re. digital pics. I believe 7-8 pixels is good enough for publishing. What other factors need to be considered? Lens etc.
    Does it have to be an SLR, or are the better quality pocket cameras good enough?
     
  3. W14

    W14 New Member

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    You'll find notes in the Railway Magazine about their requirements for submissions.
     
  4. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    What W14 says is correct, and a week or so ago I posted some comments about photos on another thread, part of which is included below. Full text at: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=11335&p=155089#p155089


    At The RM, we get between 1,500 and 2,000 images submitted every month – that’s around 50+ a day. Many are unsuitable for a variety of reasons - primarily unsharp or poor composition - while others are shortlisted for final selection. The photographer must be selective and send say, 4 to 8 images and not dump the contents of a memory card on a CD and send that !!!

    Ideally, if using digital, you should send in low res images. These are images of 72dpi, and resized from the original to roughly 7in x 5in, and saved as a jpeg with a compression factor of around 7 in Photoshop/Elements, to give a file size of between 200k and 400k, approx. These low res images for initial consideration can be emailed to the editorial mailbox at railway@ipcmedia.com or my (larger) mailbox at chris_milner@btinternet.com

    PLEASE NOTE: At this stage, we do not want jpegs of 3 to 8 mb, neither Tiffs. These clog up our mailboxes, force them to close when their capacity is exceeded so no one can email us. Persistent offenders will get blocked.

    Because of the number of images we receive and have to consider, don't expect an immediate answer, however, we try to respond with 48 hours. For images we want to seriously consider using, we will email you and ask for the hi res (300dpi, full size) then, either via email or CD. If sending in a CD, please enclose some thumbnail images for ease of reference.

    Other magazines appear to be far more picky over the ‘exclusivity value’ of an image that first appears on Fotopic or wherever. My view is that sometimes web images are seen by only a handful of people and are often deserving of a far wider audience, which is why I have in the past emailed some photographers and asked for images.

    There is also an urban myth that magazines use the same photographers every month. This is simply not true. Every image is chosen on content, composition and topicality AND whether we have that image in our hands at the time selection is made. Makes no difference if it is film or digital, as we have two top end Nikon scanners to scan 35mm and 6x7 trannies. No material EVER leaves our office to be scanned by an outside, so rare and irreplaceable trannies are safe from the ham-fisted operators at repro houses. The RM team are all experienced railway photographers (Brenda excepted) so are aware of the importance of handling trannies correctly.

    In the past two years or so, we had introduced many new photographers who have never had material published before, so The RM is also trying to encourage a new breed. This in turn generates competition, and stops us being accused of favouritism.

    Yes, you will see the same photographers names quite regularly, but you have to remember that these are individuals who know how to take a QUALITY railway photograph to a consistent standard that stands on its own, as opposed to a mundane snapshot, that is poorly composed and exposed. The regulars also how to adjust that image in Photoshop to get the best from it, and to submit it to us quickly, not 2 weeks after it was taken, as some do. Speed is of the essence.

    I’d also add that there are some enthusiasts and photographers who only put their images on Fotopic and don’t submit them to any magazine, so they could be missing out on cash for their photos too.

    Finally, what The RM and all the other magazine editors will NOT entertain, is ‘Fred Smith’ touting the SAME images to several magazines, with the result two or more magazines use the same one – much to everyone’s embarrassment and annoyance. Fortunately, there are a minority of photographers (and they know who they are) who try this – but only once, I hasten to add !!!!

    Feel free to PM me with any specific questions.
     
  5. Beaker

    Beaker New Member

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    Question how do you compress a picture from 8mb to 05.mb ?
     
  6. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

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    Resize it using the XP photo resizing kit? (Google it, its free)
     
  7. mendiprail

    mendiprail New Member

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    Right, well what if I photographer were to clearly state they were offering the image to several publications and come to an agreement whereby only one would use it? Or is that too time consuming?
     
  8. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    What's XP? Windows I suspect !! If it's free and work, fine.

    We use proper computers on RM - Mac's !!!!!! Luvverly machines.
    Don't get me started...........
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    It doesn't and cannot work like that. You would not get that 'agreement'. You simply can't offer an image to two or more titles - it isn't fair or ethical on all concerned.

