Sharpness, Clarity, Contrast: Taking Better Photos for the Centurian

We need better quality photos for publication in the Centurian. Most photos that are sent to us are low resolution and our printer needs high resolution photos for good printing quality. For example, if the photos look washed out, they are low resolution. When the printer tries to compensate, the high resolution photos become too dark.

To explain, simply, the resolution of an image describes the detail or information the image holds. The higher the resolution, the more detail the image has because there is more information or more pixels. The pixels are the dots that make up an image. So, the more pixels, the more vivid and detailed the image appears to the naked eye. If the image has very few pixels, the image will appear “pixelated” and “blurred.” The image will not look sharp.

Low resolution photos can look great on the computer screen but they are low resolution so they are easy to share on the internet or between phones. Ideally, the printer would like 300 DPI (dots per square inch) for our publication.

Not all Coordinators have access to professional cameras; most photos are taken with digital cameras or Smart phones. These images can be used, except that when you take the pictures, make sure the setting of the camera or the phone is in Hi Resolution mode. When you send the image, make sure the image is in the “original size” and don’t reduce or “compress” it. Reducing or compressing the image size will compromise the quality of the picture.

When taking digital photos, use a good quality digital camera, with good optics and digital sensor. Do not use a digital zoom. Take photos at the highest quality setting your digital camera allows. Watch for good lighting and steadiness.

Here are some reminders:

  1. Please stop taking photos of people sitting around a table, often showing half-eaten food or drink. We can’t use photos of people at a long rectangular table because the people in the back are too small and dark, those in the front too big. Rarely do table shots work. Best to get people to stand.
  2. When taking group photos, it’s best to have one row seated or the short people in front with the taller and heavier people alternating in back. Please don’t string the group out in a single line (unless it’s a very small group) because to get everyone in the space allocated in our publication the images will need to be reduced; also those at the ends are often too dark. Avoid having one or two people standing apart from the rest of the group — they might be cropped out. The photographer should check to see that all faces are visible and perhaps take two or three photos and send us the best.
  3. The photographer should be close enough to the subjects, especially to a group, not across the room with tables, chairs, etc. in front of the people. We usually crop photos at waist level. We don’t want photos of all the furniture in the room.
  4. Avoid back lighting (with backs against outside light). Best to have people against a neutral, plain background when possible. Watch out for reflections in mirrors and chandeliers and other lighting that can interfere.
  5. Groups of 3, 4 or 5 are best. Animation or action shots are more interesting so when possible take candids and use your imagination.
  6. When possible include the speaker, hosts or area coordinator in the photo. Please mix up the people — don’t send photos of the same people over and over again (unless you are a small chapter with few attendees).
  7. We prefer not to have IDs of a large group; it takes up space and only the people listed are interested in seeing their names. We do, however, like to have the IDs of smaller groups. Please check left-to-right order, the correct spelling and include everyone.

WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO NOT PRINT PHOTOS THAT ARE INAPPROPRIATE OR ARE OF POOR QUALITY.

WE CAN’T ALWAYS USE ALL THE PHOTOS YOU SEND US DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, SO PLEASE SEND US YOUR BEST.

Travelers’ Century Club®
8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2297
Cupertino, CA 95015
Tel: (888) 822-0228
Email: info@travelerscenturyclub.org

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