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Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in FAJ. Your contributions of photos, news items and feature articles are welcomed. We would like to take this opportunity to offer some helpful suggestions.

FAJ focuses primarily on fire apparatus, both past and present. Both contemporary and historical features are welcomed. There is very little space allotted for random photos that are not directly a part of an article, therefore, you increase your chances of being published if you write an article.

WRITING: When gathering information for an article, avoid the use of "second hand" information, hear-say or "rumors." Verify your information from authoritative sources. When writing about a specific department, provide a short synopsis of the city (area, population, type of hazards, etc.) and of the department (# of personnel, # of stations, # of each type of unit, etc.), but the bulk of your article should focus on its apparatus. Points to cover on apparatus include manufacturer, year, unit assigned to, pump and tank capacities, height of aerials and platforms, unusual or innovative features, year rebuilt, and anything else of interest. Make sure to include a current apparatus roster separate from your manuscript for verification purposes. All information on this roster should be included in your text.

REQUIREMENTS FOR SUBMISSION OF ARTICLES: Articles may be submitted by email with the images sent by mail. Send your articles to: fireappjnl@aol.com. If this is not possible, articles may be submitted on computer diskettes. We use Microsoft Word on a Power Mac. Please save your document as a "text only".

MATERIALS: Label all of your materials with your name and address. Mark every slide, print, caption page, and letter so that you may deservedly see your credit line in print, and so that we may return all of your material to you. DO NOT WRITE DIRECTLY ON THE BACK OF PRINTS. All information on prints shoud be written on a label before it is adhered to the print. Place the label on the back in a corner. Please understand that your slides and prints get separated from your article or cover letter when they are sent out to the color separator. When they are returned it is difficult, if not impossible, to match them up if they are unmarked. We receive hundreds of slides each month which are sorted into various files by topic. Include on each slide mount your name, address and all relevant data concerning the slide. Include the same data on a stick-on label and place it on each print. Do not write directly on the rear of prints because this interferes with the reproduction process. Not having this information where we require it may preclude our publishing your material.

Enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage for return of your materials.

PHOTOS: Your photo contributions are what makes FAJ the magazine that it is. We rely on apparatus photographers throughout the world to get us top quality photos. Following are the types of photos we require for quality reproduction.

COLOR: High-resolution digital images are preferred over all other modes. Digital images should be shot at the highest resolution your camera allows. Send us an unaltered "as shot" image in .jpg format. You can either e-mail single images or place multiple images on a CD or DVD and mail them to us. Do not send more than one image per e-mail and send the image as an attached file. When naming a digital image include your last name at the start of the file name. Please be sure to include all information on the apparatus in your e-mail or with your CD/DVD. Do not try to include the year, make, capacities, etc., all in the file name. File names should be simple: photographer's name, department and unit number will suffice (example: SmithAnytownE1.jpg). Be sure to include your name in the image file's name.

For historical images we can still work from 35 mm slides. We need to use original, professionally processed color transparencies (slides). Our experience has shown that professionally processed Kodachrome, Ektachrome, and Fujichrome reproduce well. Duplicate slides are generally unacceptable for color reproduction because they do not reproduce as well as originals

It is possible to reproduce color from sharp color prints but we generally avoid this because prints are never as sharp as transparencies and a good color slide will always beat out a color print in the battle for limited color space.

BLACK & WHITE: For quality black and white photo reproduction we require crisp, contrasty, well-exposed prints. Generally, the larger the print the better the reproduction but smaller prints are acceptable. It is better to reduce a larger print than to enlarge a smaller print. We can use color or black and white for black and white reproduction. Some color slides may be reproduced in black and white. For optimum quality both slides and prints are separated using an optical laser scanner.

We do not reproduce from negatives, instamatic, disc, 110 or 126 films, half frame 35mm or "instant" prints, nor do we use telephoto, zoom or wide-angle shots because these tend to distort the apparatus. Please do not send such photos.

When selecting a slide or print to send to FAJ, select contributions that are not blurred, out of focus, poorly exposed, poorly composed, or taken in dark, gray weather. No part of the apparatus should be blocked by people, vehicles or any other obstructions. Apparatus and compartment doors should not be open. The apparatus views we select for publication the most are those that are 3/4 front-side views with sun shinning on both the front and side of the vehicle with all shadows behind the rig and no shadows or obstructions blocking or projected on the vehicle. There should be some space in front of and behind the vehicle so we can do some cropping of the photo without cropping into the vehicle, in other words, the photo should not be "bumper to bumper." However, don't stand so far back that the resulting photo is a small image of the vehicle. The vehicle should fill up 90% of the length of the photo.

All photographic contributions are returned whether or not published provided they are legibly marked with the photographer's name and address and only when accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage. An exception to this is, at times, slides of larger fire departments that we maintain on-going files of. Unless you state that you want these returned immediately, we may opt to hold them on file being that we frequently use slides from larger departments more often.

Photos that we decline to use are usually refused simply because of space limitations and the contributor should not feel thwarted in contributing again in the future. Other causes of rejection are lack of sharpness, strange color due to brand-X film or processing, underexposure or obstructed vehicle.

Articles are paid for upon publication. No payment is made for use of photos.

FAJ is not responsible for unsolicited material. Any photos, articles or other such material sent without return postage will be discarded. We regret to impose such measures but the amount of material we receive necessitates this policy.

Send your contributions to:

Fire Apparatus Journal

P.O. Box 141295

Staten Island, NY 10314-1295

Protect Your Photos. Use cardboard and write "Please Do Not Bend"