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The objective of the present study is to develop a new approach to model the initial geometrical imperfections of ship plates by using Photogrammetry. Based on images, Photogrammetry is able to take measurements of the distortions of plates and to catch the dominant surface shape, including the deformations of the edges. Having this data, it is possible to generate faithful models of plate surface based on third order polynomial functions. Finally, the maximum load- carrying capacity of the plates is analysed by performing a nonlinear finite element analysis using a commercial finite element code. Three un-stiffened and four stiffened plates have been modelled and analysed. For each plate, two initial imperfection models have been generated one, based on photogrammetric measurements and the other, based on the trigonometric Fourier functions. Both models are subjected to the same uniaxial compressive load and boundary conditions in order to study the ultimate strength.