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Picture Above: Africa Media Online staff and participants in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme in the pub at the Ascot Conference Centre during the Pietermaritzburg Digital Campus. From left to right: Maryann Shaw (APEP participant – South Africa), Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi (APEP participant – Zimbabwe) Lungile Kunene (Sales Assistant, AMO), Julius Mwelu (APEP participant – Kenya), Felix Masi (APEP participant – Kenya), Antony Kaminju (APEP participant – Kenya/South Africa), Sue Hadcroft (Business Manager, AMO), Peter Krogh (The DAM Trainer!)

Welcome to the ninth edition of the Digital Picture Library Manager blog designed to add value to the management of your picture and media collections as well as to keep you up to date with developments at Africa Media Online and the world of digital imaging that could be of benefit you.

In this blog:

1. Adobe Backs African Photo Entrepreneurs with Lightroom 2.0
2. What You Said About Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus
3. All 40 African Photo Entrepreneur Programme Participants Complete Stage One
4. Africa Media Online Launches Model Released Multiple-Use Collection
5. Photographers Gatherings in Cape Town and Johannesburg

1. Adobe Backs African Photo Entrepreneurs with Lightroom 2.0

One of the world’s foremost imaging companies, Adobe, has put their impetus behind the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme (APEP) with the sponsorship of the recently launched software package for photographers, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0. All of the APEP participants who complete the prestigious programme, will receive a license for the cutting edge software package.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 is an essential element in a best practice RAW workflow for digital photographers. The programme enables high productivity in the bulk adjustment of images, enabling photographers to turn around work speedily and at standard

All 40 African photo entrepreneurs who are participating in the programme have already received training in its use during the Digital Campus phase. They had the privilege of practicing the use of the software programme under the supervision of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom alpha tester, Peter Krogh.

Before they can qualify for their copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0, however, the 40 photo entrepreneurs still have to complete the other phases of APEP. Currently they are working on assignments in collaboration with Africa Media Online’s media manager, Dominique Le Roux. Those who successfully complete this stage will be invited to the Global Competitiveness Masterclass to be held in Pietermaritzburg in November. There, participants will gain exposure to local and international experts in marketing imagery and engage with the future of professional imaging.

“We are thrilled with Adobe’s input into this programme,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 is a massive leap forward into the future of digital imaging – an integrated RAW workflow. Adobe’s commitment to open standards means that the photo entrepreneurs who will be utilizing the programme can be certain that they are building an archive that will be accessible for generations to come. This is something we really emphasized during the first training block of APEP. Professional photographic entrepreneurs have to realise they are building an asset for the long term and if they can be using the right tools and the right standards now, the value they will reap down the line will be tremendous. Adobe is making that possible by not tying photographers in to proprietary systems. This means that their pictures, and the information about the pictures will always be accessible, even if there comes a time where Lightroom is no longer in use and there are other systems in place.”

Liberian photographer, Ahmed Jallazo gets to grips with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 at the Johannesburg Digital Campus

“We faced a dilemma in the first training block,” said Larsen. “Here we were training photographers to use the best systems available, aware at the same time that many of them could not afford to invest in these systems. We consoled ourselves with the knowledge that at least they were getting exposure to the principles and could see the potential. Adobe’s donation has significantly changed that scenario and the photographers will be able to take the opportunity with both hands.”

“We are really grateful to Peter Krogh who came out here, believed in what we are doing and saw the need, and so engaged with Addy Roff and Frederick Johnson of Adobe. And we are grateful to Addy and Frederick who caught the vision and made it all happen.”

Adobe’s donation of software follows on the heels of an investment by Microsoft in the photo entrepreneurs of 40 copies of Expression Media 2.0. Together these packages provide the backbone of best practice digital asset management for photographers.

2. What You Said About Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus

Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus came to a conclusion in Johannesburg on Friday August 22 wrapping up three hectic weeks for the AMO team and our two lecturers, Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh. As a participant, you gave us some great feedback.

On the evaluation form at the conclusion of each masterclass you were asked to give comments and an overall score out of 10. These were the average scores and some comments given. As participants the vast majority of you were working professionally with images: designers, professional photographers, museums professionals, scanner operators and others:

Digital Imaging Essentials one day masterclass with Graeme Cookson
Pietermaritzburg: 8.9; Cape Town 9.1; Johannesburg 8.7

Graeme Cookson teaches the Digital Imaging Essentials masterclass at the Cape Town School of Photography (left) and Museum Africa in Johannesburg (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“This course was extremely professionally presented”
“Graeme’s use of analogies very useful!”
“Detailed info that could not be found in books”
“Understanding what pixels are and how they work”
“Learnt a lot more about levels and curves”
“The order in which to edit an image & the tools to use”
“Colour management – learnt some great rules so I don’t need to rely on eye”
“Better understanding in detecting & fixing image quality problems”
“Being able to identify an image good enough for international market”
“Better understanding of what submission standards I must insist on”

Digital Imaging Ecosystem evening masterclass with Peter Krogh
Pietermaritzburg: 8.6; Cape Town: 9.1; Johannesburg 9.0

Peter Krogh teaches the Digital Imaging Ecosystem masterclass at iKhaya Conference Centre in Cape Town (left) and Wits University’s Hofmeyr House (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“I realised how unorganised and dangerous my back-up system is!”
“To treat an image with more respect”
“A major reality check & what to do about where I am at now”
“Made how I need to store my library very clear”
“Library based collection management was a real benefit to me”
“Understanding how a system of storage can work & increase productivity”
“Knowledge of brilliant system that changes the potential of data/catalogue”
“Workflow will definitely improve”
“A whole new world was opened up to me”
“Great speaker, awesome content, just overwhelming. Thank you!”

Practical Digital Workflow 2-day masterclass with Graeme Cookson
Pietermaritzburg: 9.0; Cape Town 9.0; Johannesburg 8.9

Graeme Cookson gives in-depth instruction at the Practical Digital Workflow masterclass at Ascot Conference Centre in Pietermaritzburg (left) and Market Photo Workshop (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“Understanding image anatomy to bit level”
“In-depth knowledge of digital landscape”
“Image cleaning, sharpening, greyscale, use of highlights & shadows”
“Understanding of specific PS functions: curves, hue, saturation”
“Better use of histogram, channel, layers for colour profiles”
“Discovery of image faults & precise techniques to fix them”
“A bigger confidence in working images & awareness of what damages them”
“I can now enhance my images much better”
“A logical framework to approach problem solving”
“Can go back to thousands of images I thought were bad, correct & enjoy them”
“The way Graeme teaches – a master!!!”
“Stupendous! You need to add a column in front of ‘Very Well'”
“AWESOME lecturer!”

