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Home > Digital Photography Tutorials > UPDIG 4.0 RELEASE


November 22nd, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Version 4.0 of the Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines was recently released. I serve as the Tech Editor of UPDIG, and also worked on branding and design aspects of Version 4.0.

The UPDIG guidelines aim to clarify issues affecting accurate reproduction and management of digital images. These guidelines were created to establish photographic standards and practices for photographers, designers, printers, and image distributors. The guidelines cover Digital Asset Management, Color Profiling, Metadata, and Photography Workflow.

Version 4.0 of the guidelines represents the industry consensus as of Sept 22, 2008. The guidelines were prepared by the UPDIG Coalition, with the help of many digital imaging professionals, software vendors, and hardware manufacturers. The UPDIG Coalition is dedicated to promoting standards for photographic digital imaging.

UPDIG 4.0 had many many contributors. I would like to thank the Coalition Member Groups who came together to support this set of best practices for photographic digital imaging. I would also like to personally thank and recognize the great people I worked with directly. Many others contributed, but I worked directly with those listed below:
Richard AndersonHe served UPDIG very well for years. Richard stepped down as managing editor, but continues to collaborate and support UPDIG coalition efforts.
Greg Smith The Copy Editor who actually knows grammar, spelling, AND photography.
Jon Heal The web designer who gave the website and guidelines some style.
Michael Voigt The Flash designer who put the 21 Coalition member groups into a Flash banner that will actually fit on a web page.
Peter Dyson ASMP’s technology “Jack of All Trades” who got this thing to the web.
Rick McCleary and the CMYK Working Group (A.K.A. the CMYK Mafia) a group of dedicated prepress guys and printers, who will take your head off if you’re not EXACTLY correct.
Peter Krogh- This DAM guy has offered his expertise to UPDIG from the beginning.
There are way too many dedicated contributors to list who work tirelessly for UPDIG and I know I’m leaving many of you out: Eugene Mopsik, Susan Carr, Judy Herrmann, Jeff Sedlik, Betsy Reid, David Riecks,….. the list goes on and on….GOOD JOB EVERYONE!

UPDIG is a work in progress which will require constant updates by knowledgeable industry experts. Version 4.0 was always intended to be a stepping stone in the process. Currently there are two sets of Guidelines Photographers and Image Receivers, as well as a Universal Quick Guide. I believe it would be prudent to re-write the guidelines in four sections: Photographers, Designers, Printers, and Image Distributors. This would shorten the reading necessary for a specific industry and clarify many issues of image handoff and workflow, as well as assign responsibility for specific tasks. A photographer might want to read the printer’s version and vice versa, but the photographer would know the material was written for a printer’s knowledge, needs, and point of view.

The current Guidelines (V4.0) are written and edited in Microsoft Word, then converted to PDF for distribution. Alternative HTML versions are also available, but the formatting and readability is not as good as the PDF versions. The HTML versions do serve a purpose, they give users a place to link directly to content and they are indexable by search engines. Converting Word documents to PDFs and HTML is not an ideal solution because updates are difficult. However, Word has been a useful tool because so much editing was in progress.

A collaborative Wiki or Content Management System (CMS) will ultimately be an excellent way to move the Guidelines forward. Pete Dyson from ASMP created a WIKI system for UPDIG, but I don’t think we were ready for it. The structure of the organization needs to first be defined with editors and a vetting process for changes.

I also think the Quick Guide should be printed as a three fold brochure and run as advertisements in magazines like PDN. The Quick Guide is an excellent promotion piece for marketing the complete Guidelines. It should be distributed by the UPDIG Coalition Member Groups. While we are on the topic of printing, UPDIG would make a great book. However, there are many very important intellectual property concerns that need to be addressed prior to anything of this nature. The UPDIG Coalition must first research and implement open source intellectual property standards and procedures.

I know that all digital imaging professionals will one day come together to make the world a more beautiful place; a place with bright colorful images that are sharpened correctly, properly licensed, and perfectly printed.

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