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LALS 172: Digital Story Project

Saving Images

The resolution for most images that you find on the web is 72 ppi. When you right-click and select "Save Image As" you will most likely get a 72 ppi image. If you can find a downloadable higher resolution image (for example 150 ppi or 300 ppi), you will have more options for zooming in or enlarging the image.

TIP: Look for a "Download" button and use this instead of right-clicking to save whenever possible Download buttons screenshot


Organizing Images

Naming Your Image Files:

  • Rename your files (don't leave them as 920583e.jpg!)
  • Use a descriptive file name (eg. AFLCIOConvention1959_DPLA.jpg)
  • Avoid special characters in your file names: " / \ : * ? < > [ ] & $ .
  • Put your files in a single location or folder; avoid leaving everything in Downloads or the like

Connect the Image File with the Citation

Once you have your images saved, how will you know which image file corresponds to your saved citations?

You will need to connect the image file with the citation for the image. One way to do this is to keep a spreadsheet with the filename in one column and the citation for the image in the next column.

For example:

Image File Name Citation
GonzalesMarch_APImages.jpg Zalubowski, David. Gonzales March. #05041708772. April 17, 2005. Digital image. Available from: AP Images Collection (accessed July 24, 2016).
ChicanoParkDay_UCSD.jpg Chicano Park Day. 2006. Digital image. Herman Baca Papers. MSS 0649. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego. (accessed July 29, 2016).

Tip: Grab or create the citation at the same time you download the image. Some sites offer a "Citation" button that will copy the components of a citation for you! Cite This Item button screenshot


How to Cite Images

The same principles that apply to citing work found in printed form also apply to work found on the internet, including photos, drawings, artwork, graphs, and charts, etc.  

Citing Images (Binghamton University) 
Describes MLA, APA, Chicago and attribution best practices.

Citation Guidelines  (Univ. of Cincinnati)
Describes the required elements and examples using four different style manuals -- MLA, APA, Turabian and Chicago Manual of Style.

Citing Images (Colgate Visual Resources Library)
Describes citing images in MLA, Chicago, and APA with clear examples of each.

Citing Personal Images

You should cite all of the images you use including any unpublished photographs that you have taken personally.

Citing your own unpublished photos is similar to citing work by other authors. You will include your name as the author, the title of the photograph (this could be a short description such as "Photograph of a stray cat"), the date that the image was created, and the source of the image.

Doe, John. Photograph of a stray cat. August 2014. Unpublished photograph.

Citing Maps

Citing Maps (UCSC)
Guide to citing maps and atlases with examples