Get Your DAM Stuff Together 2-day masterclass with Peter Krogh
Pietermaritzburg 9.1; Cape Town 9.7; Johannesburg 9.4

Peter Krogh instructs participants during the “Get Your DAM Stuff Together” masterclass at the Cape Town School of Photography (left) and participants Toni Efune and Leonie Marinovich get to grips with digital workflow during the masterclass at Museum Africa in Johannesburg (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“Wake-up call on backups”
“In-depth evaluation of software”
“Cataloging & DNG”
“Better understanding of DNG, Espression Media & Lightroom”
“Much greater understanding in file management and back-up”
“Understanding a clear system in moving files through production”
“A complete understanding of the whole workflow using the best of different softwares”
“A vision of what I should be doing in managing my own archive”
“It is going to make a huge difference to the potential & accessibility of my data”
“Helped me create a positive, logical direction to begin a critical task”
“Peter has a great ability to impart immense knowledge & encourage change of current data management systems in a reassuring, clear and concise manner”
“Peter’s approach to organisation is quite radical compared ton the way I have been working – creates a faster, more effective workflow”

Participants at the Pietermaritzburg Digital Campus take a welcome break (left) and participants at the Digital Campus in Cape Town get in on a group photo (right)

You also made some general comments:
“I feel very privileged to be a part of this because it has taken me beyond what I always thought I had or could achieve”
“Awesome opportunity to network with others in the industry”
“I would like to thank AMO for this opportunity. I wish there could be more of this”
“The speakers certainly knew their stuff”
“Thank you for the notes!”
“Please come back and do this again!”
“Very inspiring”
“I think the AMO team is great. Thank you guys for enabling me to participate & be among a group of inspiring photographers whose work mesmerised & motivated me”
“Peter and Graeme are both amazing and I want to thank you two gentle men for tolerating & giving us the kind of helpful knowledge in the craft we practise in our everyday lives”
“AMO – keep doing what you are doing!”
“It is a marvellous course that overwhelmes one, but leaves one feeling empowered. Thank you!”

Top Left: Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen and Graeme Cookson at Digital Campus Pietermaritzburg; Top Right: Head of Training at World Press Photo Maarten Koets and South African documentary photographer Paul Weinberg at a social gathering during Digital Campus Cape Town; Bottom Left: Cape Town based photographer Nikki Rixon and Kunle Ajayi from Lago, Nigeria during a break in Cape Town. Bottom Right: Chief photographer for the Sunday Independent, TJ Lemon forces Johannesburg based photographer, Caroline Suzman into the camera frame during Digital Campus Johannesburg

3. All 40 African Photo Entrepreneur Programme Participants Complete Stage One

At the close of the 2008 Digital Campus in Johannesburg on August 22, all 40 APEP participants had made it through the first stage of the programme. The final week was hosted in Newtown in Johannesburg by Museum Africa and Market Photo Workshop and at Wits University’s Hofmyer House.

Click here to see who made it to APEP Johannesburg

“Stage one, was participation in the Digital Campus which provided a brilliant technical foundation in digital imaging for the photographers,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. “The participants could hardly have had better tutors than Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh.”

Neo Ntsoma

Neo Ntsoma

“This programme exceeded my expectations,” said Cape Town based photographer, Willem Foster. “I am glad I got to experience it, not only for everything I’ve learned form Graeme and Peter, but for everything I’ve learned from the other participants. I never thought we would learn so much from each other. The programme was well organised and set out and the material was all relevant.”

“Awesome! It was such an eye opener,” said Johannesburg based Neo Ntsoma. “Both the instructors are master in their fields and they have a marvellous way of helping you see your work in a new light. Peter Krogh has his own special way of making everyone feel comfortable and valued.”

Tammy Gardner

Tammy Gardner

“Amazing quality and depth of knowledge of the lecturers,” said Tammy Gardener who attended the Pietermaritzburg training block. “Phenomenal practical learning opportunity. Good authentic networking opportunity.”

“I feel immensely grateful to have found a training course so appropriate to my needs,” said Cape Town participant Ed Suter.

Fati Moalusi

Fati Moalusi

“It was amazing for me to be taught by some of the world’s best tutors in the photography digital system,” said Mandla Mnyakama also from Cape Town.

“I have learned a lot of things that I overlooked as a photographer. The week was just empowering!” said Fati Moalusi who participated in the Johannesburg Digital Campus.

“Changed my life photographic-wise,” said Durban based Wade Howard. “I am self-taught and this has changed the way I will be doing things. Good networking too. Exciting!”

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

“It was a fully packed week filled with fun, highly educating seminars which opened up my mind to new ways of dealing with digital images and how to take care of them” said Zimbabwean photographer, Tsvangirayi Mukhwazi.

Rafs Mayet

Rafs Mayet

“It’s a great way to get on the digital highway, avoid becoming a dinosaur and get up to speed with experts in their fields,” said Durban based Rafs Mayet. “If you are serious about photography, then this is the best way to go.”

“It’s a must-attend for any serious photographer on the continent,” said Kenyan photographer, Antony Kaminju.

“It was a very fulfilling experience for me,” said Pretoria based Phil Magakoe. “I learnt a lot and was privileged to have met everyone, especially my African brothers form over our borders. I strongly feel that there will be positive outcomes that will bear much fruit.”

Antony Kaminju

Antony Kaminju

“A turning point!” said Kenyan photographer, Felix Masi.

The photographers are now in stage two, working on an assignment where they have to put into practice what they have learnt. Dominique Le Roux, Africa Media Online’s Media Manager was present at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Digital Campus’ and has been overseeing the assignment stage. “I was really impressed. There were so many people so eager to learn… Just like sponges, every one of them, soaking up as much of the knowledge and information available. Since then, as I’ve interacted and tried my best to partner with them as they work on their assignments, I’ve both despaired and celebrated as I’ve seen this new band of photographers getting to grips with both the science and the art of it all.”

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This project is supported by the European Union

4. Africa Media Online Launches Model-Released Multiple-Use Collection

Africa Media Online has again come up with a home-grown solution to the media market’s imaging needs. The company has launched the first of its multiple usage CDs: collections of images that can be used multiple times in multiple ways for an upfront, once-off fee.

The launch CD, in what will be a series of multiple use collections focussed on all things African, highlights Africans in the business environment. Called africa@the office, it showcases a variety of predominantly corporate business scenarios, from boardroom meetings, to interviews, desk and computer scenes, and of course the trials and jubilations so typical of the real business world – all portrayed by a truly African array of faces and cultural demographics.

