[pov] Re: "anonymous" photographer & photo theft

  • From: Harvey <planetberg@xxxxxxx>
  • To: pov@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 13:45:39 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Michael and all you other POVers. 
Concerning the "Magic" 300 ppi number. 
I have heard that although hour labs and the newspaper asks for 300 dpi/ppi; if 
you're printing at home on a Pro Epson printer, the default output is 360 or 
180 ppi. 
If you print with 300 ppi the machine will convert it to 360 ppi. 
Although it's really hard to tell the difference, when going for the best 
possible quality, I would think that one would prefer Photoshop to make the ppi 
What say you, Michael? 

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Elenko <michael.elenko@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: pov <pov@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 6:07 am
Subject: [pov] Re: "anonymous" photographer & photo theft


Sure you can capture anything on a screen. The value of what you've captured 
depends on what you are going to do with it, and what is technically possible. 
So as a photographer you've got to minimize the risk, while still reaping the 
gains of easy visibility. 

If one understands image resolution, and what can come of it, it can help guide 

The statement that "most screen captures are at 72 ppi" is basically 
inaccurate. Images don't have an inherent ppi, but they do have a Width x 
Height in pixels.  PPI (pixels per inch) is only relevant here regarding the 
quality of a print at various output sizes. It's really more useful to use 
pixel Width X Height in sizing and evaluating your images.

The whole PPI (or DPI which as a misnomer makes things even more confusing) is 
easy to misinterpret, probably because Photoshop has that Image Size resolution 
box that tends to default at 72 PPI. Which is meaningless without looking at 
the document size output dimensions.

For example: Let's say I upload an image of 1200 x 920 pixels to a site. 
Photoshop shows that at 12.778 W X 16.667 H  at 72 PPI. In reality, a 13x17-in 
print needs a resolution of about 180 ppi to have a hope of being good. And the 
rule of thumb is that the smaller the print, the higher your PPI needs to be 
because people can stick their eyeballs that much closer to smaller prints.

So using this example, what size image would hit the magic 300 PPI target? Be 
sure to uncheck the Resample Image box, type in 300 in the PPI box, and one 
will see that a 3x4-in image would print out nicely.

Let's further say that the site showing my 1200 x 920 pixel image uses the 
transparent gif thing, and that the image appropriator isn't smart enough to 
dig into the source code. So they use a screen capture. That screen capture 
will never add pixels to the original image. It may come close to the original 
size of that image. So I got a 916 x 1159 pixel image from the screen grab. A 
print from that at 300 ppi would be 3 x 3.9 inches.

As a photographer if I'm uncomfortable with giving that away, then the solution 
is to reduce the size of my original uploaded image. There is zero need to 
upload high resolution images to the web in an uncontrolled context, unless you 
want to give away your shots (and sometimes that's OK). The reality is that an 
image with 640-700 pixels on the long size will meet the requirement of filling 
up a computer screen on a webpage with enough detail to look good.

As a photographer, you can allow an image appropriator to have a screen shot, 
as there is only about 25 cents worth of hard value there, but they are not 
going to get a decent print out of it. A screen grab of my 700 pixel image will 
yield a image of 1.5 x 1-inch for printing at 300 ppi. Go for it I say.

Ultimately you've got to balance the risk of giving away $.25 per screen grab 
with the benefits of having your work (and maybe name) seen by others cheaply. 


For example, 

On Oct 27, 2011, at 7:34 AM, Rondi Lightmark wrote:

Michael and Viv: doesn't a screen capture make the transparent gif useless? I 
had someone who wanted to feature
my work on her website and promised me that she used the gif with all the work 
posted. But a simple screen capture
showed her that she was wrong.

John re Facebook: Yikes. When I think of all of the photographers (me 
included), that have a page to promote their work on FB. . .


On Oct 27, 2011, at 6:07 AM, John Sage wrote:

On 11-10-26 09:09 PM, Michael Elenko wrote:
Thanks Rondi for initiating a very engaging thread, and thanks everyone for 
building on it.

Viv, it's great you are being conscientious.  Having a transparent GIF layer 
over an image is the approach used by the Nature Photographers Network on their 
high quality website. That along with a watermark is pretty standard. It's 
great you are being conscientious.

John's advice to embed one's name/copyright in the EXIF and ITPC metadata 
fields is very smart and easy to do.  All my images imported into Lightroom 
have that performed automatically.

I've pretty much "standardized" at 640 pixels longest dimension @ 150 ppi. Why 
that? After some research there are modern devices (some laptops, particularly 
some mobiles) that use a screen resolution higher than the old classic 72 ppi.

I guess the degree of image protection should be correlated with how one views 
the value of their images.  And let's face it, the monetary value of 
photographs have dropped phenomenally.

I'm pretty active on Facebook and there's two things I've noted there.

1) Facebook strips out any copyright data from the EXIF data -- in fact they 
seem to re-write the EXIF data completely, and

2) Facebook has a breathtakingly draconian (although maybe not unusual) clause 
in its "Terms of Service":


2. Sharing Your Content and Information

"You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can 
control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In 

1) For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and 
videos (IP content),

-> you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy 
and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, 
sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you 
post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). <-

This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless 
your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it."

"...you specifically give us ... a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, 
royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post..."


- John
John Sage
FinchHaven Digital Photography
Box 2541, Vashon, WA 98070
Email: jsage@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Web: http://www.finchhaven.com/
 Cell: 206.595.3604


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Rondi Lightmark

Resolute Imagination is the Beginning of all Magical Operations -- Paracelsus


Michael Elenko
Eye In The Triangle Photography


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