Monday, May 9, 2011

From the Editor's Desk

Hopefully by now most of you have received your April issue of Irises with my apologies for its tardiness. I'm always eager to hear what you have to feed forward (the term feedback after all doesn't really imply a progressive, improvement-bound direction now does it?) Drop me a line at

I thought this month I'd share a couple of tips with any of you interested in submitting photos to Irises. We're always looking for sources of high-quality photography, so consider the following when roaming the garden this spring with your camera:

  • Photographs should be a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch) for standard printing. Check your camera owner's manual for instructions on how to adjust the resolution of images captured with your camera. Higher resolution images do take up more storage space, but essentially contain greater amounts of digital information that can be exploited in layouts and ultimately by printing presses to result in a magazine-quality look. Many digital cameras come pre-set to capture images at low resolutions of 96 or 150 dpi, which are more appropriate for on-screen viewing. These lower quality images are difficult to manipulate for publication design purposes.
  • Watch the backgrounds! This is especially difficult at conventions when gardens are often crammed full of iris lovers all keen on indulging in the latest introduction. Take care to keep hands, feet, hats, and other obstructing body parts and accompaniments out of the backgrounds of your photos. Nobody wants to be distracted while perceiving the beauty of an iris flower.
  • Too little editing is much better than too much editing. While Photoshop and various other digital photography software are readily available, save yourself the time by submitting your images directly to us. If you're an advanced photographer or software user, we'll make an exception. Otherwise, it's easier for us to take a great, well-composed photo and manipulate it accordingly for our layouts.
If all else fails, drop me a line! I'll happily answer any and all questions about submissions to the magazine. I'm passionate about transforming our organization, its publication, and inspiring our readers to love irises.

Stop the presses (err..keys!)..... news has reached the editor's desk from abroad that Keith Keppel's 2008 introduction 'Silk Road' took first place in Florence, Italy at the International Iris Competition. Congratulations to Keith and all the other American winners.

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