latest update 8/27/09
Preparing your images for Submission
we accept TIFF, PNG, or JPG
acceptable sized images for Ex Arte3 are:
longest side of approx. 40 inches @72 dpi
longest side of approx. 20 inches @150 dpi
longest side of approx. 11 inches @300 dpi
You will want your image size to fall somewhere near one of
those three sizes.
'File Size' = the amount of kilobites or megabites the
'Image Size' = the height and width of the image.
'DPI' = dots/pixels per inch, or the RESOLUTION of the image.
A higher-resolution image has more dots/pixels per inch than a lower-resolution
image. This number can be changed depending on the height and width
of the image, because the pixels 'squish together' if you shrink the image
(which is fine), but they will 'pull apart' if you make the image larger
(never do this). More about that
IF YOU ARE SCANNING an original, please set your output to be
approx. 8.5x11 inches @300dpi.
IF YOU ARE PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR WORK: please use a digital camera
of at least 4Mb, and photo your work on the largest setting (biggest
file size). Please crop and examine your image before sending to
ensure proper presentation of your work. Tips
WHY DOES IMAGE QUALITY MATTER?
because our presses print exactly what you see
These instructions are for Adobe Photoshop, however the basic steps
should translate to most professional-quality image edit software.
Here are two examples of the same image. The left image
has no loss of quality and detail from the original file.
The right image has too much quality and detail loss due to
'sizing up' (see below for explanation).
Which image would you rather see?
Image quality matters because this is a 'for publication' show--not a 'brick
and mortar gallery' show. The show images will appear in magazine
form and how your work looks depends entirely on the quality of the file
you send! Just as you would not want to send a poor-quality slide
of your work to an exhibition jurying panel, you don't want to send a poor-quality
digital image to our show's judges either.
high quality image
acceptable for Ex Arte
low or poor quality image
not acceptable for Ex Arte
The information below will help you understand how to make your image
files the best they can be.
Start with an image straight from the camera.
(These instructions are for Adobe Photoshop, however the basic steps should
translate to most professional-quality image edit software.)
First, check the DPI of your image in Photoshop:
You can see that the above image has a width of 48.66 inches and a height
of 32.44 inches, and a resolution (dpi) of 72. An image of these
dimensions is perfect for Ex Arte! Do not change the height, width,
or resolution of this image--just save it as is following the directions
Open your image, then click Image> Image Size to bring up the properties
Here is another, this time a photograph of a painting:
How to save an image for Ex Arte:
Again--perfect dimensions for Ex Arte!
For Ex Arte you can save as TIF, PNG, or JPG.
If you choose JPG, a JPG dialog box will appear (see image above)
and you should set the slider to maximum.
Be absolutely sure your file is saved in the highest setting (or largest
file size) as shown here, no matter what program you are using (if not
Photoshop). The image should be saved as high a quality as possible!
Never use web- or internet- type settings for saving.
Here is an example of what is NOT acceptable, and why:
Below is an example of an image (viewed from Photoshop) that is NOT
acceptable for Ex Arte:
Note that while the width and height of the above image are ok, the
resolution is not. This image cannot be 'sized up' to fit the
Ex Arte show, because it does not have the proper dpi to begin with.
Remember that you only can 'take away' from the original number of the
image's dpi (which in this case is 72), you cannot add to it, or 'size
What is 'Sizing Up' and why is it bad?
Imagine you have an 8x10 canvas (image) with 72 pink dots on it.
Let's say you'd rather have a 16x24 canvas with 300 pink dots on it.
If you increase the height and width of the 8x10 canvas, the number of
pink dots (72) does not change--the dots just get pulled far apart.
The only way to increase the number of pink dots is to cut each one into
halves. The computer will spread those halved dots out evenly, but
there will now be extra space in between each pink dot--which the computer
will fill by duplicating the dot halves and trying to guess what to put
in that extra space. It does this by approximating whatever is around
that empty space, but your computer does not know what is 'important' and
'unimportant'--so you have no control over how it fills the extra space.
As a result, it would do so by copying anything it can find nearby.
As you can see, it is impossible for your final 16x24 canvas to look exactly
like your original 8x10 one!
"But I 'sized up' my image, and it still looks ok to
me, and it prints fine on my printer..."
Visually, your 'upsized' 16x24 canvas might look pretty much ok to
you on your computer monitor. It might even print ok on your desktop
Here is a quick reality check: HP or Epson desktop printer:
$100-300....Magazine press: $50,000-$200,000
Given that, is it not reasonable to assume the desktop printer is
not a good indicator of true image quality?
Reality: the magazine presses see everything--and they
print what they see.
Magazine presses are manufactured to see--and duplicate-- very minute
detail. Here is an illustration of this concept: