Gathering Advice: Editing Photographs, Maps, Tables, and Other Visuals
Here are some sources—both new and previously published—about editing and photographs, maps, tables, and other interesting visual elements.
- Editing Photographs: Top Considerations for Editors Choosing Visuals for Publication
- Developing and Editing Maps for Publication
- Resources about Design and Visuals
- Editing Tables: How-To Steps, Troubleshooting, and Tips
On a final note, editors are often asked to source visuals – e.g., “Find me a great picture to go with this.” With SO many visuals on the Internet, it might seem an easy task. However, finding a visual to go with text that is useful, top quality, and legally available for reproduction can be a tough job. This is a critical point; photographs are subject to copyright whether or not the images appear on the Internet or have a copyright mark associated with them. (The argument that something is on the Internet and so viewed by the public … so “public domain, maybe,” is ill-informed at best and won’t save you in court.) So…
- If you find a photograph on the Internet you would like to use in your publication, find contact information for the web site on which the visual appears and ask for permission to use the image. Make sure that you ask specifically if the contact person where the photo is used online is indeed the copyright holder. In your request, specify how, where, and why you want to use the image. Some photographers might offer one-time permission in return for a modest fee, a credit line, and link to their web site. Others might offer use for free. Others might refuse. Whatever the case, abide by the agreement and keep paperwork.
- If you have many images you want to find or a specialized need, hire a picture researcher. Picture researchers combine research skills, visual sense, and negotiation skills. They will often find the best sources and best-priced sources for images so are well worth their fees. If you would like recommendations, please contact me.
- If you want free images, search for images in the creative commons (see < http://creativecommons.org/about>), look for free images available from stock photography agencies, or take the photographs yourself. As with text, there’s no excuse for “borrowing” someone else’s stuff without permission.