Work is accepted for processing on the understanding that you are the
owner of the copyright.
The creator of a piece of work (photos, pictures, music,
design, poetry, etc) generally owns the copyright on that material.
Copyright law exists to protect the creators ownership and livelihood, - and it is basically illegal for Spectrum to work on images which you do not own the copyright for.
Professionally taken photos, maps, sheet music, books etc are all automatically copyright regardless of whether they say so or not.
Thank-you for your understanding.
We aim to offer the best in customer service and quality without waste of materials, time, or energy.
We try to employ best practice. We encourage re-cycling and re-use of materials. We aim to act responsibly with our waste and bi-products and encourage others to act the same. We try to source low impact materials, and aim to have low impact ourselves.
Spectrum Imaging is not a 'sustainable' business but is always looking at ways to reduce the 'cost' of being in business. We are not perfect, but are keen to constantly improve means, materials, and method to minimize the impact we have on our environment.
Policy Spectrum Imaging is regulated by the laws of the land, and where applicable, - of the EU too. The content of these pages is for guidance only and does not cover all aspects of Spectrum practices or of the relevant laws.
Spectrum Imaging exists to benefit the owners, employees, customers, and community
"As the founder of Spectrum Imaging, I believe in fairness to all, in good professional practice, and the efficient and responsible use of all resources employed."
Phil Rigby. August 1999.
Where possible we will try to not observe the nature of your work. You are assured of our confidentiality. We are in the privileged position of helping large numbers of people; - students, locals, businesses, and visitors with their work and play. We will not attempt to regulate or pre-judge EXCEPT when material has content depicting or encouraging violence or extreme antisocial behavior.
Racism will not be tolerated.
Direct Action is an individual's right and is of no concern to us.
Illegal activities that involve suffering will not be tolerated and will be reported.
Images depicting drugs are of no concern to us.
Pornography / Sexually explicit material is regulated by the obscene publications act which basically says that adult nudity is ok, but images that are sexually explicit are not. Judge what you might see in an 18 rated film or in a 'top-shelf' magazine; - if your images are worse or more explicit than that, - we cannot handle the work.
Limit of Liability.
Work is accepted by Spectrum on the understanding that it's value does not exceed
the retail cost of the raw materials that it is submitted on. In the event of any loss or
damage to your material by our company or agents - even through negligence or other fault, you will only be entitled to an equivelent quantity/size of new product. Except for such replacement, our acceptance of your material is without other liability, and recovery for any incidental or consequential damaged is excluded. No express or implied warranty is provided.
Spectrum can read all new digital media formats (feb 2006)
CD, DVD, USB drives/Stick, ZIP, and floppy.
We use PC type computers at Spectrum running windows opperating systems, which means that we struggle with some apple mac discs.
We use Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and Corel Draw but can accept a much wider range of file types but please ask if unsure. We do not use CAD type software nor Illustrator or Quark.
Please use standard fonts or supply font files.
For all graphics J-PEGS are prefered in RGB.
SAVE Long reports & dissertations as single word files for best prices.
Posterboards work well as PDF or j-pegs
Large A2 or A1 posters can be designed in photoshop or powerpoint.
Please allow a little time to 'soft proof' your work on screen before we commit to print.
Files can sometimes just not work !
We will try all our tricks and do our best but sometimes we can do nothing.
We strongly advise you to bring your work to Spectrum in good time in case of problems, a rush of customers, or machine service time.
Resolution & Mega-pixel Madness.
Traditional Imaging carried it's own share of jargon, - perhaps to put off the uninitiated, but now that digital is becoming the norm in many aspects of 21 st century life, - here is my understanding to help grasp and embrace these new technologies, - and ease use.
A digital image is comprised of PIXELS - short for Picture Elements - Mega-pixels suggest that a picture has one million pixels of resolution
RESOLUTION is defined as the number of units per length - typically as DPI - Dots per Inch. Images comprised of pixels are known as RASTER GRAPHICS, - as opposed to images described by lines, curves, and fills which are known as VECTOR GRAPHICS.
Most computer programs are either raster OR vector, - although some software allows both to be combined - eg The text in this word document is a vector graphic, but the inserted pictures are raster.
Consider an image 1 inch by 1 inch - with 300 DPI - there are 300 x 300 pixels in this square inch = 90,000 pixel
For Colour images - each pixel has a value for RED, GREEN, and BLUE - so the total file size for our 1 square inch is 3 x 90,000 pixels = 270,000 Bytes - ie - this 1 inch square at 300 DPI will create a bitmap file filling about 20 % of a floppy disc ! A postcard sized Photo 6" x 4" at 300 DPI makes a file of about 6 megabytes - about 5 floppy discs full of data. This explains why digital images can create VERY large files, - occupy huge amounts of memory, - and can take a long time to transmit via the internet.