While the concept of a CD of such images, traditionally referred to as ‘royalty-free’, is not a new one, the company has gone a step further than most: not only are all images model-released, but many of the models share in the proceeds from the sale of the images. And of course all the photographers involved are Africans too. This philosophy of sustainable profit sharing is very much at the heart of what Africa Media Online as an organization is all about.

“A balanced view of Africa and her rich heritage cannot exist unless we as Africans are able to consistently tell Africa’s story from our perspective in the global information economy,” explains David Larsen, Director of Africa Media Online.

The africa@the office CD, like all those that will be launched in the coming months, is available as an actual physical CD, or as a downloadable collection from Africa Media Online’s image library at http://www.africanpictures.net, and includes high, medium and low-resolution versions of each image. The retail price for the entire CD/Collection of 80 images is R3 490 (excl VAT), while those buyers wanting only a specific image can buy it on a royalty-free licence based on size:
High res (+A4/22-36MB@300dpi): R1450 (excl VAT)
Medium res (A5/10MB@300dpi): R650 (excl VAT)
Low res (A7/2MB@72dpi): R400 (excl VAT)

To view the images, go to www.africanpictures.net.
To order contact: pictures@africanpictures.net.

5. Photographers Gatherings in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Africa Media Online took the opportunity afforded by the Digital Campus to touch base with a number of its contributing photographers in the Western Cape and Gauteng areas. In Cape Town photographers gathered at on Tuesday August 12 at the authentic Ethiopian restaurant “Addis In Cape ” in Church Street, central Cape Town. In Johannesburg photographers gathered at the iconic “Gramadoelas” restaurant in Newtown for healthy debate around issues of copyright and model releases over wonderful South African and African cuisine.

TJ Lemon (left) and Greg and Leonie Marinovich (right) engage in vigorous debate at the first gathering of africanpictures.net contributing photographers held in Johannesburg

“I really felt that we all walked in the door as business colleagues and clients and walked out as friends,” said Dominique Le Roux, Africa Media Online’s Media Manager who organised the events. “How great to get to know each other in an informal and relaxed way. We might have known about each other beforehand; we might have known each others’ work well; now we got to know each other’s hearts. I loved seeing the passion, hearing the frustrations, and sharing in the common commitment to go forward proudly telling African’s story – and making money while doing so!”

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Picture Above: Africa Media Online’s Digital Campus is being run in Joburg this week after a brilliant week at the Cape Town School of Photography in Cape Town. The team at the Cape Town School of Photography did a wonderful job of hosting the Digital Campus. This week, Museum Africa and the Market Photo Workshop are our hosts

In this blog:

1. Peter Krogh masterclasses meeting the need in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town
2. World Press Photo adds value to African Photo Entrepreneur Programme
3. Microsoft gives photo entrepreneurs a kick-start with Expression Media donation
4. FotoFinder makes a way for photographer from Liberia

1. Peter Krogh masterclasses meeting the need in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town

Peter Krogh’s digital asset management courses have been receiving rave reviews around the country. This is the first time these masterclasses are being run in South Africa and if the comments in the evaluation forms are anything to go by they certainly do seem to be meeting a need in the market.

Peter Krogh demonstrating how Google Maps pinpoints exactly where he took a photograph after he matched his GPS tracker log with the time stamp on the image

What were the major benefits that you gained from the training?

“It was awesome! It gave me: 1. A major reality check 2. What to do about where I am at” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“Understanding how a system of storage/cataloguing can work and increase productivity” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“I realised how unorganised and dangerous my back-up system is” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“Respect! To treat images with respect.” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“A complete understanding of the whole workflow using the best of various software environment and a clear system to move files through production into an archive that is fully backed up and secure. This will help me manage and preserve my digital archive for years to come. Thank you so much! Also really cool insights into the future of imaging” – Pietermaritzburg Professional Photographer

“Unbelievable knowledge that can take me into the future and allow me to manage my data in an effective and efficient and long lasting and scalable manner. It’s gonna make a huge difference to the potential and accessibility of my data…” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“Peter’s approach to organisation is quite radical compared to the way I have been working. He makes use of software to create faster, more efficient workflow. I gained a good understanding of DAM in general and information on backup systems, hard drives etc” – Cape Town Professional Photographic Trainer

2. World Press Photo adds value to African Photo Entrepreneur Programme

The Cape Town leg of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme was enriched by the presence of Maarten Koets, head of education at World Press Photo. World Press Photo is an independent not-for-profit organisation based in Holland which is best known for organising the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest which becomes a traveling exhibition annually that is visited by over two million people in some 45 countries worldwide.

Maarten presented a slide show of images from Africa that have featured in the World Press Photo competition over recent years. The hard hitting imagery proved an inspiration to all present last Thursday evening (August 14). At the end of the evening participant Clare Thomas expressed her gratitude saying, “I’m feeling quite emotional, I hardly have words. I am so grateful for all that we have been exposed to and how it is lifting our vision.”

At the end of the week of masterclasses the participants had got together to present gifts of prints of their work to the trainers and AMO staff, a gesture much appreciated by all on the receiving end.

The African Photo Entrepreneur Programme has been partially supported by the European Union through Gijima KZN and by Africa Media Online.

Click here to see who made it to APEP Cape Town

3. Microsoft gives photo entrepreneurs a kick-start with Expression Media donation

Microsoft corporation in Redmond, Washington has come to the support of African photo entrepreneurs in donating a copy of Microsoft Expression Media to each of the 40 photographers participating in the African Photo Entrepreneur programme.

What used to be called iView Media Pro, Microsoft’s Expression Media has been recommended by Africa Media Online to photographers and archives for several years as the best commercially available programme for organising and managing an image collection. As seen here, the Mac version of the product is still supported by Microsoft

Peter Krogh, author of “The DAM Book,” who has been in South Africa running digital masterclasses as part of Africa Media Online’s “Digital Campus,” opened the door for the donation. He was so inspired by meeting many of the participants in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme on the Pietermaritzburg “Digital Campus” that he emailed Jeff Greene in Microsoft’s Rich Media Group in Redmond, Washington DC, USA telling him about the programme. Within 24 hours Geoff had come back saying 40 copies of Expression Media are ready to ship.

