May 2002
Issue 5
Volume 7
  In This Issue
Can I Take Your Picture?
When to Use GIFs and JPGs
Branding Purdue Extension
Grammar Trap: Continually vs. Continuously

Can I Take Your Picture?

That seemingly simple question has been a complex issue for Purdue Extension over the past few years. Many of you take pictures of clients and use them in the newspaper and, increasingly, on the Web and in newsletters.

But with potential lawsuits in mind, it's not a good idea to take those snapshots without a photo permission slip. There's good reason to be concerned, but don't stop taking pictures. Just follow these guidelines for those potential "Kodak moments."

When do you get a photo permission slip? Any time you can, but especially when you use a person's image and name to promote Purdue Extension. You'll find the wording for a photo permission slip on the AgComm Web site at .
Put this on your letterhead, print some copies, and store them with your camera.

When is it not necessary to get a permission slip? It has long been a policy of Purdue Extension to recognize accomplishments of 4-H'ers and other clients and volunteers in printed newsletters. The use of names and photos in newspapers and printed and Internet newsletters is permissible when they're taken at a public meeting and on public property.

Today, for privacy's sake, avoid giving out the hometown of the person in the photo. That may be implied with a newspaper, but on the Internet, the person's name and county are sufficient recognition.

For 4-H youth, it's a good idea to include a simple line such as the following in your enrollment slips: "I understand that photos and/or videos of my son/daughter may be used in the local media or on a 4-H Web site to publicize his/her accomplishment and/or Purdue Extension and the 4-H program."

If you want to see more examples or you have more questions,visit

If there are questions that I haven't covered, send them to me at the e-mail address below. I will post new examples as I answer your questions.

Steve Cain

When to Use GIFs and JPGs

You probably know that images on the Web come in two styles, GIF or JPG, but do you know when to use each one and why?


GIFs (pronounced "jiff") were developed by CompuServe in 1987. GIFs work best with simpler images like line drawings, clipart, bullets, and pictures with large blocks of color. You also use a GIF for animated Web mages or to make transparent backgrounds. Transparent images are useful on Web pages with colored backgrounds.

The main drawback of a GIF is the limit of 256 colors or less. Additional colors are created by dithering. For example, a blue-green color is created with the colors blue and green placed in a checkerboard fashion. This makes images that are not as crisp as they could be.


JPGs (pronounced "jay-peg") work best with color photographs, images with lots of color, or grayscale images. For example, if the image looks like a photograph, you usually want to make it a JPG. JPGs support millions of colors and work very well on images with gradients and shading.

On the negative side, every time you resave a JPG after making changes, the image can degrade slowly and become progressively worse, like taking a copy, of a copy, of a copy. This is because the file is compressed to make it smaller when saved, and some data is thrown away to incorporate the changes. Thus, you should always keep an original JPG that you don't resave, or even keep a copy in a different format like PNG or TIFF. PNGs and TIFFs are more stable, but they will not work on the Web.

One Last Tip

If you create or use images for the Internet, make sure that your picture is the exact size you want on your Web page. Do not place a 500 by 600 pixel picture in a 50 by 60 pixel spot. Although you can change the image size in the code, this does not actually reduce the image size--it merely shrinks the image to fit the space. The Web browser still has to load the bigger size, and the wait can be tremendous. Use Fireworks or equivalent software to actually decrease the size of your pictures. If something I've written about isn't clear, please contact me.

Virginia Retzner

Branding Purdue Extension

At the Purdue Extension Spring Conference, someone asked, "Do you have guidelines on how to use our organization's name?"

Answer: Yes we do. Visit the Purdue Extension Marketing Web site, and click on Branding Our Name & Why It's Important.

Use the proper name, "Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service," in very formal and legal situations. Use "Purdue Extension" in less formal situations and in subsequent references. And use "Purdue Extension" on signs where the shorter reference is best, for example, where people are driving by and don't have time to read the full name.

Visit the Web site just mentioned for more details.

Steve Cain


Grammar Trap: Continually vs. Continuously

There I was, talking at a recent meeting about my responsibilities as editor of the Journal of Extension (JOE) Intending to talk about having to answer the many, many e-mail questions I get, I fell into the "continually vs. continuously" trap. I knew what the difference was, but I could not, for the life of me, remember which word was which.

It was a "Grammar Trap" moment. The difference between "continually" and "continuously" has to do with whether or not there's a discernible interval.

"Continually" means happening frequently, over and over again, but with intervals between the occurrences.

Example: I continually answer questions from readers who want more information about topics discussed in JOE articles.

"Continuously" means happening always, uninterruptedly, with no intervals at all.

Example: The rain fell continuously for three solid days. Needless to say, the same difference holds true for "continual" and "continuous."

Do you have a grammar (or usage) trap you'd like to see discussed? Do you have a tip that will help the rest of us avoid one? If so, please let me know.

Visit for past "Grammar Traps."

Laura Hoelscher

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