When photographing your artwork, fill the viewfinder with your work by adjusting distance or telephoto. Eliminate unavoidable background by using a plain backdrop or cropping in an image editor. Include the frame in the image if it is an important element.

In submitting digital images, your objective should be to fill the juror's browser window, which suggests an optimal size of about 2000 - 2500 pixels on the longest side. Images smaller than 2000 pixels on the longest side are sub-optimal but will be accepted. A 3 Megapixel digital camera produces images with pixel dimensions of about 2000 x 1500 pixels. Cameras with more Megapixels will produce larger pixel dimensions, which is useful if the image is to be cropped. Submitting images with large pixel dimensions results in longer upload times and provides no improvement in what the juror sees. Images with more than 20 Megapixels cannot be processed.

Independently of image size, the JPEG file may not exceed 2 MB. Most cameras will save JPEG images that do not exceed this limit. In any case, an image editor can be used to set the pixel dimensions to about 2000 - 2500 pixels in the longest dimension, then choosing a level of JPEG compression (try “high” quality) that provides a file of less than 2 MB — most files will be much smaller.

If your image editor does not list pixel dimensions, they can be calculated by multiplying physical size in inches by the resolution in pixels per inch. For example, a 9 x 12 inch image at 300 pixels per inch (ppi) has dimensions of 2700 pixels by 3600 pixels. (9 x 300 = 2700 and 12 x 300 = 3600 pixels). Most image editing software will allow pixel dimensions to be reduced. Do not attempt to increase pixel dimensions, as that will degrade the image.

If you do not have access to an image editor, submit the image you have — with the caveat that it will be rejected if the image is larger than 20 Megapixels or the file is larger than 2 MB.

Photo Filtre for PCs and LiveQuartz for Mac are free image editing programs that allow pixel dimensions to be changed. Photoshop Elements ($100 and down) for both PC and Mac and GraphicConverter ($40) for Mac are two powerful, mid-level image editing programs. And GIMP is a free Photoshop-equivalent but the learning curve is quite steep. (Prices at the time of writing.)

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