How to Prepare Show Images

How to Prepare Show Images

Instructions to enter the NMPCA Celebration of Clay show in 2019, helping you prepare your images according to the specification.  

Before you can prepare the image, you must have one or more digital images of the work(s) that you want to enter.  There are specific requirements for taking these images for the 2019 Celebration of Clay.  Importantly, the image must be taken against a plain white background.  Guidelines for shooting your own digital image using a plain white background can be found in this separate Slip Trail article on Ceramic Art Photography.  (coming soon) 

This article uses an easy online free editor anyone can use with any type of computer.  The editor is www.pixlr.com/x/.  Note that this is in beta mode as of the writing of this article, so things may look a little different.  If you use some other tool for your image preparation, such as PhotoShop or Elements, you can still benefit from these instructions to see how to make your image file meet requirements.   

Prior to starting these instructions, take your photos with your own digital camera and download the image files, or get the digital images from your photographer.  Place the image files in a specific folder that you can find on your computer.  We recommend you have one folder for the original images, and another folder set up for the prepared images that you will be uploading to the Celebration of Clay upload site.  

To show specifications for the images for Celebration of Clay 2019, click the down arrow below:

Specifications for Images

One digital image per entry as jpg file, minimum 800 pixels on longest dimension, maximum 1280 pixels wide, 1024 pixels high, and not exceed 1 MB in size.
Name file with your last name, first name, title, and entry number for example:
SmithSara_BlueHeronMugSet_1.jpg
No spaces in file name, initial capital for name and title words, underline between name, title, and entry number. No special characters such as: ( ) ‘ “ & % $ # @.

If you are submitting an image by March 15 with expectation to have it used in publicity, please have readily available a higher resolution image (recommend minimum 1500 x 2100 pixels, 300dpi). If your image is selected for publicity, we will contact you for the larger image.

Step One    Start by opening the editor in your computer browser:  www.pixlr.com/x/.  See the “Photo Editor Made Easy ” display and click the Open Photo button.  A window to your computer folders will open.  Find the folder where you put the original images and click the image you want to work with; then click “open.”  The open photo screen will look something like the image at left.  

After you locate the file and have clicked “open” then your image will open up in the pixlr editor window with the toolbar on the left. 

If you are using a smaller screen, the location of the toolbar and the elements on the screen may vary from this picture.  


Step Two  Crop.  Click the crop symbol on the Pixlr toolbar.  Drag the edges to frame the image the way you want.  If needed, drag the slider to straighten the image.  For the best internet display, you would generally crop the image fairly close to the piece on all sides, leaving even space on either side and slightly more space at the top than on the bottom.   Click OK at the bottom to save your crop change.  


Step Three  Adjustments. Click the adjustments icon to make lighting, color or focus changes.  Apply these changes sparingly and only to make the image look most like the work itself.   Below are some guidelines for using color, light and details sections of the adjustments.  You can also try the Auto Fix adjustment at the top.  If you don’t like the Auto Fix change, or any other adjustment, click the “reset” button at the bottom.  If you like the change you have made, click the OK button.  

Color adjustments include Vibrance, saturation, temperature, tint.  Move the sliders to the left to reduce or right to increase.  Try moving the sliders and see if the effects make the image look more like the word itself.  Be cautious with these as too much here can make the image look fakey.  

Light adjustments most used for artwork images are brightness, contrast and shadows.  Move the sliders small amounts to enhance the image.  

Details adjustments allow you to change the sharpness to correct for lack of clarity in the image.  Slide the sharpen till you are satisfied and click the OK button. 

Note that changes you make and click OK can still be backed out by clicking the Undo button in the upper right.

Also note that your original or cropped image must meet or exceed the pixel dimensions of the specifications. Pixlr will not allow you to increase the pixel dimensions when you go to save the image.


Step Four  Save for Publicity.  Once you have made your changes, you are ready to save the file.  If you are working before March 15, 2019, be sure to save an image of your Celebration of Clay entry for publicity.   Click the Save button on the lower right to see the File Save screen.

First change the file name at the top to be your LastNameFirst_Name_title_#_publicity.  Substitute your name, the title of your piece, and which entry number (1 or 2). 

Then set the image size by changing the height pixels, click outside the height box to auto-adjust the width proportionately.  Specifications for publicity images call for minimum dimensions of 1500 pixels wide by 2100 pixels tall if portrait, or 2100 pixels wide and 1500 pixels tall for a landscape image.  Change the pixels in the  file save window.     Make sure the quality is 100%.  Then click the Save button on the lower right again.  Keep this file hand for when the publicity committee contacts you to send them a publicity image.


Step Five  Save for Upload. Now you need to save a file with different specifications for uploading.  Press the Save button on the lower right again to get the File Save screen.  Set the file name to your LastNameFirstName_title_#.   

Set the image size.  The specifications are minimum 800 pixels on longest dimension with maximum 1200 pixels wide and 1024 pixels high.  The file size should not exceed 1MB.  Set the height first, click outside the height box and see what it changes the width to.  If the width is more than 1200 pixels, then reduce the width and click to auto adjust the height.  

Check the image size in the lower left below the image itself.  This should be as close to 100KB (1mb) as possible.  Adjust the quality slider until you get it as close as possible.  Then, click the Save button and chose the folder where you are storing the upload files for Celebration of Clay.    Go to www.nmpca.net, following the instructions in your confirmation email to upload the photo.  

If you have questions about registering, preparing your image and uploading your image for the Celebration of Clay, 2019, contact the Celebration of Clay committee at coc@nmpotters.org.

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