In addition to our Upload Requirements and General Policies, please refer to the following technical requirements when submitting to PhotoDune.
- Photos must be RGB formatted .JPG files only. Our upload system will ignore all other file types.
- Photos must not contain any custom watermarks, date stamps, or signatures overtop of the image.
- Please be sure to check your images at 100% full-resolution before submitting to inspect for any issues and ensure it meets our technical quality requirements.
- Photos must be between 4 megapixels (4.0 MP) and 80 megapixels (80.0 MP) in size.
- Do not upsize/upsample your photos or individual elements within your photos.
- Downsizing may be acceptable under certain circumstances to help minimize issues around focus, noise, etc. However keep in mind our minimum resolution requirements, and that we prefer high quality, high-resolution photos that have been well-executed from start to finish.
Noise & Artifacts
- Photos must be free of excessive noise/grain/pixel-discoloration
- As a general rule to avoid excessive noise, the camera should be set towards the lowest ISO setting, minimize long exposures, and ensure proper lighting and exposure settings during capture.
- Noise reduction processing is acceptable (e.g. via Lightroom), however, be sure not to overcompensate where too much detail is lost and edges/colors start to bleed together.
- Photos must not contain any visible compression artifacts (e.g. banding in gradients)
- Photos must not contain excessive chromatic aberration (aka “purple fringing”)
- Chromatic aberration is characterized as distinctly off-colored edges, often purple/green, and is usually the result of a combination of high contrast lighting with a wide aperture like f2.8 or greater.
- Photos must be free of any sensor spots/dust
- Sensor spots are unwanted gray/dark spots caused by dust or smudges on the camera sensor/lens, often most visible in brighter areas of an image.
- Be sure to clean your sensor and lens before shooting, or carefully remove any sensor spots in post-production.
Composition & Focus
- Photos must have proper framing/composition
- Photos should be cropped to remove any distractions or unwanted elements, and in a way that naturally enhances the focal point of the image.
- Do not over-crop your photos. When in doubt, aim on the wider side to leave enough room and/or copy space to provide customers with sufficient flexibility for their needs.
- Make sure that the horizon has been appropriately straightened.
- Photos must have proper focus and be free of unintended blurriness or lack of detail (e.g. as caused by camera/hand shake, too slow shutter speed, or the focus locked on the wrong part of the image)
- Depth of field should be thought out and fit with the style and intent of the shot.
- Do not use any faux depth of field or fake blurring techniques, such as compositing a sharp subject over a blurry background.
- Techniques such as natural motion blur are okay, e.g. to convey movement/energy.
Lighting & Exposure
- Photos must have proper lighting/exposure. Do not submit photos with overly harsh or overly soft lighting.
- Photos must not contain any harsh, unnatural, unflattering or distracting shadows or reflections.
- Photos must not be underexposed, where the brightest highlights are gray and the overall image is too dark.
- Photos must not be overexposed, where most of the highlights are completely blown out (fully white), and significant detail is lost, or where people’s skin may result in a yellowish cast.
- Natural lighting is preferred where possible, but artificial lighting is acceptable if properly used (e.g. studio shots).
- Photos must be free of unwanted perspective/lens distortion, e.g. pincushion or barrel distortion, etc., that result in an unnatural or unflattering image.
- Lens/perspective techniques such as fisheye and tilt-shift are okay, e.g. to convey a particular emotion or unique point of view. Use of perspective/lens distortion in this way must be thought out and fit with the style and intent of the shot.
Retouching & Processing
- Use of subtle retouching and processing is acceptable to enhance the clarity, quality, and style of the photo. This includes things like:
- Color correction (including stylized filters).
- Exposure, contrast, and white balance adjustment.
- Subtle sharpening / noise-removal.
- Minimal healing/retouching.
- HDR processing that enhances the detail in the highlights and shadows.
- Do not submit photos that have been over-processed/over-corrected, where the result of the processing or retouching is visibly perceptible or distracting. This includes things like:
- Blurriness/softness due to excessive noise reduction.
- Added noise due to over-sharpening.
- Highlight blow-outs due to increased exposure.
- Artifacts of elements that were removed/healed.
- Plastic-looking skin from over-retouching.
- HDR images with unnatural shadows/highlights or halos around the edges/details.
- Do not submit over-stylized or heavily processed images.
- In general, try to keep the photo as natural, authentic, and broadly useful as possible.
- Do not submit photos with amateurish or low-quality photo effects applied (e.g. rippling, glowing edges, mosaic, harsh vignetting, etc.).
- High quality, properly executed photo effects, filters, and photomanipulations where the application is well thought out and fits with the style and intent of the shot may be acceptable. See our additional quality requirements for photomanipulations.
Subject Matter and Authenticity
- Photos should strive for a high level of commercial value and authenticity with their subject matter.
- Do not submit photos where the composition or surrounding elements distract from the primary subject, overall mood, or concept.
- Do not submit photos where the subject or environment is overly posed or staged in an unconvincing, cliche, or contrived manner.
- Do not submit photos where people and facial expressions feel noticeably forced or unnatural, and do not fit with the overall scene, mood, or concept.
- Photos with more common subject matter (e.g. flowers, sunsets, cats & dogs) may be subject to higher/stricter standards and must demonstrate unique value to be acceptable.
- Please see our Commercial Demand Guide for further detail and examples.
Additional Technical Requirements
For most photos, the above technical requirements are all that you need. However, there are some unique types of photos where additional requirements apply.