Nov 18, 2005

Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines

A group of photographic trade assosiations have banded together to form guidelines and best practices for the reproduction and management of digital image files. The group, UPDIG (Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines), states the guidelines “aim to clarify issues affecting accurate reproduction and management of digital image files.”

These 15 guidelines — along with the accompanying Best Practices documents — aim to clarify issues affecting accurate reproduction and management of digital image files. Although they largely reflect a photographer’s perspective, anyone working with digital images should find them useful. The guidelines have three primary goals:

* Digital images look the same as they transfer between devices, platforms and vendors.

* Digital images are prepared in the correct resolution, at the correct size, for the device(s) on which they will be viewed or printed.

* Digital images have metadata embedded that conforms to the IPTC standards, making the images searchable, providing usage and contact information, and stating their creators or copyright owners.

The guidelines were prepared by the UPDIG Working Group, an ad-hoc industry consortium, along with allied trade groups and manufacturers.

See the published UPDIG Guidelines

See the Best Practices: Tools and Methods for Applying Guidelines

4 Responses to “Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines”

  1. Barry Pearson Says:

    I suggest you also file this under “DNG”, for obvious reasons.

    It is one of the indications of how DNG is addressing important aspects of digital photography that aren’t being addressed elsewhere:

  2. John MacLean Says:

    I saw several questionable practices. Here’s just one.

    Consumer Photo Lab Digital Printers – Because these printers do not recognize embedded profiles, it is necessary to convert your files to their profiles, then save them with the profile embedded.

    This goes directly opposite to Ethan’s recommendation here:

    Example color managed editing and printing workflow – #17 Do not embed the profile in the saved file. Frontier, Noritsu, and Agfa printers ignore embedded profiles, so you are only using up disk space. Additionally, many versions of the Fuji Frontier PIC driver crash when given files with profiles embedded. In the File→Save As dialog box, uncheck the “Icc Profile:” box in the Color settings area.

  3. Richard Anderson Says:


    You are correct. The original language was this:

    Consumer Photo Lab Digital Printers
    There is a free database ICC printer profiles for digital labs worldwide at The printers covered include Fuji Frontier, Noritsu, Agfa D-Lab, LightJet, Durst and Chromira printers, among others. Because these printers do not recognize embedded profiles, it is necessary to convert your files to their profiles. Converting to these profiles will give you the best color fidelity and allow you to soft proof your digital files before committing them to print. Labs that don’t use profiles usually require that submitted files are converted to sRGB and saved without an embedded profile. Using the sRGB color space instead of a custom profile may yield less accurate color lacking the full gamut such printers can produce.

    Unfortunately, other folks felt that this was a mistake. We do everything by consensus, which in this case resulted in incorrect information. This will corrected in the next version.

    In our defense, we did get this web resource produced, and it is helping folks as we speak. If you really want to be part of the solution, John, how about if you communicate your other concerns to me or the the UPDIG group so we can make improvements.


    Richard Anderson, UPDIG chair, principle author.

  4. John MacLean Says:


    I just sent an email to the info@ address. Please let me know what you think?


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