    It's like having something valuable insured with two companies, and then making individual claims against each when that item is damaged. You are trying to get compensated twice. By sending the same image to two titles, the photographer trying is getting paid twice for the same image. It's called greed.

    Actions like this deny other budding photographers their moment of glory, and annoy readers who don't expect to see identical images in rival print titles.

    I know of two editors who have recently sent a very stiffly-worded email to photographers who have sent the same image to rival titles. The result is that both tiles are far less likely to use that photographer again in the future because of the risk. So ultimately, the photographer loses out, all ways.

    The worst case of this I ever saw was some 6-7 years ago and involved 6201 Princess Elizabeth on a southbound Cumbrian Mountain Express when the photographer concerned was using motordrive. Two consecutive frames, one second apart, appeared on the front cover of both Steam Railway AND also Railway World published the same month. Within days of each other in fact.

    Yes, he did receive an ear-bending twice over, and the two magazines did make you do a double-take when on the retailer's shelves. That's why it has become an unwritten rule that you don't send the same image to multiple titles.

    Having said this there is one possible exception, and it's not a course of action I am endorsing in any way.

    That exception would be in the case of when a photographer happened to be one of the first on the scene of a train fire or major crash (and I hope I am not tempting fate here), or something untoward happened as the train approached him. He is likely to sell his images to a picture agency for international syndication. And I would also expect that if syndication happened the photographer would donate a large proportion of fees earned to any fund for the victims rather than profit from tragedy. I was at Ladbroke Grove, Hatfield and Ufton Nervet and it isn't pleasant.
     
  10. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    One other important point I forgot to mention is that we do not like digital prints made on home printers. Send us the file instead.

    The reason? In simple terms quality and a reduced dynamic range particlarly in the darker tones, and if we scan the print, these dark tones block up.

    In the editorial office we have a 21-inch screen that we use to layout the pages on, and it is specially calibrated and matched to a colour proof printer.

    With the original file, ex-camera if necessary, we can make the necessary adjustments in Photoshop to get the best from the image.
     
  11. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

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    But Chris, what you have to bear in mind is photographers only take a certain number of images, and only a small number of them (maybe only 5 or 6 tops) are in anything like a good enough quality to consider submitting to a magazine. Considering the vast numbers of magazines out there they are then left with a conundrum, who do they send which image to? The usual answer is people send several small, low-res images to magazines.

    When you take into account, as I said in the Steam Railway section, that no magazines actually tell people they want to use a photo, then you cna't (and shouldn't) blame the photographer for wanting to get their work the best chance of publishing as possible. It's not greed (as I doubt many do it for the money, I know I don't), it's purely a want to get their photo in the press.

    If magazines were to let people know in advance then a suitable warning could be given by the photographer that "xxxxx magazine has already asked to use that photo, however photo z is a very similar image if thats what you want". I know you don't have time but maybe if you really want people to send in images on a regular basis then this sort of thing would encourage them.

    You seem happy to place all the blame on the photographer "oh well, they sent it to several magazines, this is not acceptable and as such they are black-listed" etc etc, but maybe if the magazines in question ASKED first, and on top of that maybe even communicated with each other about which images they would use then it wouldn't happen, and as magazines don't its as much their fault as the photographer.

    Take for example this weekend, the West Somerset gala will have had probably hundreds of photos sent in by many many photters and as such the chances of the same image being published is fairly small. On the other hand, something like the RHDR gala is likely to have fewer people sending in images as fewer people will have attended, and as such the likelihood of the same image being published increases. Now I sent 6 images in to your magazine, low-res small pictures. I also sent in some images to other magazines (2 others in fact). Now that leaves me in a conundrum, I have 6 good photos, do I send in 2 different ones to each? In which case the chances of getting it published is less likely as editors will always want the widest possible selection to choose from (at least the editors I have had contact with in non-railway press do). Or do I send in the images to all three on the assumption that as they were small images then they would email back asking for the bigger one (I did put that in the email before you ask).

    I'll probably now find myself on the blocked list for saying that but I felt it needed saying. Sorry, but thats my view on it.
     
  12. JR

    JR New Member

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    Right first off I will say I am posting this on both magazine threads as I would like to see what each magazine feels, if this is not Ok then please feel free to remove said posts.

    I have seen many images taken from Mainline Platforms (Ie Network Rail) Now clearly when a photo is published the photographer is paid something. Reading the offical Network Rail guidence they say this


    Quote:
    You can take photographs at stations provided you do not sell them. However, you are not allowed to take photographs of security related equipment, such as CCTV cameras.


