Some competition advice.



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All that is needed is a CD with your name on, with up to 5 numbered [in order of priority] and named JPEG files. When you come to save your files go to File ®save as®Number Title and then underneath where you typed the title you will see Format which enables you to choose JPEG.

The one complication is that the files i.e. the photographs, need to be a set size. What follows is advice on how to do this. It looks complicated but after a couple of times the procedure will become second nature.

In Photoshop open your picture [File®Open].
Go to Image®Image size and a screen comes up.
In the Document Size section no changes will normally be necessary. Just ensure that the resolution is at least 150 Pixels/Inch.
The Pixel Dimension section at the top of the screen is most important. The overall size of your file will depend on your camera, its settings and whether you have cropped your picture. You will have to alter the width and/or height dimensions so the maximum size for a landscape picture is 1024 pixels wide and 768 pixels high.
* A portrait picture has to have a maximum height of 768 pixels

1. Reducing the size of your file.
If it is a landscape picture go to Image®Image size type in 1024 pixels on the width and click OK. As long as the height is not greater than 768 you can leave it as it is [or look at Hint 3]
If it is a portrait picture you have to type 768 in the height.
[If your image was smaller than 1024 by 768 pixels to start with, increasing its size will probably cause pixelation. Similarly, if the image had a resolution of 72 pixels/inch don’t try to increase the resolution.]

2. Cropping a landscape image to the required size.
A normal image, straight from the camera, is not 1024 by 768 pixels. To make it so you can open the crop tool. In the tool bar at the top of the screen you can type in 1024 in the width box and 768 in the height box. If you then go to the image put the cursor on a corner point you want and then hold the left mouse button down and drag. The proportions of your crop will remain always at 1024 by 768. By holding the left mouse button down inside the image and dragging you can move the crop area around to suit and/or click and drag a corner to increase or reduce the overall size. When happy double click to crop and then do the Image®Image size changes.

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This material is an attempt to clarify what the content should be in each of the classes in the Club’s Annual Competition and provide some advice as to what the judge would be looking for. If there is any doubt in your mind about the correct classification then seek advice from the Competition Secretary prior to the Annual Competition entry dates. The advice given here is general and is not intended to be prescriptive

Typically this would be a land, sea or cloud scape but it includes everything that does not fit in with the other categories e.g. a figure study, a wide angle view of a building or a hybrid rose. Any print arrived at by substantial digital manipulation will have to be included in this section.
The details of the picture should make a pleasing pattern and the quality of the light should enhance the picture. Where colour is used colour harmonies and patterns are important aspects. Lighting, atmosphere and mood are all important, as is composition.
A carefully chosen title can often enhance a picture by clarifying the photographer’s intentions in taking the picture. The judge will try to “read” the picture hence the need for an appropriate title.
Most introductory books in photography cover the key ingredients of what helps to make a good picture and visits to Art Galleries to see the works of well-known painters will offer further insights. Entering competitions and listening to the judge’s comments on your and other’s work should also be useful.
NB. What is important is that you like the picture that you have created but do listen to the judge …you might be able to improve on your masterpiece!

A portrait is a likeness of a person or animal hence both can be included. The portrait can be candid or posed, taken with or without flash or taken inside or outside.
The eyes are the most important part of a portrait and it is normally essential that they are well defined and sharp. Skin tones should look realistic. A more dynamic image can result if the subject’s head is slightly tilted. Try to avoid the subject merging with the background particularly a dark haired subject with a dark background. Care also needs to be taken with the background to avoid distractions such as unwanted highlights or colour clashes. A large aperture [or small f number] may well render a messy background out of focus and create a 3 D effect. Conversely a small aperture [or large f number] will render more of the subject sharp.

Architectural detail, artefacts, plaques, coins, medals, statues and interior/exteriors of buildings are common examples of record shots.
Exposure should be good as should colour rendition. The subject should be sharp and all aspects should be clear. Avoid deep shadow and/or burnt out areas so flat lighting is often an advantage. With buildings avoid pointing the camera upwards as this often results in converging verticals and an inaccurate rendition of the subject.
Titling should be accurate and the subject must be fully described so that it could be easily recognised after viewing the photographic image.

This depicts untamed animals and uncultivated plants in their natural habitat, geology and phenomena not produced by man. The accurate record of the subject and natural environment is the prime factor. Evidence of man, his manipulations or his environment in any part of the picture is undesirable and should be avoided.
After satisfying the above requirements every effort should be made to use the highest level of artistic skill in all natural history photographs. The subject should be sharp and not so large in the frame that no sense of environment is provided. Correct titling is necessary but scientific names are not required if the subject possesses a common English name.
Photographs of cultivated plants, formal flower arrangements, domestic and caged animals, mounted specimens, museum groups or man and his specialised environment are nor acceptable.

In this section a judge expects to see photographs that could be published in a newspaper or magazine. Theatre photography and sporting activities fall into this category.
Comprehensive titling is required i.e. provide information on who, what and when.

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