Preparing Image Files for Parkwood Camera Club Digital Competitions

These notes are designed to assist members in the requirements for preparing and submitting images for this year’s digitally projected competitions. It is important that the image file size and naming requirements are followed so that your images will be accepted by the club’s new competition software.

By following these notes you will go a long way to ensuring that your images will be displayed as you intend them to be.

Editing programs such as Photoshop or free programs such as Paint.net can be used to prepare image files.

Resizing the image.

In order to obtain the optimum image quality for projection you should resize images to be no wider than 1024 pixels and no higher than 768 pixels (because this is the maximum resolution of the club’s projectors). Landscape images should be 1024 pixels wide and less than 768 high; portrait images should be 768 high. It is worth considering that portrait images lose a lot of the available pixel space, e.g. landscape (1024 x 768) provides 786432 pixels and a typical portrait (768 x 576) provides only 442368 pixels.

Display systems automatically resize images using a crude interpolation method if pixel dimensions differ from the above. So, to obtain optimum image quality with greater predictability of display quality, please resize your image file entries.

Another major advantage of resizing to suit the projector resolution is that image sharpening can be applied at the correct stage, i.e. sharpening should be the last step in the editing process as opposed to sharpening followed by crude resizing by the display system.

Photoshop users can resize as follows:

Open the file and go to Image>Image Size.

Make sure “Scale Styles”“Constrain Proportions” and “Resample Image” are all checked.

Go to “Pixel Dimensions” at the top of the window. Set the width to 1024 and you will notice that the height changes too. This is because “Constrain Proportions” has been checked. If you change one dimension, the other will automatically change to maintain the correct proportion. If you change the width to 1024 and the height is then greater than 768, you will have to change the height back to 768 and allow the width to be automatically set to smaller than 1024. (1024 and 768 are the maximum sizes, however it is ok to use a smaller dimension on one axis).

Once the height and width are set, click “OK"

Sharpening

After resizing you can then do a final sharpen if you wish but take care not to over sharpen. I would recommend PhotoShop and Elements settings in the order of 100 for ‘Amount’ and 0.75 for ‘Radius’ and set ‘Threshold’ to suit, as you would normally.

Converting the Colour Space to sRGB

The colour space determines the range/depth of colours (gamut) available to reproduce an image. For projected digital images, it is strongly advised that you use sRGB, otherwise colours may not be projected as you expect.

 Photoshop Users:

Go to Edit>Convert to Profile. If the Source is already sRGB, don't do anything, just click Cancel. If the Source is not sRGB, change the Destination Space to sRGB IEC61966-2.1, Engine to “Adobe (Ace)” and Intent to “Relative Colorimetric”

Elements Users: Go to Edit>Colour Settings and select Limited Colour Management (sorry, I don’t have Elements and can’t give further help at this stage).

You may be able to avoid converting the colour space of your competition entry files by changing the Colour Space in your camera settings to sRGB if you are shooting in JPG mode.

If you shoot RAW, ensure you select sRGB as the destination colour space before you press open or convert in your RAW software.

Saving the Image File as a JPG

 First of all check to see if the image is 16-bit, if it is convert it to 8-bit.

Photoshop users:

Image>Mode>8 bits/channels

Photoshop and Elements have an easy, way to save your image as a JPG

  • Go to Files>Save As and click on “Save for Web” A new window will open.
  • Set the file type to JPEG (it’s usually the default, but check to make sure).
  • Set quality to 100
  • Check “Optimize”
  • Uncheck “Progressive”
  • Check “ICC Profile”
  • Click “Save”

  For the file name: Type in t he title of your image in CAPITAL LETTERS followed by a space, then the word ‘by’ in lower case followed by another space followed by Your Name

 Example:

MOONRISE by Ansel Adams .jpg (the jpg extension is added automatically)

 (Please try to keep the filename as short as possible e.g. less than 50 characters).
It is very important that you follow the above naming format exactly otherwise the club’s new digital competition software will not be able to read in the file.
Make sure the whole title is in CAPITALS and the word “by” (do not include the quotation marks) is all lower case

Submitting you entries:

 Please use one of the follow methods:

 

  1. Email your files as an attachment to :int-competition-sec@medway-photo.co.uk. Please put the name of the competition in the Subject Line. In the email please state the number of images you have attached. If you have difficulty sending multiple images you could try sending one attachment at a time. I will email you back to say the images have arrived safely.
     
  2. Hand your images in on CD or preferably USB stick, to Dave Wigham on a club evening.
     
  3. Post your images on CD to David Wigham, 13 Chilset Walk, Gillingham, Kent. ME8 9QH.

  Please write your name, the name of competition and the date of the competition on CD entries.

  I will then store and catalogue the images ready for projection.

 All entries should be RECEIVED at least one clear week before the competition or preferably before that.

Please don’t send your entries in late as this may mean I will not have time to load them into the Club’s new competition software and your wonderful winning entry may not be included.

If all else fails and you leave enough time you can submit your entry as a jpg at any size. Emailing a large file is not possible in some cases but you can try, otherwise put it on CD and post or hand it to Dave Wigham (please write “Images Not Resized” on the CD). I will then resize your jpg image using a PhotoShop Action. The downside of this is as follows:

  1. The colour space may be changed with a slight change in colours.
  2. Re-compression on saving will give a small loss of quality.
  3. I will only give an arbitrary level of sharpening.

  I’m hoping that if everyone can follow these notes we should see an improvement in the display quality of our competition entries.

If you would like to join the club please download the membership form and bring to a meeting

 

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