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Submitting Photos Into The Magazine

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

  1. twa_dogs

    twa_dogs Well-Known Member

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    ... and presumably you give full copyright for all markets away too. Exploited? Hmm well perhaps you do want to be

    It is very understandable that an editor would not want to see the p155 taken by multiple outlet sales, but we are talking about allowing those upcoming to develop a relationship by in effect being allowed to pitch/tender on the understanding that final sale goes only to one party. We are not talking commisioned work here only the early stages of an enthusiasts speculative sideline for most people.

    Sadly i can see both sides of the argument, and can also guess that some peoples worst instincts have led us to this one sided argument.
     
  2. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    I dont think anyone is being exploited. Not now.

    Before 1989 Railway Magazine only used to send the photographer a free copy their picture was in. That changed when Peter Kelly took over the Editors chair and we actually paid people. It had to happen otherwise you had the untenable situation of one of our sister titles 'Amatuer Photographer' preaching that you should never give images away for free (vanity publishing) and the RM expecting just that. It also meant the magazine used 2nd and 3rd choice images after the prints and trannies had done thr rounds elsewhere.

    And before anyone asks, fees are not discussed publicly, and vary depending on the size of the image.

    Copyright? We pay for one use, world rights. That's it. No one is asking for copyright to be given away willy nilly, unlike a well known broadcasting corporation does. After that one use, the photographer is free to use the image any way he/she likes.

    It is also worth mentioning that there is far more competition to get images in print that ever before fuelled by the digital revolution.

    My background to entering railway publishing was as a photographer, my first images appearing in Steam Railway (!!!) in the early 80s when Jubilee No. 5690 Leander rescued a failed Class 40 near Garsdale. It was a further 10 years of freelance before making the switch full time, so I do appreciate the difficulties.


    I'd heartily recommend developing a relationship with editorial staff. You get to know them, and we are seen as approachable. While I dont get to the lineside as much as I'd like to these days, when I do, I always enjoy a chat with other photographers, new and old, and often the developing relationship gives clues to the type of material they have which is useful when planning features.

    And I should stress that those that do tout their images around several titles can be counted on the fingers of one hand. It is not really a big problem.

    All I know is we can't please all of the people all of the time !
     
  3. twa_dogs

    twa_dogs Well-Known Member

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    Thank you once again Mr Milner for providing a bit more illumination to drag the debate back towards practical common sense.
     
  4. 19D

    19D New Member Account Suspended

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    Expanding on the above slightly, if this new member may be permitted to do so. As our friend from ‘Railway Mag’ did observe within his own posting, "....There is far more competition to get images in print that ever before, fuelled by the digital revolution". This is very true, of course. The major advantage being in that photographers are now able to get their work submitted electronically literally within minutes of producing it and, potentially, publishers are equally able to get those images into print within a similar space of time.

    That, of course, is not a bad thing. Historically, one had to wait until films had returned from processing and then large/costly prints had to be sent in by Royal Mail – often a SAE being requested by the magazine in which to return any ‘rejects’ (otherwise those - and there were always one or two - wouldn’t be returned at all).

    How times have changed! A year or two ago, I photographed outside my home a serious road accident caused by the reckless driving of a police car. I contacted local newspapers with the story and, incredulously, no less than the Manchester Evening News regretted that they were unable to use my pictures …. as they were no longer able to process 120 roll-film! Having since taken the plunge and ‘gone digital’, I recently submitted a selection of ‘modern traction’ jpeg images by e-mail to the editorial teams of three leading railway periodicals. Despite the afore-ascribed “digital revolution" clearly making it so very easy for everyone to communicate nowadays, not a single one of the latter bothered to even acknowledge receipt of my contributions.

    Furthermore, on the few occasions over the last 45 years during which I have taken the trouble to get photographs published in magazines, I cannot recall a single occasion when I have been notified beforehand that my work was actually going to appear in print. Therefore, “Stepney60” certainly has a very strong point in underlining that, if two magazines published the same picture of his, without informing him beforehand, then they couldn't really come back and say that the consequences were his entire fault.

    Doubtless, such words will invoke a reaction from those concerned (and they know who they are!), but, in my book, even a mere e-mail with pre-prepared ‘cut-and-paste’ text in response would be considered the absolute minimum in common courtesy. A message only takes a few seconds to write ...... and it costs absolutely nothing to send!

