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Prepare for a competition

Prepare for a competition



These instructions are for users of Photoshop Elements or CS3.  The same principles will apply to other versions of Photoshop and other software, but the exact commands may be different.

 There are 5 steps in preparing a digital image for projection.  # 1, 2 and 5 are mandatory, #3 and 4 are optional but recommended.

 1. Image size (mandatory)

The images will be shown using an projector which has a resolution of 1600 pixels (horizontal) x 1200 pixels (vertical).  Images need to be resized to suit. [NB Images can be smaller than this, but will appear smaller when projected]

In Elements

On the toolbar, go to Image > Resize > Image Size.  In the dialogue box which appears, tick the boxes marked Constrain Proportions and Resample Image and chose Bicubic from the latter's drop-down menu. 

If your image is in Landscape format, type 1600 pixels into the Width box in the panel called 'Pixel dimensions'.  The Height box will automatically change. 

If your image is in Portrait format, type in 1200 pixels into the Height box (the Width box will automatically change).  You can ignore the Document size box.

Click OK.  The image will shrink in size on your monitor. To make it easier to see, press Ctrl and +.

In Photoshop CS3

On the toolbar, go to Image > Image size.  Tick the boxes marked Scale Styles, Constrain Proportions and Resample Image and chose Bicubic from the latter's drop-down menu.  Then enter your selected Width or Height (as above).

2. Image Mode (mandatory)

If you have been doing some advanced image processing (e.g. HDR), you may have ended up with a non-standard image mode.  To check this, on the toolbar go to Image > Mode.  Make sure that “sRGB Color” is ticked (or Grayscale for a black & white image) and that 8 Bits/channel is ticked. 

3. Colour space (recommended)

The projector uses sRGB as the 'colour space'.  Some digital cameras also use sRGB as the standard colour space, so you may not need to make this change. 

However, many of you who use Photoshop probably use Adobe RGB as your colour space, which means that you may see a slight shift in colour when the images are projected as sRGB.  To avoid this risk, you can change the colour space of your image, as follows:

In Elements

I cannot see anyway to change the colour space!  However, I rarely use this software, so maybe it is well hidden somewhere….  Let me know if you find it!

In Photoshop CS3

On the toolbar, go to Edit > Convert to Profile.

You should then see a dialogue box which will show your Source Space: Profile – this is often set as Adobe RGB (1998).  Click on the Destination Space box 'Profile' below this and then scroll through the drop down box until you see sRGB profile.  There may be several options such as Epson sRGB, Nikon sRGB etc., but I don’t think that it matters which you select.

Leave the Conversions Options alone [usually Adobe (ACE) engine, Relative Colorimetric Intent, and Ticks in the Use Black Point Compensation and Use Dither boxes]

Click OK.

Usually nothing happens – however, the profile attached to the image should now ensure that it is projected using the correct colours.  If there is a small change in contrast, colour balance etc., you can tweak these in the usual ways until you get the desired result.

4. Border (optional)

The images will be placed on a black background when projected.  The impact of any image is often enhanced considerably by adding a fine border around the image.  This is usually white and only needs to be 2 – 4 pixels wide, although you can use whatever colour you like and make the border as wide as you like.  However, if you make the border too wide, it tends to detract from the image, and dark borders get lost against the black background. 

There are various ways to add such a border, but the easiest is as follows:

n Elements and Photoshop CS3

On the toolbar, go to Select > All (or use the keys Ctrl and A).  A line of ‘marching ants’ should appear around the edges of your image. 

On the toolbar, go to Edit > Stroke and a dialogue box will appear.  In the box labelled Stroke Width, type 3 (or 2 or 4) px [pixels].

Click in the Colour box.  A palette will appear.  Click on the colour you wish to use for your border.  Click OK.

In ‘Location’, select Inside.

In Blending, select Normal mode and 100% Opacity

Click OK.

To see the effect, go to Select > Deselect (or use Ctrl and D) to remove the ‘marching ants’.


5. Saving and titling the file (mandatory)

You should then go to File > Save as and save the image as a .jpg file.  [Do NOT save in any other format such as .psd, .tif, or .jpg2000 etc.) 

When the JPEG options box opens, under Image Options chose Quality 10 (High) and under Format Options chose Baseline (“Standard”).

You can give the file any name you want, this name is not used in the competition - the title the image appears under in the competition is entered later when you submit your entry.

Instructions on how to submit your images can be found here

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