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Artist: David Wilson - St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Hartland, Michigan

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Tips for Submitting Digital Photography of Your Stained Glass Windows

As digital cameras become more popular and slide film becomes difficult for photographers to find, we realize at the Michigan Stained Glass Census that our Census volunteers may prefer to submit digital images of their stained glass windows. It is our ultimate goal to receive quality images that will have longest possible archival life and that may also have potential use for publication, thus digital images are acceptable if other forms of media such as slides or prints are not available or convenient for you to use.

Please keep in mind that the image quality and the way in which you organize your digital images will directly influence the future usability of your images and other archival materials for research and publication. Please remember the following things if submitting digital images with your census forms:

  1. Please experiment with your camera in terms of lighting, focus and so on, with regards to stained glass windows and your digital camera. You may find that the quality of your images is not what you are accustomed to seeing in print or slide images, and you may need to shoot the windows multiple times before submitting your best images.
  2. Set your camera to the highest resolution it will allow, and save the images in JPG or TIF format to a CD. Your filenames should match the numbering system of your building diagram, as well as any printouts you provide. Please provide a CD as well as printouts of all of your images, preferably on photo paper. We cannot scan digital printouts for publication or web use and maintain the image quality. Additionally, any disk you provide will be stored separately from the paper materials in your file, making your printouts necessary for visual reference.
  3. Please avoid any color correction or retouching of images that is not absolutely necessary. Do not superimpose text captions over your images and if it is possible, please set your camera so that your date/time stamp is off. It is difficult to impossible for us to edit these things out of the images without losing important details should we need to use them.
  4. Remember to include an image of the exterior of your building, as well as individual images of all your stained glass windows. It is not necessary to submit individual images (or window data forms) for clear, non-leaded windows, although they should be identified on your building diagram (see the section on numbering windows in your registration instructions for details on diagramming).
  5. Make sure to notify us of the identity of the photographer(s) who provided the images, so that they will receive proper credit should images be published. Photographers should know that donation of images to the Michigan Stained Glass Census constitutes release of those images and their copyright to the Michigan Traditional Arts Program/Michigan State University Museum for educational use (this does not apply to images of objects held in the collections of other museums).

If you have questions about submitting images in any format, please feel free to contact us. These digital image tips were written by Michele Beltran in 2006. Thank you for your participation in this important survey of Michigan's stained glass heritage.

These instructions can also be downloaded as a PDF