    Finally, if after having read all the letters in this thread, there is still, out there, up-and-coming potential ‘new-blood’, these guys really aren’t going to all that encouraged by Mr Milner’s unfortunate words in his referring to people as “touting their images around”! I do feel that many of the problems currently being experienced would recede if ALL contributors, successful or otherwise, were treated with a little more common respect.
     
  5. mendiprail

    mendiprail Member

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    Right, I'm with it so far, any one image only goes to one magazine, unless it's the scoop of the century (so to speak).

    I was wandering, do The Railway Magazine retain images which have been sent in, with a view to possible publication in the future? Or are the pictures deleted every so often? I ask as I'm am thinking along the lines that, if a photographer sends a photograph to a magazine and they don't use it, then surely the next month they should be allowed to send the image to a different publication for consideration? I'm on about images which aren't topical, such as pictures for the gallery, not news pictures.
     
  6. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    I think we are deviating from the point and introducing hypothetical situations.

    All magazines get images of variable quality - some technically excellent, but have the look of being taken in the middle of nowhere. Others well composed, thought out and taken on an inexpensive camera. Or vice-versa. Some material is simply unsuitable technically, so has to be discarded.

    Magazines also suffer from another strange phenomenon. There are times when a railway holds a gala or major event, and no one has sent images in, other times you get swamped. Can anyone explain that?

    The other key point I think I mentioned previously is that The RM usually lays out its feature pages during the first two weeks of a month, followed by the news pages. It is at that stage we make the decisions on images based on what's been submitted. And as I also mentioned before, the volume of email submissions means we cannot reply to everyone, but I am happy if people want to know whether their image is shortlisted or not.

    There's no easy answer to a lot of the problems experienced but I am trying to help everyone as best I can.
     
  7. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    .... and herein lies the problem !

    Throughout this thread the photographers have requested respect - but have failed to give the editors the respect that shows they understand the magazine editors' problems. Apart from a small number of staff to work to tight deadlines - both of handling news and preparing copy to keep magazine staff occupied throughout the monthly production cycle - there are a large number of images sent by both e-mail and snail-mail to be reviewed.

    Perhaps if - instead of expecting editors to show respect to photographers - photographers showed a little respect to editors by (1) submitting images in the way recommended by editors (2) do not send same image to more than editor - perhaps consider using digital cameras on multi-shot mode so that there are enough images to provide unique images to each editor and (3) appreciate the fact that the editor hasn't got enough room to use all the images that he receives.

    On this last point I am aware that Chris uses small images in order to use more but some of the contributors still complain cos "the images aren't big enough on the page !"; photographers can't have it both ways - if images are printed larger then less are used so photographers have to accept smaller images or none at all. Note that this is part of the editor's discretion and is based on facts / situations known only to him - and often at the last minute.

    As Chris notes all editors are approachable and amenable and happy to offer guidance - in the right place and at the right time. Over time they will identify those photographers whose work they prefer because of / quality / topicality / willingness to travel for and these persons will develop a more constant relationship that will lead to their work appearing in the magazine. This explains why certain names appear each month in the same magazine - as an indication of the developing relationship between photographer and editor.

    I hope Chris will not mind my adding my twopenn'orth to this thread but I am becoming increasingly aware that the digital age has expanded the ranks of photographers but not the politeness and respect that should be shown to those who have to make the final decision(s) re use of images.

    If the photographers are looking to receive respect from the magazine editors then the least they can do is to shown the same degree of respect that they expect to receive. The rabble mentality that seems to be putting the editor in the firing line shows no respect at all and is more likely to lead to the individual's images being ignored altogether.
     
  8. That's just how it was! Happy days. I must had a score or more pictures published in RM in those days and all I received from RM was a free copy - but - I also received great satisfaction. Those letters from the then Editor, John Slater, were eagerly awaited after a submission. Often they were "unable to use the pictures on this occasion" and help my understanding about what was not right about that submission (not topical, not sharp, poor tonal range and so on) But now and again, "we have retained x for possible use on a future publication". Absolute bliss. And great encouragement to go shoot some more.

