Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where can I get additional assistance?

If you can’t find answers to your questions below, please contact our customer service section via email at





How do I search for specific dates?

The Advanced Search page provides the option to limit your search to specific dates.  Ensure that the Date Shot box is checked, then enter a date range and conduct your imagery search.  To search for a single, specific date, enter the same date in both the On or After and On or Before fields.  To search for imagery between a specific date and today, only enter the date in the On or After field.  To search for imagery before a specific date, only enter the date in the On or Before field.

How do I search for a specific photographer?

The Advanced Search page provides the option to limit your search to a specific photographer.  Select the Only These Fields option under the Search Imagery By section, then check the Photographer box.  You can then enter the photographer's name in the Enter Search Terms field and click Search.

How do I search for a specific VIRIN?

Type the VIRIN (Visual Information Record Identification Number) in the search box. You can type any part of it and get more or fewer images.

How do I download (save) an image?

There are three different resolutions available to download: High Resolution, Presentation, and Thumbnail. To view the different icons click here.  Click the appropriate icon on the Home Page, within search results, on the Find Imagery page, or on the Image Details page to open the Image Download window.

The Image Download window will be displayed.  Select one of the three resolution radio buttons and then click Download.  Depending on the browser you are using, an Opening dialog or a File Download dialog is displayed.

Can I make a print from the still image files I download?

Yes, however the thumbnails are reduced in size for faster transmission and are not suitable for printing. The screen resolution images are exceptional for computer briefings (e.g., PowerPoint) and as illustrations in printed briefs. Full color images can only be made from a high resolution file. High resolution files can be obtained by clicking on the  radio button that is displayed (Click here to view the different icons). All files can be sized, enhanced and printed using any robust graphics programs and a high resolution, continuous-tone ink-jet, thermal or dye sublimation printer.

What is an Visual Information (VI) production?

VI productions are official organizational video communication products created or acquired at any level within the DoD Components. A VI production includes process components such as script, talent, pre-production, production, and post-production. VI productions are life-cycle-managed and are produced by authorized VI activities issued a DVIAN or contracted with approval at the DoD Component headquarters level and prioritized to internal resources. This includes productions distributed by web accessible means other than closed access intranets. Defense VI productions are centrally held by the DIMOC from which they can be easily ordered.

What is Interactive Multimedia Instruction (IMI)?

IMI prodcutrs are predominantly interactive, electronically delivered training, education, and instructional support products. IMI products include instructional software and software management tools used to support instructional programs. IMI products are considered a legacy sub-category of Distributed Learning Content and are typically delivered on CD or DVD.  (See DoDI 1322.26 "Development, Management, and Delivery of Distributed Learning")
How do I get copies of VI productions or IMI products?

Go to the Imagery Products section of the website and click on the VI and IMI Productions link to find and order these products.  You can also conduct a Products search using the Quick Search boxes or Advanced Search page.

How do I find VI productions and IMI products?

These multimedia productions can be found in the Imagery Products section of the site. Just click on the VI and IMI Productions link there to search and order these products.  You can also conduct a Products search using the Quick Search boxes or Advanced Search page.

What are the restrictions on using DoD VI productions and IMI products?

Restrictions on Exhibition:

The restrictions imposed on the use of VI productions and IMI products are shown in the "Clearance" field. These are "Cleared for Public Exhibition and Sale" (unlimited clearance), "Not Cleared for Public Exhibition and Sale" (cannot be shown in or sold to the public), or "Cleared for Non-profit Public Exhibition Only" (can be shown in public at events staged not for profit, but cannot be sold to the public).

Restrictions on Copying:

Because of legal or other restrictions, there are some productions which may not be copied or may be copied only for a specific audience. Restrictions on the reproduction of DoD VI productions are noted in the "Restrictions on Use" field.

Can I use imagery from this site in an advertisement or publication?

Images may be used in publications, but clearance must first be received from OSD Public Affairs. Contact customer service at for more information.

How many physical copies of imagery can I request?

We are not funded or equipped for large production runs. Currently, for official DoD component and federal agencies requesting still media, if more than one or two copies are required of a single image, we will provide you a CD-ROM to produce your multiple copies from. Commercial customers requesting multiple copies or additional quantities of still imagery will be billed according to the commercial fee schedule. NOTE: Effective March 15, 2009, we ceased offering prints of still imagery. Official DoD customers should download the high-resolution images and order the needed prints via the Document Automation & Production Service. Non-DoD customers should download the high-resolution images and order them through your local printing facility.

For public and commercial customers, copies of completed DoD productions that are cleared for public release can be bought from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) located in Springfield VA. Please call 703-605-6186 for more information.

DoD customers can order copies of completed DoD productions through this site, or by contacting customer service at

What are the fees for imagery?

Commercial rates for our products and services can be found on the Commercial Fees page in the Imagery Products section. There are no charges for the official DoD component or federal agency customer, with the exception of requests for larger prints or large quantities of imagery. Costs for these services will be charged a reproduction fee only. NOTE: Effective March 15, 2009, we ceased offering prints of still imagery. Official DoD customers requests should download the high-resolution images and order the needed prints via the Document Automation & Production Service. Non-DoD customers should download the high resolution images and order them through your local printing facility.