“We are really grateful for Microsoft’s support of the photographer’s on the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. Africa Media Online has had a long relationship with the Expression Media product which used to be called iView Media Pro, having recommended the software in the South African market for a few years. “Having researched various options I was convinced it was the best of all the systems available,” said David. “The great thing is that with Microsoft taking over, the PC version of the programme is now on a par with the original Mac version which is good news for the photographers on PC. Expression Media is currently the best programme on the market for a photographer to manage a database of images and it is a great kick start for African photo entrepreneurs starting to grapple with managing a digital library.”

4. FotoFinder makes a way for photographer from Liberia

Ahmed Jallazo from Monrovia, Liberia, arrives at Museum Africa where several of the Johannesburg Digital Campus masterclasses are being run

Germany based picture library, Fotofinder GmbH came to the rescue of photographer, Ahmed Jallazo from Liberia in West Africa this month. Ahmed had been selected for inclusion in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme but did not have the funds to get to South Africa and manage his living costs for the programme. Ali Packzensky, Director of the German based organisation, had met Africa Media Online’s Director of International Sales at CEPIC in May and had been inspired by the vision of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme. When there seemed no way for Ahmed to make it, a telephone conversation between Ali and Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen, resulted in Ali putting up the finances for Ahmed’s travel while Africa Media Online undertook to provide accommodation and board.

Ahmed was discovered a number of years ago by South African photographer Nic Bothma during the Liberian civil war working as a street photographer. Nic was working with EPA and Ahmed worked alongside him during the war learning the skill of a press photographer. In the past few years he has continued to string for EPA in West Africa.

In November, Ali is expected to be a part of the final stage of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme, the Global Competitiveness Masterclass, which aims at giving the participating photographers insight in to the global imaging industry and the means to compete on the global stage.

Although the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme was geared at participants in southern Africa in 2008, Africa Media Online had applications from all over the continent and seven photographers were accepted from other parts of Africa. Most of these photographers made their own way to South Africa to participate in the programme. To see participants from other parts of Africa click here

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Dusk in Cape Town with Table Mountain and Lion’s head to the right of it. Africa Media Online’s Digital Campus moves to the “Mother City” next week after a wonderful week in Pietermaritzburg.

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Digital Picture Library Manager blog designed to add value to the management of your picture and media collections as well as to keep you up to date with developments at Africa Media Online and the world of digital imaging that could be of benefit you.
_________________________________________________________________________________
URGENT MATTERS:
A. Bookings for the digital masterclasses with Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh in Cape Town will close this Friday August 8. For Johannesburg the bookings will close the following Friday August 15. Further information and booking forms can be found at this link: Digital Campus
B. If you want to take advantage of the final intake for 70% funding for digitisation under the African Image Pipeline project, you need to have signed the necessary paperwork by Friday August 29.For further information please visit this link: Grant Funding for Digitisation of Image Collections
_________________________________________________________________________________

In this edition:

1. Peter Krogh wow’s masterclass participants with geostamping images
2. Graeme Cookson’s two day class sells out countrywide
3. African Photo Entrepreneur Programme gathers photographers from around the country and continent
4. Building an Archive that will last: Resolution and how it works

1. Peter Krogh wow’s masterclass participants with geostamping images

Peter Krogh demonstrating the ideal workflow using the best of various software programmes to ensure the most efficient and secure way of handling thousands of images to build and archive which you won’t lose and you can get the most from

Peter Krogh wowed participants at the Digital Photography Ecosystem masterclass with a demonstration of how photographers can geostamp their images and at the click of a button in the image metadata to link through to the location where the image was shot on Google Maps. US based digital imaging expert, Krogh was delivering his first session at Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus in Pietermaritzburg.

Geostamping wasn’t the only wow factor in the session as Krogh demonstrated an overview of an ideal Raw workflow which uses the best of Microsoft’s Expression Media 2, Adobe Bridge and a new programme called Image Ingestor Pro 3. As an Alpha tester for Adobe, Krogh also demonstrated some of the new functionality in Lightroom 2, launched last week internationally by Adobe.

Krogh’s primary emphasis is on managing thousands of images in the most efficient way possible using the best of the various software programmes available, and ensuring that photographers do not lose the files they have put so much work into. Referring to the efficiency of one’s digital workflow Krogh said, “Time is not just money, it is economic survival these days. If the guy down the road is turning work around faster than you, you are going to lose out.” He brings to photographers a highly ordered process which ensures files move through to being archived on one hand and available to markets on the other ensuring photographers are leveraging the most economic return out of their pictures.

Peter Krogh will be teaching digital workflow in Cape Town next week (August 11-15) starting with an evening class on Monday 11 and followed by two in-depth two-day classes where participants are at computers working through the ideal workflow. The masterclasses then move to Johannesburg during the week of August 18-22. To find out more information or download a booking form please go to Digital Campus or call David Larsen on 082-829-7959 or Aneesa on 033-345-9445.

2. Graeme Cookson’s two-day masterclass sells out countrywide

Several weeks before the start of the Digital Campus in Pietermaritzburg, Graeme Cookson’s two-day digital masterclasses, known as “Practical Digital Workflow,” were sold out countrywide.

“It is a testament to the quality of Graeme’s teaching that every year people who have done Graeme’s one day course rush to fill his two day course the following year,” said Africa Media Online’s Director, David Larsen. “Graeme has an amazing ability to make complex matters of digital imaging crystal clear. He is able to impart a highly productive way of bringing the best out of images.”


Graeme Cookson demonstrating the concept of resolution to participants in the Digital Imaging Essentials masterclass in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Coming from a prepress and photography background, Graeme brings to imaging professionals and organisations a productive digital darkroom. “When people really understand what is under the hood of digital images,” said Cookson, “then they can become highly productive rather than wasting lots of time going tweek, tweek, tweek.”

The kind of information Graeme imparts quickly makes a significant difference to the productivity of a production team, whether in a design studio, museum or media organisation. “That quickly translates into lots of money saved,” said Larsen. “It really is a no brainer as far as the investment is concerned, even for a cash strapped photographer. Between them Graeme and Peter are going to make you many times over what you spend on the opportunity to learn from them. This is really the point as far as Africa Media Online is concerned as we are all about enabling Africans to compete on the global stage.


The Ascot Conference Centre, where the Pietermaritzburg Digital Campus is being hosted, has proved to be a wonderfully relaxed environment in which to learn.

3. African Photo Entrepreneur Programme gathers photographers from around the country and continent


Participants in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme socialise with Africa Media Online staff at the launch of the programme in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

Photographers gathered from all over South Africa and the African continent on Sunday at the launch of the Pietermaritzburg leg of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme. Photographers traveled to Pietermaritzburg from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Harare and Nairobi to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the unique programme.

