Dear Digit: How do I make sense of the terms and technicalities associated with digital images?

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“Dear Digit, there are so many terms and technicalities associated with digital images, I’m lost. Do I need to know the difference between JPG and GIF, DPI and PPI, resizing and compressing, etc.? If so, how can I keep them straight?”

There are three categories of terms that are essential to producing, using, and sharing digital images: file type, file ‘quality’ and file size. Let’s take a closer look at each category.

FILE TYPES

Files types are identified by their extensions. If you are using or dealing with RAW (.raw) images, you will want to have a more nuanced understanding of file types than we can address in a brief article. For the other types, some general rules apply. The following table is a useful way to make sense of which specific uses each file type is designed for. Continue reading Dear Digit: How do I make sense of the terms and technicalities associated with digital images?

Dear Digit: Is saying “Photo by Google” good enough?

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“Dear Digit, I am not an artist or photographer, but I need attractive images for my communications. Since there are lots of images on the internet, I can usually find what I need. I want to do the right thing, so I usually write “photo by Google.” That’s good enough, right?”

Considering how many images are available on the internet today, we have a wealth of options one right-click away. But, there’s a catch.

All images are owned by someone, and it is legally and ethically important to verify you have their permission to use the image prior to using it. In some cases, reproducing and modifying images without the right to do so can actually have serious financial and legal consequences.

So, what’s a communicator to do? Continue reading Dear Digit: Is saying “Photo by Google” good enough?

Dear Digit: How do I make my communications look good?

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Mar/Apr. 2014

 

 

“Dear Digit, I know my communications are supposed to look good.  But, I don’t have fancy expensive design software, and I want to do my brochures and website myself.  What can I do?”

In this visual era, it is nearly implicit that our communications should not only be clear and engaging, but they should be visually compelling. However, not all of us were trained in digital arts. Those of us who were do not always have time or funds available to stay up to speed on rapidly evolving visual tools.

Fortunately, the internet is overflowing with options for every skill level. Here is a sampling of the numerous free tools and programs that can elevate your digital creative capacity. Continue reading Dear Digit: How do I make my communications look good?

Dear Digit: Social media & intellectual property – madness or genius?

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Nov/Dec. 2013

“Dear Digit, I’ve been hearing a lot about how posting my images on social media can mean I am giving away my rights to them. What’s up with that?”

 On planet Earth, technology is increasingly an essential tool and a phenomenal distraction.  For some, technology is the nemesis –the necessary evil – while for others, it is a golden brush.  Regardless of whether you are an early-adopter or a content Luddite, the rate at which the digital world is evolving leaves us all with questions. Continue reading Dear Digit: Social media & intellectual property – madness or genius?