For want of better words, the monthly competitions are divided into ‘Newcomers’ and ‘Advanced’ classes. Clearly, there will be photographers joining the Club who have been taking pictures for years and are, by no means, ‘beginners’. But, even for them, producing images for competitions may be a new discipline.
Newcomers There are 2 monthly competition events in the newcomers class – PDIs (projected digital images) and prints. Members may enter up to 2 images in one, or both, events.
Advanced There are 3 monthly competition events in the advanced class – PDIs, monochrome prints and colour prints. Members may enter up to 2 images in any or all of the events.
PDIs – The maximum size for PDIs is 1400 pixels on the horizontal axis and 1050 pixels on the vertical axis. Neither of those dimensions should be exceeded. So, when re-sizing an image in Photoshop, Lightroom or wherever, you should ensure that the ‘constrain proportions’ option is set, select pixels as the units, and type in 1400 for the horizontal dimension (for a landscape orientated image). Do not accept the result before now checking what the programme is telling you the number of vertical pixels will be. If it is fewer than 1050, press enter to accept that re-sizing. If, however, it is indicating that you will have more than 1050 pixels vertically, then you must type 1050 into the vertical pixels box and accept whatever number of pixels along the horizontal axis that that gives you.
When saving that re-sized version of your image, use whatever competition title you want to give the image as its file name preceded by your 2-digit competition number. Please use initial capitals for all words in the title, including little ones like ‘And’ ‘Of’ etc. Save it as a JPG and let the Competition Secretary have it either on CD, memory stick or by email.
Prints Prints may be “any size” but must be mounted. The max size of mount is 500 x 400 mm, so that limits the size of the print. In its simplest form, the mount is just a rectangle of white or coloured card with the print stuck on the front. A more advanced type of mount has a cut out with the print stuck or taped on behind so that it shows through the hole.
If the print is taped to the mount board, it is important to ensure that is secure. Sticky tape coming loose in the judge’s big box of prints can damage other prints.
New members do not usually have trouble sourcing prints, but mounts may be a problem. You can buy mounts ready made, usually at standard A4 and A3 sizes, which may not be the optimum. You can buy card and cut it to size yourself or you can have your prints mounted for you. Useful shops are Castle Framing Brampton, Grays Art Shop Carlisle, The Range Carlisle, Hobbycraft Carlisle etc. Carlisle Art College used to have a handy shop, but I think that has closed. Don’t spend too much money on a mount as it is the image which is judged.