UPDATE May 2019: The format of competitions is being changed to accommodate the larger number of entries so references below to 2 prints, 2 PDIs may not always apply! Please read the latest posts about competition entries carefully! The text below has been updated to the new PDI standard of 1600 wide and 1200 high.
New members may find it a little daunting to try to enter our friendly competitions but the “rules” are fairly simple and we are always happy to help by email or phone. Competitions are meant to be fun and help everyone get more out of their photography so we don’t want technical requirements to put anyone off!
You can find the full competition rules via the menu tabs above or just follow this link. For normal competitions, you should aim to submit two images as mounted prints and/or two as electronic jpg files (known as PDIs – projected digital images).
Prints should be mounted on a card backing no more than 16 x 20 inches but most people use quite a lot smaller, especially for A4 sized prints to keep costs down. For simplicity, you can simply mount your print onto a suitable card backing but many members use cut mounts. The mounting technique is not part of the judging but a nicely mounted print helps to set off your image.
PDIs are simply jpg files but they do need to be sized and named correctly so they can be processed by our competition software. Once you have prepared your PDIs, all you need to do is to access our Upload page on our website and follow the on-screen instructions. If you encounter any problems, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Chris at the number on the front of our printed Programme leaflet. In brief, the steps to preparing your PDIs is as follows…
- Keep a copy of your original jpg file on your computer as the following changes cannot be undone: never ever work on your original files!!!
- Resize your jpg using a quality photo editor so it is no more than 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high. Letterbox (i.e. wide and thin) images should be the full 1600 wide while portrait-oriented images should be the full 1200 pixels high.
[Tip1: Faststone is an excellent editor & free for personal use: other low-cost non-subscription candidates include Adobe Photoshop Elements or Affinity Photo;
Tip2: After any resizing, image definition is lost and some images benefit from a small amount of unsharp-mask (usm) sharpening: try 0.8pixels with 40% to 70% for PS Elements (0.4 to 0.7 for Affinity Photo) or 13 for Faststone]
- Save your image using a high quality level so the file size is no more than 2 Megabytes (2MB, 2000kB): file sizes less than 500 kBytes are unlikely to look good when projected onto a 6 foot screen.
- Rename your files so they look like 01_Gold Hill at Night_Your Name.jpg, 02_Lost in thought_Your Name.jpg
- Complete the web form at www.shaftesburycameraclub.org.uk/upload and remember to select your images and click the green button.
- If everything goes well, you will quickly get an automated reply: for new members, Chris will also send a personal email as soon as possible.
ps1 PDI sizes are measured in pixels – the size in inches means nothing for projectors and you don’t need to worry about dots per inch!
ps2 Mac users might like to look at ZnViewMP, another free editor that works on virtually any computer operating system.