Image Guidelines for Submissions

by Call For Entries on 10-26-2015 in Category

Most call for entries events are run with web based tools so that jurors can easily access images and review them. Jurors use a variety of web browsers to access these online review systems. As an entrant this information should interest you, because browsers like Safari, Chrome and Firefox read the color of jpg files differently. To mitigate this problem it is important to convert your files to the sRGB color space which is the standard color space for web browsers. If you do not have the technical expertise to do this on your own, you can hire our staff to prep your files for you. For those of you with more experiencee the following information should help you prep your files in Photoshop for online viewing.



Open your original image in Photoshop or a similar program and change its color profile to SRGB. SRGB is the color profile that most web browsers use and your best bet for consistency of presentation. Once you change the file to SRGB you will likley have to tweak the color of the resulting file to make it look as it did before.

Then resize your file to the requested submission size.

If your file is very large and you need to compress it a great deal to meet submission requirements, we recommend selecting “bicubic smoother” (if your version of Photoshop supports this feature) as the image will compress more in the later steps

If you used "bicubic smoother" then you will want to sharpen your image to regain some of the detail lost in the previous step with the goal of gaining edge definition. Here you can get very involved with masks and other fancy steps, but try it the easy way first with the "unsharp mask" filter. Be careful not to over-sharpen your image as this will make your files larger and they will look “synthetic”.

When sharpening we recommend setting the Radius to .5, the Threshold should be 0 and the Amount should be whatever looks best for the image.

Then select the File/Save for Web option and select JPEG Medium as a starting point.

Use the "Blur" slider located in the Save for Web window and move it to the right while previewing your image. The more you move the blur slider to the right, the more blurred your image will become, and the smaller the file (more compressed). Stop when the preview image starts getting "soft" and back up a little (usually a setting between 0.15 and 0.3 depending on the image). This feature is not supported by all versions of Photoshop and you may skip this step. See how much this technique reduces your file size. If it doesn't do much, you may skip this step, but it actually improves many files that have big skies, etc, so always try it.

Use the “Quality” slider, also located in the File/Save for Web window, and move it as far to the right as possible while monitoring your file size, which is indicated under the image. A higher quality image will have a higher file size, but watch the guidelines indicated by the event. If you exceed the allowed image size your image will not get accepted.

Notes - Every image compresses differently based on its contents. You should try different settings for different images. Faces and skies benefit from a modest amount of blur factor. In general, the more textured and saturated an image the harder it will be to compress. If you want the most compression skip the sharpening step above. It is an art to find the perfect balance of all of these settings for each image – some people bypass the “save for web” and do it all by hand with masks etc and save the file using the “save as” option but it can get complicated…

GENERAL RULE - Please note that file names should not contain spaces or special characters. You should also avoid using file names that are too long and symbols that are not part of the Latin alphabet.

Having trouble with your files? C4E staff can help you. Contact us today for image prep assistance.


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