As we have discovered - image sizes can become very large - fortunately there are a number of ways we can make digital files smaller. Depending on what we want to do with the image - we can use pictures at different resolutions.
For display on a computer screen - we only need a resolution of 72 dpi - at final picture viewing size - so our 6" x 4" picture only needs to be 373248 bytes big ( 6" x 72dpi x 4" x 72dpi x 3 colours ) - approximately 25% of one floppy disc.
For printing purposes - we need higher resolutions - typically 200dpi - OR MORE - this will produce smoother prints without too much blockyness. A number of factors need to be considered here including the type of printer used, - but please remember that we are concerned with the resolution AT FINAL PRINT SIZE. If a 6" x 4" print is scanned at 200 dpi - it will produce a reasonable printout at that size, - but if you want to enlarge that file to A4 size ( 12" x 8" ) then the pixels are spread out across twice the distance in each direction - resulting in a slightly pixilated image of only 100 dpi. If this print is viewed at arms length it will appear blocky - but if you only expect to see this print from far away, - or use it as a background tint - the result may still be acceptable. There are more notes on printing later.
J-PEG Compression, and Other Types of File.
Another tool we can use to make image files more manageable is compression. Some types of files have ways to made the total file size smaller - without affecting quality too much. By far the most popular for pictures is the 'J - PEG' ( the file name will end .jpg ) This format allows varying amounts of compression - with varying reductions in image quality.
Low compression of upto about 6 to 1 will make the file 1/6 th of the initial size with no noticeable loss in appearance, - but higher levels of compression upto 30 to 1 or more will become more noticeable. High compression makes very compact files but will result in ARTIFACTS - these may be seen as little squiggles or ripples around edges. Some people find these distracting, - while others do not notice and just enjoy the image anyhow !
J-Peg is a very useful file format - it is supported by almost every type of software on both PC's and Apple Macs. It is accepted by all types of web browser, - and is considered the universal image file format. Some digital cameras and software allow the user to choose what level of compression is used, - while others offer choice. For digital camera users it is best to select the default compression unless memory is at a real premium, while for saving from software - aim to keep the file as uncompressed as you can get away with.
If you are working on an image on photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop tm Photo Delux, etc over a number of different seshons be warned that each time you open, and re-save a file as a J-Peg - the loss in quality will increased - so it is best to work on images in formats without compression, - and only save as a J-Peg when you need to transport the file on a disc or send across the internet.
Types of File - a short list.
Bitmap (.Bmp) No compression Large Files
J-Peg ( .jpg ) - variable compression - useful for transporting images. Mac AND PC
TIFF ( .tif ) - optional compression - can be either PC OR Mac
DOC ( .doc ) Microsoft Word Tm format - can include Embedded .jpg or .bmp pictures
ALWAYS work in RGB ! CMYK is for litho printers only !
£150 will buy a pretty good digital camera these days, and prices will only fall further.
We find that best results tend to come from brands with a photographic tradition such as Canon, Fuji , Kodak, Nikon, Olympus , and Sony.
For consumer imaging 3 mega pixels is adequate for most purposes, and 4 or 5 megapixels is plenty; - more is not nessesarlily better and will fill up your data card quickly while slowing down your computer.
PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTION BOOK FOR YOUR CAMERA !
Most camera are supplied with a tiny memory card to get you started. Your first thought should be to get a larger card - 256mb is a good start which will store a couple of hundred photos at 3 - 5 megapixel resolution, but can fill up rapidly if you like shooting movies, so maybe you want bigger. Go for the biggest card you can afford !
The other issue is batteries, - which can quickly run low. Try to get a spare set to keep yourself covered.
TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS - and review your work constantly - digital cameras can improve everyones photography !
Data recovery service.
In the event that you have 'lost' pictures either due to deletion or card/cd problems Spectrum\offer a 'no win no fee' data recovery service so please ask.
Back-up your digital images
Please remember that with digital photography there are no negatives !!!
Remember that prints are the best way to guarantee that your images can be enjoyed today and by future generations.
We suggest you keep multiple copies of each image so that in the event of your camera card crashing, problems with your PC, - or unreadable CD's - you have alternative back-up copies.
Re-formatting your camera card.
Look after your camera card and it will serve you well.
Remember that it is like a computer disc, and if it gets cluttered, it can start giving problems or failing.
It is good practice to multiple back-up your data frequently to CD, hard-drive, and as prints.
Periodically you should do a full card re-format. This will erase all the data on your card, and make it like new again so your camera should work better. Your camera instruction book will tell you how to do this.
Make sure you have reliable copies of your work before re-formatting !
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