    I have had several hundred pictures published in many titles since my first in 1977. I'm not bragging, I'm simply trying to show it can be done and all I can offer by way of advice is to make sure you pay attention to the submission requirements laid down by each publisher; make sure you send just one, two or three of your very, very best pictures; make sure they are topical; make sure they are technically sound; and make sure you provide as much detail as possible. You will get your pictures chosen. It's like most things in life, keep doing it and you will get it right eventually.

    Chris M's comments are well worth a second read. Go on, have another look now.

    WSW
     
  9. 19D

    19D New Member Account Suspended

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    That's just how it was! Happy days. I must had a score or more pictures published in RM in those days and all I received from RM was a free copy - but - I also received great satisfaction. Those letters from the then Editor, John Slater, were eagerly awaited after a submission. Often they were "unable to use the pictures on this occasion" and help my understanding about what was not right about that submission (not topical, not sharp, poor tonal range and so on) But now and again, "we have retained x for possible use on a future publication". Absolute bliss. And great encouragement to go shoot some more.
    WSW[/quote:2m4fah3k]

    This contributor, at least, certainly takes on board every single word that has been said previously - the remarks emanating from both sides of the fence. Being an editor of this specialist type of periodical is never going to be an easy task and many would have daunted at being presented with such an onerous duty. Furthermore, some of us may not always have agreed with specific editorial or contributor viewpoints, or even with actual magazine content, but, nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact that, through this website, the editors of both "The Railway Magazine" and "Steam Railway" DO take the time and trouble to listen to and to discuss production issues with their readership.

    "West Somerset Wizard" has, however, probably hit the nail squarely on the head, within his own few words on the matter. I cannot now but repeat my own comments made earlier, "On the few occasions over the last 45 years during which I have taken the trouble to get photographs published in magazines, I cannot recall a single occasion when I have been notified beforehand that my work was actually going to appear in print. Therefore, “Stepney60” certainly has a very strong point in underlining that, if two magazines published the same picture of his, without informing him beforehand, then they couldn't really come back and say that the consequences were his entire fault".

    A mere acknowledgment of receipt, if only an 'automated response', but written in a polite manner akin to that adopted by the late, lamented Mr Slater, certainly would provide that element of "great encouragement" to us all for the future. In return for the many hours of effort taken in producing those images for submission, all it would take would be a few seconds of effort to reciprocate and to acknowledge contributors' gestures.....indeed, if so programmed, a mere press of a button, or two.

    If that is too much to ask for, then all I can say is that this is all a sad reflection upon the times we now live in!

    "19D"
     
  10. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    Firstly, it is simply not practical to contact every contributor to tell them their picture will be in print. There are a number of reasons for this but primarily there are not enough hours in the day given that each issue of The RM has around 150-170 images in. I don't think any other publication does this for similar reasons, and sometimes images are changed at the last minute, often for topicality reasons.

    The post by '19D' has highlighted a small problem with our submissions procedure in that contributors sending in prints and slide do get a letter of acceptance or rejection at some stage. Emailed contributions do not get any acknowledgement, and I will aim to change that for submissions from November 1, initally on a trial basis, as the acknowledgement can be contained in a 'signature' in the email software.

    That way it takes away the uncertainty, and may help the reduction of multiple submissions to magazines.

    May I also remind those submitting digital images to send low-res first. There are still too many sending several emails with 6mb to 12mb images in, some of which are unsuitable.

    As always, I am open to comment/suggestion (polite ones!).
     
  11. NDTSDN

    NDTSDN Part of the furniture

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    When sending emails, you can use the 'read request' facility.

    This procedure I find helps confirm whether the recipients email address is active/valid.
     
  12. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    Care to elaborate, this is new to me.

    The RM, and some other monthies are produced on Apple computers, so some of us don't use Outlook/Outlook Express. I've just had a quick look at my email client programme, Entourage (by Microsoft), and can't see this option in the help index.

    Thanks
     
  13. NDTSDN

    NDTSDN Part of the furniture

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    Sorry, I should have stated that I use Outlook Express and the request read receipt option within. However now you say, I am unsure if it is compatible with other email programmes. Perhaps someone can advise.
     
  14. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. We'll still try the quick confirmation route to see how (a) contributors like it, and (b) how onerous it is on us!!!