The African Photo Entrepreneur Programme has been established to provide a catalyst for the development of photo entrepreneurs in Africa – photographers who have the technical skills and market savvy to compete on a global stage.

“Although the 2008 programme was aimed at photographers in southern Africa, we had applications from all over the continent,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. “It really has shown us that we are hitting the nail on the head as far as the need out there among African photographers goes.”

“Although we have enjoyed some funding from the European Union as part of our African Image Pipeline, project we were seriously short of funds in running this programme, so were limited in the amount of support we could provide for transport and living costs. It has been amazing to me, however, that almost all of these photographers have made their own way here, some coming as far afield as East Africa and West Africa.”

“We can really see the entrepreneurial spirit in the extent to which many of these photographers are risking their own resources to reach out and take this opportunity. And it is not just those from other parts of Africa. Participants have traveled from Joburg and Cape Town and we have two participants from Durban who make their way by catching lifts and hitch-hiking every morning long before dawn to make it here in time.”

Sixteen APEP participants are spending this week learning technical digital workflow skills from Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh as part of Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus. Next week (August 11-15) 12 APEP participants will do the same in Cape Town and the week after (August 18-22) a further 12 will undertake the training in Johannesburg. At the end of each week the participants will be given a project to complete over the next month, and upon successful completion of that, they will be invited back to Pietermaritzburg in November for the Global Competitiveness Masterclass. There they will be given the inside track on market access by experts from around the world who are on the cutting edge of the global picture industry.

Click here to see who made it to APEP Pietermaritzburg.

3. Building an Archive that will last: Resolution and how it works


Zooming in to an image one sees that it is composed of thousands of colour squares. These are pixels, seen here in the close up of a human eye.

We have been working through the submission standards that africanpictures.net sets for images being submitted to its picture library. We have done file size, interpolation and bit depth and now we come to resolution. For images submitted to africanpictures.net the resolution must be set to 300 dpi. It might sound strange to hear me say this, but africanpictures.net asks for this more for the sake of the clients receiving the images, than for the sake of image quality. It is the file size that determines image quality, not the resolution setting. Let’s explain.

If you look at a picture in a magazine with a magnifying glass you will see it is composed of thousands of tiny dots each of a single colour, often different from the one next door to it. Digital images are similar in their make-up, only the tiny dots are square and are called pixels (picture elements). Each pixel is a digital facsimile of a particular tiny point on a picture. There is actually nothing in a pixel except a set of digits that tells it what colour it should be. While pixels vary greatly in colour from one pixel to another, each pixel in itself is a solid single colour.

Resolution is the measure of the number of pixels used to represent an image. So if an image is 500 pixels long and 400 high the total number of pixels is 200,000 (500 x 400). Resolution is usually measured in dpi which stands for dots per inch. Although everyone tends to speak about dpi, when it comes to digital imaging it is actually more correct to speak about ppi or pixels per inch. Common usage, however, has become dpi so let’s stick to that. Either way, what we are measuring when we speak about dpi or ppi, is the density of pixels, or how many pixels are found in every inch of a picture.

Because the only information that pixels have in them is a set of digits that determines its colour, a pixel will expand to fill any space you give it. So if you have an image with 200,000 pixels in it, it is quite possible for you to set it at 300 pixels per inch and every inch will have 300 pixels along one side. It is also quite possible to set that same image to 1 dot per inch and the pixels will expand until each one is one square inch in size. The amount of information, however, has not changed at all. The file size will remain constant, it is just that you have spread that information over a larger area. It is like taking a can of paint and painting many coats over a smaller area, or taking the whole can and spreading it over a larger area. The volume of paint does not change at all but the area covered does. In the same way the file size of the image does not change but the resolution does.

The standard for printing images in a book or magazine has become 300 dpi even though many printers only print at 150 dpi. There are good reasons for this, which we won’t discuss here. As a result people tend to speak of a 300 dpi image. But it is no good saying, “a 300 dpi image is a quality image,” without giving the dimensions of the image. That is like saying the distance between Johannesburg and Pretoria is 100 km/hour. You still want to know, “how many hours?”

To say an image is 300 dpi only tells you the density (how many coats of paint), not how many pixels you have (how much paint you have). To take the paint analogy further, if you are needing to paint a large wall with three coats to ensure quality and discover you have run out of paint after one coat, the wall will not look great. In the same way if you try and spread an image that has enough pixels to cover an A5 page at 300 dpi over an A3 page, your quality will not be great.

The 300 dpi standard, then is simply a convention to make designers feel they are in familiar territory. So yes, set your images at 300 dpi, but the real question is “300 dpi over what area? An image that is 2 cm wide and 1 cm high at 300 dpi is not going to be of sufficient quality to print well if you stretch it over an A4 page (close to 20 cm x 30 cm).

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Above: Dusk over Cape Town with the mountain on the left and Lion’s Head on the right. The 72nd South African Museums Association national conference was held in the last week of June at a venue close to this view.

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Digital Picture Library Manager blog designed to add value to the management of your picture and media collections as well as to keep you up to date with developments at Africa Media Online and the world of digital imaging that could be of benefit you.
_________________________________________________________________________________
URGENT MATTERS:
A. The early bird offer for this year’s Digital Masterclasses ends Monday June 30. Further information and booking forms can be found at this link: Digital Campus
B. The closing date for applications for the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme is Monday June 30. Further information can be found at this link: African Photo Entrepreneur Programme
C. The first intake for 70% funding for digitisation under the African Image Pipeline project ends Monday June 30.For further information please visit this link: Grant Funding for Digitisation of Image Collections
_________________________________________________________________________________

In this edition:

1. World Expert in Digital Asset Management to Teach at August Masterclasses
2. Sacred and Secret: Pictures of the 72nd South African Museum’s Association national conference
3. Eminent International Panel of Judges for the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme
4. Dominique Le Roux, Media Manager
5. The Tragedy of Xenophobia in South Africa

1. World Expert in Digital Asset Management to Teach at August Masterclasses

World authority on digital asset management, Peter Krogh, will be teaching in South Africa for the first time in August

Celebrated author of The DAM Book (The Digital Asset Management Book), Peter Krogh, has confirmed his availability for Africa Media Online’s annual digital masterclasses in August. Peter will be in South Africa to conduct a series of masterclasses in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg as part of Africa Media Online’s Digital Campus.

