Stock photography tips

Posted by PhotoStock

Shooting stock photography

  • Image quality:

    • There should not be any artifacts such as visible oversharpening, cloning marks, pixelation, jagged edges or computer-generated errors.
    • Color rendition should be smooth, with depth and a photographic quality, and not look posterized.
    • There should be a smooth transition of color information in shadow and highlight areas. Any kind of blocking or color banding is unacceptable.
    • Grain structure should not be exaggerated, excessive or distorted—the quality of scanning equipment plays an important role in accurately recording grain structure.
  •  If color profiles are part of your digital workflow, embed your source profiles in all submitted assets. This allows us to maintain the best possible color fidelity when creating JPGs for our site.
  • Color levels should be between 3 and 252 to prevent blocky blacks and burnt-out highlights. Pixels with values beyond these limits may affect the printing of black or white areas, indicating that shadow/highlight detail has been lost.
  • Contrast should be boosted minimally without detriment to midtones. The aim is to keep as much detail as possible in the shadows, midtones and highlights.
  • Sharpening
    • Once again, make sure not to oversharpen. Excessive sharpening tends to separate grain, causing it to look artificial and broken up. Sharpening can also cause noise and distortion when used to extreme levels and produce speckling and mottling (and despeckling filters will not solve this problem).
    • Keep in mind that repro houses will sharpen at a later stage for optimum print, especially when producing large displays or posters.
    • Unsharp mask filters should only be applied within these guidelines:
      • Amount: 0 – 100% , Radius: 1 – 2 pixels, Threshold: 0 – 4 levels, Results will vary from image to image.

  • The preferred digital image file will be:
    • Approximately 11"x17" (ANSI B, tabloid) or 97mm x 420mm (A3)
    • Uncompressed data size = 48MB. Please note that 48MB is the file size of an image opened within a photo editing application. Depending on the level of compression applied when creating a JPG, the compressed file size on your submission media will be significantly less than 48MB.
    • 24-bit color RGB ( 8 bits per channel ). Please do not submit CMYK.
    • 300 ppi (pixels per inch - dots per inch is a more accurate measurement for high- quality printing)
    • Color profile - we generally prefer Adobe RGB (1998).
    • 6.8 megapixels or greater. To calculate megapixels, simply multiply your image's height x width. For example, an image at 11"x17", 300 pixels per inch, would yield 3300 pixels x 5100 pixels = 16,830,000 pixels. 1 Megapixel = 1,000,000 pixels. Therefore, 16,830,000 pixels = 16.8 megapixels. Please refer to your camera's manual for instructions to capture images at the best quality resolution. If you are shooting in Camera RAW format, and doing post-production work in an application like Adobe Lightroom or Aperture, please refer to their manuals for information about rendering images to meet our submission requirements.
  • All assets should be free of hair, dust, marks, oil stains and smudges. No blemishes should be visible at 100% magnification.