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Resizing an image for HPC competitions or website upload

One of the most common questions that club members have is: how to I resize a photo correctly for an HPC competition digital entry, or for upload to the club website?

The good news is that the maximum dimensions for digital entries and website uploads is the same, i.e. 1920 x 1080 pixels. Think of it as fitting your resized image into an imaginary box, as shown below:

box

Note that you don't have to re-crop your image to make it exactly 1920x1080 pixels. Just make sure that the height is no more than 1080 and the width is no more than 1920. These dimensions were chosen to exactly match the capabilities of the club's Infocus IN-82 projector.

You are free to submit images that are smaller than this. The disadvantage of smaller images for club competitions is that they will look less detailed when displayed on the club projector. Smaller images sizes can make sense when you are uploading a file to the club website, as you may want to keep the file size smaller.

Image Format

Images should be submitted or uploaded in JPEG format - in other words the file should have a .jpg extension. Please don't try to submit RAW, TIF, GIF or other formats. JPEG gives the best compromise between image quality and file size. When you are saving an image in JPEG format, you'll usually get an option to select the quality, which is a number between 1 and 100. A value somewhere between 70 and 95 usually gives excellent results, but still provides some image compression to keep the file size manageable.

Note that images should not be zipped using (e.g. Winzip). There is no need to zip a JPEG image as it is already compressed!

The JPEG quality should be chosen such that the resulting image file is no larger than 2MB (2 megabytes). Files larger than this cannot be uploaded to the HPC website, and they will be very slow to email!

File Naming

You can name your resized image however you want for uploading to an HPC website gallery, but for digital competition entries there is a preferred naming style, i.e.:

Name-of-Image-MemberNumber-Section-Priority.jpg

The priority number at the end allows you to rank your 3 submissions in order. If there are too many submissions for a competition, all photos ranked 3 will be dropped to keep the judging time down.

Here are a couple of example filenames to illustrate the point. To submit a beginners image called 'Helensburgh at Dawn' from member 102 (which is your first choice image), the filename should be:

Helensburgh-at-Dawn-102-Beginners-1.jpg

To submit a 2nd choice image called 'My best photo' from member 55 into the open section, name the file:

My-Best-Photo-55-Open-2.jpg

You can name your file as you save the resized version, or you can rename it later in Windows Explorer (click here to see how) on a PC, or using the Finder on a Mac (click here to see how).

Resizing the Original Image

There are a huge number of different image editing programs that you can use to resize an image. Instructions for the most common ones are included here. Irrespective of what program you use, the same principles apply:

  • Open the original image in the image editing program
  • Resize it to 1920x1080 maximum
  • Save the resized image using the naming scheme above

It's usually best to have a seperate folder, or directory, on your hard drive for resized competition entries and website uploads, just to be sure that you don't overwrite the original (full size) image file!

The table below has links to resizing instructions for various image editing programs.

Important Note: these are external links, and the instructions talk about resizing to various different dimensions - remember to substitute 1920x1080 the dimensions that the club requires!

Program Tutorial Link

Adobe Photoshop Elements (all recent versions)

How to resize in Photoshop Elements 4.0

Adobe Photoshop (all recent versions)

Photoshop resizing video tutorial

Google Picasa (free download)

Picasa tutorial - resize image

FastStone Photo Resizer (free download)

Batch resizing in Photo Resizer

Corel Paint Shop Pro

Resizing with Paint Shop Pro

Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom resizing video tutorial

Apple Aperture

Resizing and cropping in Aperture

 

If you are using a program that isn't on this list, and you are having problems, please let a committee member know about it.

Once your image is resized and named, you can submit it for a competition by email, by burning it onto a CD, or handing in a flash drive. Email is by far the preferred option!

If you have resized the image ready for upload to an HPC online gallery, take a look at the Image Upload Tutorial for instructions.