Not a stranger to the southern hemisphere, last year Peter conducted workshops in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers and Nikon Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland. This will, however, be the first time he will be presenting in South Africa. An alpha tester for Adobe Photoshop, last year alone Peter conducted masterclasses in conjunction with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and UK-based Association of Photographers Limited (AOP), and gave seminars at Imaging USA, the National Association of Professional Photographers’ Photoshop World, PDN’s PhotoPlus Expo and the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Adventure.

While Peter has worked with a lot of photographic organisations, his courses are highly applicable for anyone working professionally with large numbers of image files, such as archives, graphic designers, picture libraries etc. The workshops will demystify DAM and reveal practical techniques for securing the long term storage of digital images.

“Peter is the ideal companion to Graeme Cookson,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. “We have brought Graeme out for the past three years and his courses have been extremely well received. Graeme is brilliant at helping imaging professionals really understand what we are doing in terms of ensuring the quality of individual image files in a productive manner. I wanted to find someone who would compliment Graeme in teaching best practice in digital workflow from camera or scanner to end user. Where Graeme’s strength lies in dealing with the quality of the image files themselves, I wanted someone who specialises in the efficiency of managing hundreds, if not thousands, of image files. I met Peter at CEPIC in Florence last year at the first ever international photo metadata conference and we got chatting. I could not have found anyone better than Peter Krogh, and it is a great privilege to have him on board,” Larsen said.

“Peters knowledge on the subject is the best in the world. When it comes to DAM for photographers, Peter Krogh literally wrote the book on the subject”, said Australian professional photographer and DAM consultant Robert Edwards.

The 10% early bird discount ends on Monday June 30

Find out more and download the order form

2. Sacred and Secret Heritage: Pictures of the 72nd South African Museum’s Association national conference

South African Museums Association (SAMA) delegate, Suzette Farmer from the Simon’s Town Museum, studies a rock art display at the Iziko South African Museum during the opening event of the SAMA national conference 2008.

The South African Museums Association held its 72nd National Conference at the Stellenbosch University Business School in Cape Town in late June 2008. The conference theme was “Sacred and Secret Heritage,” and it engendered some lively debate. In his brief talk at the conference, Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen, summed up the conference from his perspective saying, “the central question that seems to be emerging at this conference is, ‘Who has the right to represent our heritage – to tell our story?” It is the quality of empathy that, if not giving the right, then at least opens the doors to investigate sacred heritage practices and represent those practices through research findings.

Pictures of the conference will be available shortly or you can email David Larsen at editor@africamediaonline.com.

3. Eminent International Panel of Judges for the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme

Renowned photojournalist, Louise Gubb, is one of the judges deciding on suitable candidates for the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme. Louise covered South Africa’s turbulent struggle for democracy for most of the leading news magazines including Time, Newsweek, Stern and Paris Match. She has judged a number of the annual Fuji Press photography competitions in South Africa.

The African Photo Entrepreneur Programme has been given significant impetus with prominent African and international photographers and editors lending their support by sitting on the judging panel. The panel will assess the submissions of possible candidates and select the most promising for inclusion in the programme. Confirmed judges are: Julia Heinemann, Gallery Portfolio Director of LUMAS; Khanyi Dhlomo, Editor of Destiny magazine; former World Press Photo jury member and AFP Chief Photographer in South Africa, Alexander Joe; head of Getty Images multimedia, Rick Gershon; Karine Aigner, Senior Photo Editor of National Geographic Kids Magazine; and acclaimed South African photographer, Louise Gubb.

This year’s programme is aimed at encouraging historically disadvantaged and women photographers to succeed as photo entrepreneurs, granting skills, market savvy and route to markets for groups that are currently underrepresented in this sector. Successful applicants will have sponsored access to the Digital Campus and further training modules.

Applications for the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme close at the end of the day on Monday June 30

Find out more see if you qualify and make a submission to be included.

4. Dominique Le Roux, Media Manager

Dominique Le Roux, Media Manager for Africa Media Online

The Africa Media Online team has felt the impact of Dominique Le Roux over the past six months. Dominique joined the team in January and has brought 17 years of media experience – as a writer, magazine editor, book publisher, web content manager, television presenter and photographic agent. As Media Manager, Dominique brings an eye for markets and clear strategy on how to access and make the most of them. Dominique is based in Cape Town but travels a fair amount to the other centres. She recently represented Africa Media Online at the Tourism Indaba and at the International Media Forum SA. Email Dominique on dominique@africamediaonline.com.

5. The Tragedy of Xenophobia in South Africa

South Africa Why are You Doing this to Us: More than a month after being displaced by xenophobic violence, refugees camp on the pavement in central Cape Town with little more than plastic bags to keep out the Cape winter chill. Ironically the place where they have taken up residence is across the street from the District Six Museum, a landmark of the infamous District Six forced removals of the 1960s. These refugees have had to endure the same kind of brutality at the hands of many who once endured such hardships themselves under apartheid. Many of these refugees have survived war in their own nations and had come to South Africa to find a place of peace and prosperity. That dream was shattered last month with the outbreak of xenophobic violence.

When my youngest daughter was presented to our community early last year, blessings were spoken over her in eleven languages including, Zulu (South Africa), Shona (Zimbabwe), Xhosa (South Africa), Kiswahili (East and Central Africa), Kirundi (Burundi), Ndebele (Zimbabwe), English (International), French (International) Afrikaans (South Africa), and Lingala (Congo DRC). For me this was a wonderful picture of the richness of post-apartheid South Africa, which not only emerged out of the cultural prison of apartheid, but has been reintegrated into the African continental community.

There is no doubt that the xenophobic violence which swept South Africa last month was a shocking denigration of all that the new South Africa, the miracle nation stands for. How did our people come to turn on those very nations that gave up so much on our behalf in assisting us in our struggle for liberation? How is it that we have moved so far from the bright vision of a united Africa provided for us by Nkruma and Nyerere, Luthuli and Mandela? On June 2, 2008 I wrote the following to those who receive our africanpictures.net newsletter:

“The past few weeks have witnessed a great tragedy in the history of South Africa. Once again the grotesque spectre of apartheid has emerged from the shadows to haunt our public life. Its target may be different, but its stench is the same. It is the same stale justification of why one group needs to hoard opportunity and resources at the expense of another, the same bigotry that forcefully removes people from their homes and has women and children cowering in places of safety, has bodies burning in the streets, has lives scarred for decades by reckless violence, the same discrimination that treats those different from oneself as sub-human, as somehow not worthy of the privileges we demand for ourselves. The lies are the same, the justifications are familiar, the fear and anguish are alike. As too are the vulgar names the powerful call the powerless!

