We are always happy to receive quality digital images that you are willing to make available to us, for use online or in our printed publications. The usual file format to use is JPG (with such compression that high quality is maintained please), but other formats like TIFF, or even RAW of the most common camera brands, will do as well.
For our regular online content, medium-sized photos will do. For printed publications (e.g. serial books), quality demands are considerably higher. Please read the requirements below before sending us photos via email or file sharing.
With the exemption of photos from press releases used by us, we credit photos to the photographer only (a person's name), or use them anonymously if you require so. We do not credit photos to websites, agencies or nicknames.
Photos for online publication
The minimum size requirement for news items, orders of battle and airfield guides is for the subject of the photo to fill a portion of 800 pixels wide ('landscape' orientation). In other words, if you crop the photo like we do at Scramble, the resulting image should be at least that wide. More is better, however.
The minimum size requirement for updates, articles and showreports is 1200 pixels wide after cropping. In other words, to maximise the chance your photos will be used, and offer us the most options, use at least this format please. In co-ordination with an article's editor, we may publish photos up to 1600 pixels wide.
Obviously, the resulting image has to be sharp (originally sharp, not by applying a lot of sharpening afterwards). It also has to have the horizon as it was in reality, because much levelling afterwards may render the image useless (due to edge clipping). Finally, the exposure should be about right as highly under- or over-exposed photos can hardly be used.
Photos for printed publications
The minimum size requirement is again for the subject of the photo to fill a portion of about 1600 pixels wide (photos at normal size in printed Scramble publications are 13cm wide at 300dpi). The other requirements are the same as above, albeit that exposure is more critical in print.
Please note that these are all minimum requirements. It is often better, and easier, to send us original photos (including JPG renderings of RAW images) that are sharp, level and well enough exposed.
As for information regarding the photos, 'more' is nearly always 'better' again. We are interested in information about the aircraft, the situation in which the photo was made et cetera. As a minimum, we need the registration/serial (when known) of the subject plus location and date for the photo. Ideally, these can be included in the file name like An-22_UR-09307_Amsterdam-Schiphol_31dec12_YourName.jpg, but this is not a must. We do need to be able to link the data to your photos in an easy way though, for instance by having the info in your email with reference to photo numbers (or at least being able to read serials or registrations easily off the photos).
By submitting photos to Scramble, through the email addresses below or otherwise, you agree that we keep these photos along with your personal data as supplied with the photo submission in digital storage. These photos and the information may then be used by the editorial team in Scramble publications online and in print, as we deem fit, as long as we have the material in storage, and without prior notice to you. If you wish otherwise, please state so specifically with your submission and we will come to an agreement. We will not pass on your photos to third parties without your prior consent, if at all.
In any case, we appreciate your photographic contribution to Scramble!
Extra info on common problems
Despite the explanation above, we still receive a fair amount of photos that are very hard to use, if at all. The most common problems to really avoid remain the following.
Please be critical in this respect, certainly when using long lenses, taking photos with heat haze or jet wash present et cetera. No matter how dramatic a shot may be, if it is unsharp we cannot use it. A rather standard, sharp photo is better for us in such cases.
Especially with flying aircraft, there is a fair chance automatic exposure will try and match the large portion of sky to a medium tone, resulting in the aircraft itself becoming too dark. This cannot always be corrected for in post-processing. Learning to use the camera's histogram while shooting, if available, is the best one can do to get better exposed subjects.
Horizon not level
With very few exceptions, we need photos that depict the true attitude of subjects as it was: surface matching its true slope if any, vertical structures upright et cetera. How well we can level your photos in post-processing, if necessary, depends on the angle needed for correction and highly upon the amount of cropping. Tight cropping plus tilted horizon easily renders an image unusable.
Photos with natural colours and contrast work best for Scramble. Blacked-out shadows or large portions of white-out generally rule out use in print, and make it less likely a photo will be used online. When preparing photos for Scramble, please check the histogram if available and try to work on a monitor that is not set on a very high contrast or very bright (a calibrated one is obviously the best). Finally, leave any 'disturbing' items like equipment in the photo please, we need the real scene.