    Some of us on the The RM still use Outlook/Outlook Express as I mentioned but this runs under the archaic Mac 9 Operating system for which support is gradually being dropped at IPC in favour of Mac OS 10.4, known as Tiger. (Yes, I know Leopard has been announced, but no one rushes out to swap a stable platform for one that is untested by the user community - the old addage, it's not broken why try and fix it).

    Those RM staff not on Entourage will migrate soon, but the plus points of Entourage are the ability to see the text part of the email and the pictures in the same preview pane so you can see at a glance if the images are worth considering or not. Plus you can search through one or all folders for a particular attachment or picture name, or a word in the body of an email. Speeds the process up and there's none of this laborious double clicking with the version of Outlook just to open a picture. And when some photographers send in 10-15 pictures.......

    Maybe we should offer sort of 'open day' in the RM office to see how producing a magazine actually functions and comes together?
     
  15. twa_dogs

    twa_dogs Well-Known Member

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    I use entourage on a mac (osx) in the office and will have a looksee for you next i'm in there.
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Following the apparent revision in policy, as outlined above by Mr Milner, a couple of weeks ago I submitted a couple of digital images to the Railway Magazine, initially in low-res format as requested - this accompanied by confirmation that high res tif files were available upon request.

    As it was my clear understanding that Mr Milner HAD changed the magazine's policy for acknowledging digital submissions and, given that such was fast-becoming the major method used by most photographers, I waited patiently for a reply .... any sort of reply!

    Result? Zilch!!

    Maybe I would be ever-so-slightly overstepping the mark, if I suggested that I would never take at face value anything at all that was written by a journalist, but please do forgive me for adding here that I was not at all surprised at this abject lack of response. Nothing at all appears to have changed! (I am forced to add that I experience no such problems with other periodicals in which my pictures/articles frequently appear.)

    Assuming that Mr Milner is still open to comments, as he claimed to be, 14 months ago, I will now confirm (very politely) that I shall not be submitting any more material to the Railway Magazine.
     
  17. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    Nice to see our readers and contributors are as cynical as we journalists are. :)

    My post was made with a good intention. However, we are getting between 1,750 and 2,000 photos submitted each month, and the response was tried but deemed impractical to do. I once spent five hours on one day just handling photos and replies. If we had a picture editor to liaise with photographers and handle images, select pictures for shortlists, then yes, you would get a response. I am sorry that this is probably not what you want to hear, but we are in a no win situation.

    Equally, there is nothing to to you emailing and asking - or picking up the phone. We are a magazine with four full time staff, who not only write and research stories/features, we take photos too so our time is at a premium.

    While on the subject, some photographers are not helping themselves either.

    Pictures submitted are often poorly composed, badly exposed, had no photoshop work done at all, are unsharp, have the wrong colour balance (usually taken as a jpeg with a colour cast not as a raw file), too tightly cropped and simply not newsworthy to name but a few common faults. You cannot expect to take a digital image and expect to do no post-processing on it in Photoshop.

    We have also been asking photographers to use the 'File info' section on a file. This is a text portion embedded in the file where a photographer can put name, address and caption details that remains with the file in perpetuity, so long after I am gone, someone will know all about the photo. This requirement is already an industry standard when submitting to a photo library, we will need it from 2009 as pictures submitted will be stored on a new server.

    So K25, maybe if you let me know (via pm or email) who you really are, as clearly you are happy with some titles but not with us, I can possibly address it. With around 3-400 contributors, hiding behind the famous 'yellow box' will not help resolve your particular issue with us/me.
     
  18. Beaker

    Beaker Well-Known Member

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    Can't you have some upload to a page thing, you can quickly screen the page and see the images you like/dislike. And just click no and it says an auto email saying '' Thanks but no thanks'' then you can do what you like for the ones you like. The inital time during set up would surely be offset by the time saved by doing this screening system ?
     
  19. the-gog

    the-gog Member

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    Richard Tuplin does something like this for Railway Herald. I came up with a similar idea a while back, but nobody was interested in implementing it. Plus it would've taken a lot of work to set it up IT wise with the backend database.
     
  20. bobbler

    bobbler Member

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    Off topic and very late but congratulations.
    Continue to spread the word!!
    =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
     

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