In a matter of days nightmarish scenes we had fought so hard to be rid of have erupted in our midst again. How did we come to this? How in the miracle nation, among Tutu’s “rainbow people of God,” did this come to pass? Who is at fault is not important. What is required is that we take responsibility, responsibility to protect the weak, guard the vulnerable, care for the wounded, speak courageously for truth even when it is unpopular or dangerous. We’ve been here before. We know how to do this. Let’s do it!”

Some weeks after those tragic events many are doing it. Government and civil society organisations have taken a stand. We want to be telling those stories in the months to come. Yet we are aware so much trust has been lost, so much suspicion born. And we are also aware of the issues that led to this explosion of violence – a growing gap between the haves and have nots, poor education, an economy that is unable to absorb the abundance of unskilled labour, a culture of fatherlessness, and a lack of service delivery. And all of this is against a backdrop of the active nurturing of a culture of consumerism, a highly visible, extremely wealthy, middle class, and well organised criminal syndicates. Add to this toxic mix of hopelessness, millions of Zimbabweans searching for a bearable existence, and millions of other entrepreneurial immigrants who appear to be succeeding where poor South Africans are failing – and one can quickly see how the explosion came about.

These events in our nation bring us face to face with some hard realities that our society faces – some brutal facts about the distance we have really come in walking free from the the identities thrust upon us by apartheid. We realise we are not as far along as we expected and the tentacles of racism still reach into our hearts.

More than anything we are needing in this hour clear moral leadership that the likes of Mandela, Tutu and Luthuli provided in their generation – leaders that can help us take ownership of our common complicity in the lies, and our common responsibility in laying hold of the dream that those great leaders set before us. I see this happening all over this nation, from earnest debates among colleagues in the South African Museums Association conference to conversations with journalists and photographers. Should such leaders arise, then perhaps something worthwhile may emerge from this crucible experience.

Mayibuye iAfrika!

David Larsen
Director – Africa Media Online

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Above: Young men dive off a pier in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Digital Picture Library Manager blog designed to add value to the management of your picture and media collections as well as to keep you up to date with developments at Africa Media Online and the world of digital imaging that could be of benefit you.

1. Early Early Bird Special on Digital Masterclasses
2. Rand Daily Mail Pictures Digitised in African Image Pipeline Project
3. Characteristics of the Information Society that will Impact the Future
4. African Authors have their say on Digital Colonialism

1. Early Early Bird Special on Digital Masterclasses

Graeme Cookson teaching the Digital Imaging Essentials Masterclass in Durban, August 2007

Africa Media Online is kicking off the 2008 masterclasses with an Early Early Bird Special. Following three years of highly successful masterclasses we are pleased to announce that we have held the course fees for 2007 and that we are offering a 10% Early Bird discount for delegates that pay for their places by 30th June. In addition, as a first week special, we are offering an Early Early Bird Special of 15% off for delegates that pay by close of business this Friday May 23.

Run each August in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, Africa Media Online will again be running the masterclasses, but this time in an expanded form known as the Digital Campus. The Digital Campus will be run in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg in conjunction with the Cape Town School of Photography and the Market Photo Workshop. This exciting initiative will bring together masterclasses run by UK-based digital imaging consultant Graeme Cookson with masterclasses run by Microsoft Icons of Imaging digital workflow specialist and author of The DAM Book, Peter Krogh. Peter’s masterclass is new for 2008 and, as with Graeme’s masterclasses, places are likely to be in high demand.

Click here for more information on the Digital Campus.
Click here to download a booking form.
Click here for quotes from participants
Contact Aneesa Ally regarding bookings or call Ian Blackburn on 033-345-9445.

2. Rand Daily Mail Pictures Digitised in African Image Pipeline Project

A young Raymond Ackerman is captured in Museum Africa’s Times Media Collection

Famous for its anti-apartheid stance during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the Rand Daily Mail became an icon among the liberal white press. Pictures from the Rand Daily Mail form part of a collection from Museum Africa in Johannesburg which is currently being digitised by Africa Media Online as part of its European Union funded African Image Pipeline project.

Sandra De Wet, Head of Information Services at Museum Africa, says of the Times Media Collection Ltd., “We acquired this collection in the 1970s, it contains photos from the 1930s to about 1985. These come from, for instance the old Rand Daily Mail, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Express – all no longer published.”

“The importance of the photos is that they covered the daily news. The pictures include major political events such as the 1956 treason trial, the Rivonia trial in the 1960s, the 1976 Soweto uprisings, the Verwoerd shooting etc.”

Much of the value of the collection lies in the documentation of daily life in Johannesburg and surrounds from the 1930s to the mid-1980s. These pictures will soon be available for publishing use from africanpictures.net.

The African Image Pipeline project is a wonderful opportunity to have the best of your picture collections digitised. Find out more about the project on theAfrica Media Online web site or call Sue Hadcroft on 033-345-9445 or email her.

3. The Ocean at Your Doorstep: Eight Characteristics of the Information Society that will Impact the Future

There is a new world of possibilities and pitfalls in the information ocean

Speaking to the ISASA Librarians’ Conference at Hilton College, KZN, South Africa in early April, Africa Media Online’s Director, David Larsen outlined eight characteristics of the information society that will impact the future. The eight included: the democratization of technology, the rise of citizen media, the demise of the expert, information overload, the long tail, the erosion of privacy, media convergence, and the ascent of visual media. Download this and other presentations on the resources page

4. African Authors have their say on Digital Colonialism

Kenyan Author Shailja Patel contemplates the exhibit beside a bust of Chief Albert Luthuli, Luthuli Museum, Groutville, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

The Luthuli Museum in KwaZulu Natal hosted five African writers during the 11th Time of the Writer Festival. The authors included current executive director of the Gorée Institute, Breyton Breytenbach (South Africa), Emmanuel Dongala (Congo-Brazaville), Director of the Centre for African Literary Studies, Mbulelo Mzamane (South Africa), Shailja Patel (Kenya) and Angelina Sithebe (South Africa). During the discussion time, sparked off by a question from Africa Media Online’s David Larsen, the writers expressed the frustration faced by authors who often have to travel outside of Africa in order to get published. Speaking about the neo-colonial infrastructure which continues to govern our lives Emmanuel Dongala spoke about how a telephone call from his home city Brazaville to the neighbouring city of Kinshasa which he can see across the river is routed via Europe, and the expense of travel between nations in Africa. Breyten Breytenbach pick up on the topic of digitial colonialism and the monopolies that certain nations are establishing over knowledge. Shailja Patel spoke about the need for Africans to start to value the films, books and media produced by Africans. Ordinary Africans can do a lot to change the situation.

