Hi guys, this post is for people who don’t know how to follow the guidelines of societies or exhibitions who stipulate certain requirements in their application procedures because sometimes computers can scare people. I’ve tried to break down some guidlines into simple, easy to learn steps.
Number one, if a society or exhibition asks you to name your images a certain way, they have a reason for doing so. Please follow those guidelines to the letter and things will go smoothly. In the case of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists, if I were to apply for active membership status I would notice that the requirements call for my zebra piece to be titled the following way
The reason for this is so that we never mix up an image from one applicant with another. We need the name, title and size so the jury can do its job. Any organisation can (and often will) dismiss an application with no refund if the guidelines are not followed.
Tip. Read the guidelines carefully, no matter which society or exhibition you are applying to.
Not everyone knows how to resize an image. I have shown guidelines below to follow for resizing images in three different programs that you might have or are able to install on your computer for free, and following those three Cathy Sheeter has written one for Photoshop.
Note, this tutorial was written in November 2011. Programs change over time and elements may change but generally these instructions will allow you to work your way through newer programs or updates.
Firstly, Picture Manager. This program comes bundled with Microsoft Office so most people have it. If you don’t have “Office”, go to my next program.
Open your picture in Picture Manager. If Windows doesn’t do this automatically (by ‘default’), locate your image in Windows Explorer, hover your mouse over the image and do a right click. A dialog box will open and you can go to “Open With” and then click “Microsoft Office Picture Manager”.
You will now see something like this so click on “Edit Pictures” and then go to the right and click on “Resize”.
Put a dot in “Percentage of original width:height” and reduce this until it is about 1000 pixels on the longest side. You will see the pixels changing where it says “New size”.
Now, very important for your own sake, save your image by going to “File” and “Save As”. Call it by the name you need to in the guidelines. Then click “Save”
Now you will want to close your image. Click the “X” at the top right and you will be asked again if you want to save your image – DO NOT SAVE IT. This is your orginal image at the original larger size, and you will want to keep that for your own records. If you click “Save” at this point, you will lose your original file and that is not something you want to do. (I know this by bitter experience).
I have also installed “Gimp” on my computer. This is a free image manipulation program a bit like Photoshop. Get it, it’s free and very powerful (unless you have Photoshop). You can get it from here
So, open up Gimp and it will look like this (igonore my zebras in the first picture, they are just on my desktop )
Click “File” and then “Open” and navigate to the image you want.
Go to “Image” and then “Scale Image”
Type 1000 into the longest side (if yours is a landscape like my zebras, do it in “width”). Don’t bother with the other side as Gimp will do that for you. Then click “Scale”
Then go to “File” and “Save As” and save it as the name you need to call it. Make certain it says .jpg after the file name.
You will be able to exit this directly as Gimp keeps your original image.
If you need to save your image below a certain amount of kilobytes, when you do a “save as” with a jpg image, it should give you the option to change the ‘quality’ setting in percentage. By lowering that number it will reduce your file size. Experiment and you will get your image below the required size while still keeping the pixels correct as in the previous steps. To find out how many kilobytes your image is, hover your mouse over your image in Windows Explorer and a dialog box will come up and tell you the size. You could also ‘right click’ and go to ‘properties’.
Finally, I also have a program called Light Image Resizer 4 which allows you to save multiple images at once to a predetermined size, very useful. It’s free and you can get it here
Open it and it will look like this
Click “continue” unless you want to buy their pro version.
Navigate to your image and open it.
Like I said, you could re-size quite a few images at once if they are all in the same folder.
Where it says “width” and “height”, type in 1000 in both boxes. This will keep the longest side to 1000 pixels and the other will reduce accordingly. Make certain it says “Create Copies” next to ‘action’. This will keep your original files. Click “Process” and “Save”
Close your program
Important!! Go to your image in something like Windows Explorer or whatever you use to navigate to your pictures. You will notice your original is still there but you have another image alongside it at the reduced size. Change the name of this one to whatever is required for the society or exhibition application procedure.
There, three different ways to get your images to the right size.
Above all, follow the jury requirements. This is not ISSA being precious, these are tips to make your passage into any society or exhibition easier as some are extremely tough.
And finally, if you have Photoshop installed, my friend Cathy Sheeter has written this tutorial to resize in that program – thanks to Cathy
This is Adobe Photoshop CS 5, but the previous versions and adobe elements should be pretty similar.
Open your large file
Under the heading of image will be something that says Image Size
Change the longer of either width or height (depending on your image) to the required size. If the prospectus tells you that the image must be a certain dpi (72, 100 or 300 are somewhat common) change the area in pink to that number first, then adjust the pixels above. Make sure that “Scale Styles” is clicked so that the ratio of the image does not change.
Once resized do a “Save As” so you do not over-write the original file with the new smaller one (you might need the larger image again in the future). When you do the ‘save as’ re-name the file in the required layout – for ISSA is would be SheeterCathy-Beemused-24×25.jpg When you go to close the image it will ask if you want to save it and hit NO this time.
If you realize that you have made a mistake on either naming or sizing shortly after you submit to the show write to the contact person, apologise for your mistake and ask them if there is a way for you to re-sumbit your images with the mistakes corrected. If you are polite and notice your mistakes before a deadline many shows will let you re-submit your images so that they may be considered for the show or jury. If you do NOT notice your mistakes most often your images will be discarded without consideration!
If you need to save your image below a certain amount of kilobytes, when you do a “save as” it should give you the option to change the ‘quality’ setting. By lowering that number it will reduce your file size. Anything over quality 6 should give an image that is fine for viewing without much loss in quality.
Thank you so very much Patrick and Cathy for taking the time and effort to help those of us who are technically challenged! I have printed out the directions and also saved the info too. Have a great day!
Just want to say thank you so very much. I am still terribly intimidated by the computer and have tried to use Gimp, couldn’t figure it out. Perhaps now I can. I am hoping to apply for the Scratchboard group if I can figure out how to get a good enough quality image. I can’t afford to have it professionally scanned so I may not be able to apply. 😦
Thank you!!!! This is excellent info for people like me who have no idea!
Patrick, you have done so many people a wonderful service here. I would like to share your blog on my new website once I get it done. Being an “old Fart” I don’t get around to doing blogs myself, but you are the BEST at it, Sally Maxwell
thanks a lot for your excellent tips…..
I’m a little confuse about writing the title, as in your example there is no any dash between the first and last name but in another page of the website, there is an
example which has used dash for a file name.
I would be appreciated if you let me know which of them, is the correct one.
example in this page : HedgesPatrick-LifebloodofEtosha-16×20.jpg
example in membership page : Smith-John-DarkForest-8×10.jpg