Can I use a credit card to pay for products and/or services?

We are currently not accepting credit cards; however, we are looking into establishing procedures for that capability.

What are the rights I have to the images once I've purchased them?

See the Guidelines for Using DoD Imagery page in the Imagery Products section for both commercial and DoD customers.

How long does an order take?

Work begins the day the order is received. Depending on the priority and type of work requested, orders can take from 2 days to 3 weeks to complete.

How do I order imagery?

Imagery can be ordered using the order forms available on this Web site, or by contacting our customer service representatives at

How do I get unit patches, emblems, insignia, etc.?

Unit patches, emblems, insignia and other similar materials can be obtained by contacting the Office of Heraldry for the appropriate military service.



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Captioning Imagery

How should I caption my imagery?

See the Captioning Style Guide under our Learning Resources section.

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Transmitting Files

What is FTP?

File transfer protocol (FTP) is used to transfer files from one computer to another on a local network, a wide area network, or via the Internet. FTP can be used to put files onto another computer or to get files from the remote system.

How do I establish an FTP connection?

A user needs to have an FTP application (a client), while the remote computer must be running an FTP server application. The user of the FTP client typically needs a username and password to be able to access the FTP server, though some FTP servers are set up to allow anonymous (unknown user) access. The Defense Imagery FTP server requires a username and password to access.

How secure is FTP?

A problem with FTP is that both the commands and data transmitted are sent "in the clear," meaning they can be intercepted and read by unauthorized persons. Secure FTP (SFTP) fixes this by encrypting both the commands and the data. To the client, it works just like FTP, but over a different port. Typically, FTP transactions originate on port 21, while SFTP transactions occur on port 22.

What FTP Client software do I need?

There are numerous FTP software applications available for purchase, and as freeware, on the market today. The software you use is strictly up to you and your computer support/network personnel. We recommend you use an FTP program that is capable of using Secure FTP (SFTP). Users can also use the command line interface to FTP. Macintosh (OS X version) and UNIX users can also use SFTP via a command line interface. To FTP (or SFTP) using the command line, type in "ftp [URL]" where URL is the address of the FTP server you want to connect to. Common FTP/SFTP commands used are:

  • cd [Directory Name] - Change the directory on the remote computer to [Directory Name].
  • dir - List the files in the current directory of the remote computer.
  • get [Filename] - Copy the remote file to the local computer.
  • lcd [Directory Name] - Change the directory on the local computer to [Directory Name].
  • lpwd - Show the current working directory on the local computer. This command is not available in all FTP versions. On Unix based systems, try !pwd.
  • put [Filename] - Copy the local file to the remote computer.
  • pwd - Show the current working directory on the remote computer.
  • quit - Close the connection to the remote computer and exit the FTP program.

What is Fast File Transfer (FFT)?

Fast File Transfer (FFT) is a client-server based transmission application that allows users to transmit computer files of any type and size (files larger than 1 GB are routinely moved) using Windows-based computers over IP-based networks much faster and more reliably than File Transfer Protocol (FTP) methods. Using multiple data threads, the application speeds transmission of files by “flooding” the available bandwidth, throttling itself to ensure that the network is available for other network activity. Its error handling ensures that upon successful transmission completion, there is no corruption in the files transmitted.

Where can I get FFT from?

DoD users can obtain FFT by contacting

How do I connect to the FFT server?

When the client is launched, enter the username, password and host address of the FFT server. Contact or DSN 312-225-7118 for connection information.

How do I use FFT?

The main window is split into two parts; the left-hand side is your computer, the right-hand side the FFT server. Starting in the right pane, navigate to the appropriate folder that you want to transmit to. Then, in the left pane, find the file(s) in your computer that you want to transmit. You can select multiple files by using either the shift or CTRL keys. Once you have the files selected, click on the Single Right arrow to transmit the files. Beware that if you click the Double-Right arrow, you will transmit all of the files that are in the current folder.

Though you have selected multiple files, they are transmitted one at a time. If you go to File>Manage Transfer Queue, the FFT Transfer Queue window will come up. It shows you details about the file currently being transferred and the order that all of the other files will be transferred in. You can use the options in the File menu to pause, resume, abort or delete files for transfer.

From the main FFT window, also under the File menu, is the Manage Logs option. The FFT Log Manager provides details associated with connecting to the FFT Servers, files that have been transferred, the speed they transferred, and other information.

FFT can also be used to pull files from the FFT servers back to the local client by navigating to the correct folder in the right pane (the server), selecting the file(s), and using the left arrows to copy the files to the local computer.

For additional information about FFT, contact us via email at

How should I prepare video files for transmission?

See our Learning Resources section for information on how to prepare video files for transmission.

Do I need to send high-resolution video if I already transmitted a compressed version?

Yes you do. See our Learning Resources section for information on how to transmit compressed and also high-resolution video.

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