Photographing Your Artist Books Tip #5 - Sizing Your Photos
Sizing your photos can be a bit frustrating and mysterious. You can't measure pixels with a ruler and the numbers are confusing. Here are a few tips to help you think about sizing.
- These notes apply to any photo editing software. You do not need Photoshop to resize images. Most any photo editing software will do. If you have a Mac computer, the built-in Preview app will size photos well as crop and rotate images very easily. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial on how to size images using Preview.
- What are the size and resolution requirements for the show or gallery submission? Some venues require web-ready images, which are much lower resolution than print-ready images. If a juried show will be producing a print catalog, they may require “hi-res” or print-ready photographs. Web-ready images will generally be 72 dpi or ppi (dots per inch or pixels per inch, which are used interchangeably). Print-ready photographs will need to be 300 ppi.
- Using your computer software, you can always make a photograph smaller in size or resolution, but do not increase the size or resolution of a photograph. The quality of your image degrades noticeably when you attempt increases. You must capture your image with sufficient resolution and size and then size it down to what you need.
- To achieve print-ready (300 ppi) images, your photographs must be shot with a camera that captures 8 Megapixels or higher. Any less than that and your image may not work for print catalog reproduction. Shoot a "master set" of photos of each work at large size and full resolution and then make copies for future sizing needs.
- To change size or resolution in Photoshop, use the Image Size command under the Image menu. When keeping the size the same, but changing the resolution, uncheck Resample. When changing the size, if you want to keep the same resolution, check Resample. To use any other photo editing app, google for instructions.
- The tricky thing is that you are really trying to do two different things in one dialog box. If it helps, break it into two steps. Set the resolution first (with the resample button unchecked) and hit OK. Then go back into the same dialog box, check the resample box and set the size. Eventually you'll become familiar enough with sizing to do both steps in one pass.
- For a good article on how to resize or change image resolution, go to this link.
- When editing for size and resolution, be sure to keep “constrain proportions” checked.
- For your 23 Sandy juried show entry the photos you upload on our entry form cannot be more than 25 mb in total size for all four images. But, this should be no problem. Correctly saved JPGs will average 1-4 mbs each for the 2100 pixel size we specify in the call for entries.