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Above: Shalom Farm, Greytown, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. An estimated 60,000 men gathered on Angus Buchan’s farm to hear the farmer and author speak, calling men from all walks of life to live lives for a purpose greater than personal gain. Over seven thousand men gathered in 2007 and in 2008 35,000 were expected. The world’s largest tent – nine stories high and longer than three rugby fields was no match for the crowd that gathered from all over South Africa, southern Africa and the world. The gathering seemed to signal a spiritual hunger among men in the region that many hope will contribute to a more humane society

Welcome to the fourth edition of the Digital Picture Library Manager blog designed to add value to the management of your picture and media collections as well as to keep you up to date with developments at Africa Media Online and the world of digital imaging that could be of benefit you.
_________________________________________________________________________________
URGENT MATTERS:
A. If you intend submitting image collections for 70% funded digitisation under the African Image Pipeline project please ensure you contact us before May 15. Find detail under item 1.
B. The closing date for Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards is May 1. Find detail under item 4.
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In this edition:

1. 2010 Digitisation Project Gets Official Support from National Heritage Council
2. Images from the International Library of African Music Go Online
3. Expanded Digital Masterclasses Come to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg in August
4. Photo Section of the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards 2008
5. Claire Kruiskamp, Picture Sales Executive
6. Building an archive that will last: Bit Depth

1. 2010 Digitisation Project Gets Official Support from National Heritage Council

Construction at the Cape Town’s International Airport toward getting the facility ready for the massive influx of visitors expected during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

South Africa’s National Heritage Council has recently given unanimous support to a project initiated by Africa Media Online to digitise 32,000 images ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. With 70% funding from the the European Union, through Gijima KZN, an initiative of the Department of Economic Development, the project aims to assist photographers and heritage institutions to get ready for the rush of interest in South Africa’s history, cultures, geography and economy in the build up and aftermath of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

CEO of the National Heritage Council Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa said in a letter of commendation, “As this pilot project seeks to enhance the conservation measures of our heritage resources, the National Heritage Council confirms its endorsement of the African Image Pipeline project.”

Africa Media Online’s commitment to principles that ensure that ownership and control of collections remain with the organisations charged with their care, is one of the factors which has enabled the National Heritage Council to consider this project as a pilot digitisation project.

The project provides a 70% subsidy to digitise select pictures from participating collections at archival quality which are representative of South Africa’s history and heritage. Participating heritage organisations and photographers are expected to use the digitised images for their own promotional material in banners, exhibitions, brochures etc. With 32,000 images to digitise before year end, the project is having to proceed on a first come first serve basis.

Should you be interested in submitting image collections for digitisation please do not hesitate to contact Africa Media Online’s Director David Larsen on editor@africamediaonline.comor 082-829-7959 or Business Manager, Sue Hadcroft on sue@africamediaonline.com033-345-9445.

Digitisation is one of five elements to the project:
Click here to find out more about the whole project.
Click here to view a news report about the project.

2. Images from the International Library of African Music Go Online

Batwa pigmies listening to playback 2, Congo, 1949. Photo: Hugh Tracey/International Library of African Music

In March Africa Media Online completed a digitisation project tackling the picture collection of the International Library of African Music at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. With close to 10,000 images digitised and a web site created with over 1,000 high resolution images available for publication, the project was a great success. The first heritage project in South Africa to take a picture collection all the way from physical archive to a global online audience, the project was funded by South Africa’s National Heritage Council.
Click here to view ILAM’s new Picture Archive
Click here to view a photo feature from ILAM’s new Picture Archive
Click here to view a video of the ILAM project.

3. Expanded Digital Masterclasses Come to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg in August

Participants being taught masking techniques by Graeme Cookson during the Practical Digital Workflow masterclass in Durban, August, 2007

Following three years of highly successful masterclasses run each August in Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng, Africa Media Online will again run the masterclasses, but this time in expanded form. In 2008 Africa Media Online will be running its first Digital Campus – a whole week of training. UK based digital imaging consultant Graeme Cookson will be joined by US based Peter Krogh the author of The DAM Book and Microsoft Icons of Imaging member. The Digital Campus will include masterclasses by Graeme and Peter as well as evening workshops and events. Find out more…

4. Photo Section of the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards 2008

May 1 is the deadline for the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards 2008. The Awards were created in 2004 to help transform perceptions about the continent. Five years on, Africa is seen very differently, and the Awards continue to seek out and recognise journalists and editors around the world who have gone the extra mile to promote a balanced view of economic opportunity and business achievement in Africa. The Awards aim to promote a more balanced view of financial issues and business opportunities across the continent, thereby empowering investors to make informed decisions about Africa as well as showcasing Africa’s success stories. The awards include a category for “best published photograph”. To enter, visit the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards 2008 web site

5. Claire Kruiskamp, Picture Sales Executive

Claire Kruiskamp, Sales Executive for Africa Media Online’s africanpictures.net

Claire Kruiskamp has been Sales Executive for Africa Media Online’s africanpictures.net for almost a year. She looks after the company’s South African clients and some of its international clients. With a matriculate from DSG, and BComm from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, Claire came to Africa Media Online with a background in administration, marketing and sales. If you have not already met her in her travels to Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town she would be glad to pay you a visit next time she is in your area. Clients in the UK will have the opportunity to meet her at the BAPLA Picture Buyer’s Fair at the Business Design Centre in London, 7-8 May. Email Claire on pictures@africanpictures.net or call her on +27-33-345-9445.

6. Building an Archive that will last: Bit Depth

Constitution Hill in the heart of Johannesburg is the home of South Africa’s Constitutional Court. Formerly the Old Fort Prison Complex, the site was home to Number Four prison which in the days of apartheid saw the incarceration of thousands of political activists including Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. Pictures with great range from dark to light gain from being captured and worked with in 16 bits

The africanpictures.net Imaging Standards Document outlines image quality for professional markets and archival preservation. In the last edition we dealt with interpolation, now we want to look at the related subject of bit depth.

To build a digital collection at archival quality, you should be scanning at 16 bits per colour channel or 48 bits. This is to capture the maximum colour variations in an image. When you want to output to printing or to media markets, however, a file should always be changed into 8 bits per colour channel or 24 bits otherwise you will end up stopping the press, hence the africanpictures.net imaging standard is 8 bits, simply because the standard defines the standards of market ready files. So what does all this mean?

To get on to all the technical stuff click here

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