Ex Arte Equinus
image preparation FAQ
(click here for image prep tips and information)

Tip of the day: Want your sculpture to be considered for the Ex Arte book cover?  Include a close crop of the piece in your group of submission photos!
Q: How do I tell if my image file is 2mb or more?
(Instructions for Windows)
1: Click 'Start' in the lower left corner of your screen
2: click "My Documents"
3: go to folder containing your images
4: right click on your image's name
5: click "Properties" to bring up your image's information, which includes file size

Also, when you attach your file to an email to submit it, often your email program will show the file size.

Q:  How do I tell if my image is RGB color?

All image programs and/or digital cameras work in RGB as the default mode unless you specifically change them.  Most images need no changes to the color format.
If you have Adobe Photoshop (all versions including 7 and CS) the color format will usually appear in the title bar of the document/image.  It can also be checked or changed by clicking Image>Mode .
If you have had your images scanned for you, please ask your service bureau what color format the file is in.

Q:  How do I tell if my image is 300dpi at 8x10 or 8.5x11?

This is the most important part of your image submission!  The 3 ways this can be achieved are this:
1: Use an image file taken directly from your camera.  Put your camera on its largest JPG setting (the setting which gets you the 'best' picture quality).  This image will look enormous (around 30x40") when opened by any image editing program--but that is the necessary size for Ex Arte!

2: Use a professional-quality image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop to prepare your images (click here for instructions)

3: Have your original professionally scanned or photographed for you.
please note:
acceptable sized images for Ex Arte3 are:
approx. 30 x 40 inches @72 dpi
approx. 15 inches x 20 inches @150 dpi
approx. 8.5x11 inches @300 dpi
You will want your image size to fall somewhere near one of those three sizes.

Q:  What advice do you have for photographing artwork?
Lots!  Here are some tips. As the artist, it is your responsibility to make sure that you photograph your work at its best.  When you prepare your images for entry, ask yourself these questions while you look at your images:
• if you are a sculptor, have you photographed your sculpture against a plain cloth background that complements the piece, or does the background include trees that overwhelm the sculpture? Does the light in the photo flatter the sculpture, or do strong shadows overpower the piece and swallow up details?   Does the camera distort perspective and make the piece look incorrect?  Is the picture sharply focused?  Too bright or too dark?

• If you are a flatwork artist or painter, do the colors look accurate in your photo, or are they yellowish or blueish?  Are there any ‘shiny’ highlights on the surface? Is the painting or drawing placed flat and square to the camera, or does it lean (creating distorted edges)?  Are there undesirable shadows falling on the image?  Is the picture sharply focused?  Too bright or too dark?

More tips:
Using a flash will usually not be flattering to the artwork; it will create ‘hotspots’ of shine and harsh shadows and contrast.  Use a tripod or a steady table and shoot a timed exposure instead.  For flat work, early morning full sunlight falling directly on the painting (straight on, not from the side) works well.  For sculpture, soft, indirect light works best.  Cloth drapes should be neatly pressed and free of sloppy-looking crinkles.  A solid, neutral color is mandatory; never use a backdrop that has a pattern, multiple colors, or heavy texture.  Be sure to position the cloth so that any draping does not compete with your work.

Give your images a final once-over before entering them; check for fingerprints/smudges on the work, weird shadows, camera straps, lint, or fuzz.  Look for anything that doesn’t belong--even the odd fly that might have passed as you snapped the photo! AND--Crop your image so that the frame and / or mat do not show.