    Now clearly none of the photos published show the CCTV etc (certainly it isnt the subject of the image) However the photograph IS taken from NR property and the photographer has made money for it.
    So my question is, what is the ruleing on this?
    This has been one of the things that puts me off sending in images, that and the fact that regulars seem to get preference anyway.

    Oh and another thing, in a case where a number of images are sent in of the same event at the same location and 1 image is from a 'known' photographer and say 2 are 'unknowns' and the images are identical whos would get published?

    Also while im at it another little point, not all that long ago I saw a photo published (I wont say which mag) which was very pixelated almost as if it had been taken with a digital zoom. Now clearly this isnt a 'quality' photo but seemed to be published because it was a known photographer (which itself seemed odd as I wouldnt have expected such a naff shot from someone like that), however I get the feeling that if an unknown did the same, then the image would not come close to publication. Which only leeds to the conclusion that there is a 2 tier system as it were one rule for them another for the rest regarding quality/photographer.

    Ok that should get some discussion going.

    JR
     
  13. mattspencer

    mattspencer Member

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    Regards to this the way I see it is that if a magazine or some other company asked you to go to a station to take photos then that would be commercial but if you take a photo and you send it to a magazine in the hope they might use it then this isn't commercial
     
  14. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

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    I would agree, most people who turn up to a station or whatever turn up to get a picture for their own records rather than to be sold to a magazine, that they do that later is their own choice as the magazine does not specifically ask for it. If the magazine did say to the photter to get a photo before the event then I guess you could sat that was against the rules
     
  15. twa_dogs

    twa_dogs New Member

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    ...but if you receive payment does that not make it a commercial transaction?
     
  16. twa_dogs

    twa_dogs New Member

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    Chris,

    thanks for the info so far. Out of interest what cmyk colour space are you guys using?

    Steve Taylor
     
  17. mendiprail

    mendiprail New Member

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    That's fair enough, though I was suggesting that the photographer offer it to both magazines, who would then say whether or not they wanted to use it, if both magazines wanted it, then the photographer would have a choice of which magazine to send the image to. I realise that sending the same image to two magazines and expecting them both to pay for them is unfair, not to mention greedy. Say that you took a picture you were very happy with of a certain event on a railway and sent it to only one magazine, but they chose not to use it, whereas if it had been sent to another magazine they would have used it. I'm just trying to work out ways around it, for future reference.

    To use to insurance analogy, it's like getting quotes from two different companies and then deciding which one to go with. Except instead of quotes, it's whether the magazines want to use the image or not.
     
  18. John Elliot Jnr

    John Elliot Jnr New Member

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    Surely an experienced photographer would be looking at his or her work and thinking, "That's a Steam Railway image; that one's the sort of image The Railway Magazine likes to use..." and sending each only to that magazine, knowing from experience that it's in with a chance. I may be wrong but, like so many areas of speculative work, isn't it about developing and maintaining relationships? I would think it's harder to do that if you're playing one magazine off against another.
     
  19. stepney60

    stepney60 New Member

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    But how can a relationship be fostered without trying images to different publications?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's right to send every image to all and sundry, what I am saying is that it isn't such a crime if someone sends a few images the same to maybe 2 or 3 magazines, especially when they're only just starting out and haven't had any or indeed many pictures printed, and to say that the photographer will thus be blocked and effecively frozen out doesn't make it very likely that hey will send future material to a magazine anyway.

    Professionals, if you will, who have done it for years, should perhaps be treated with a stronger degree of strictness as they should know the rules, but take me. I sent off images of this weekends RHDR gala to the RM, SR and HR. I did this before I saw that and there was no mention anywhere of not being allowed to send them to other magazines, just that they should be "of size x and sent in y format to ....."

    As such, if it were the case two of the magazines published the same picture, without telling me beforehand, then you can't really come back and say its all my fault can you?
     
  20. John Elliot Jnr

    John Elliot Jnr New Member

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    By sending different images to different magazines.

    That's when you get one of those emails off the editors concerned, which you can avoid by not sending similar material to different magazines.

    It's a buyer's market and clearly the magazines are in the privileged position of being able to insist on the conventions they would like us to follow.
     

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