DISC Solves Problems for Magazine Publishers
The DISC specification from IDEAlliance aims to get photographers and magazine publishers on the same page.
While digital photography quickly found favor among consumers as cameras dropped below the $1,000 price point, professional photographers weren't as quick to abandon their trusted 35mm SLRs.
But that's changing, and fast. In all key areas—speed, lenses, resolution, clarity, color, light sensitivity, and contrast—images produced by professional photographers shooting with pro digital gear can now rival images from the very best film cameras.
Managing editors and production managers at popular magazines say professional photographers are ditching film in droves, with over half the images submitted today as digital. At some leading publications, managers predict that 100% of all images will be submitted digitally by next year.
"This explosion in the use of digital photographs for magazine reproduction is not without problems," says David Steinhardt, president and CEO of IDEAlliance, an industry association that promotes interoperability in print and digital media. "Digital photography issues that hamper production workflow are a hot topic among our magazine publisher members. The need to come up with an industry-wide solution was obvious."
That solution is DISC, the Digital Image Submission Criteria specification guidelines, developed by an IDEAlliance working group comprised of its member magazine publishers, printers, and vendors of digital imaging solutions.
The DISC Working Group is co-chaired by Kin Wah Lam, director of digital development at Time Inc., and Michael McNamara, technology editor of Hachette Filipacchi Media's Popular Photography & Imaging. Under their stewardship, the DISC Working Group reviewed, analyzed, created, and tested metrics that enable reliable submission of digital images suitable for magazine printing.
DISC is the first industry-supported specification for minimum-level-quality digital image submissions. Without minimum specifications, photographers are free to submit images that vary wildly in terms of size, resolution, and file type. Lack of a specification means that submitted digital images are often not suitable for publication.