by Phil Chimino

The digital age requires us to know some basic computer skills. You do not have to be a computer expert. Do not spend a lot of money on a sophisticated computer image editing program until you have a clear understanding of what is available and how involved you want to get in editing your images.

A program that was recommended by a club member and the one that we use for our digital projected images (DPI) competition is Faststone Image Viewer. The best part about this program is that it’s FREE.

You need three things to get started.

A Computer that you are familiar with and possess basic skills
An Image
Some type of image editing program
OK let’s get started to submit an image.

Boot up your computer and open your image-editing program.
Open up your image.
It is not my intent to give you instruction on how to give your image the Pop it might need but to instruct you on how to submit an image for competition.
Crop your image to the dimensions that you think look best. All editing programs have a crop tool.
This is where members have different ways of doing the same thing. Do you want to add a white border? If so this is the time I add mine. Elements and Photoshop do it similarly so I will tell you how to do Photoshop and Faststone.

Click on Image

Click Resize

Click Canvas Size

Check the Relative Box

Under the heading New Size, add the dimension you want the border for Width and Height. If you are unsure put in .25. Make sure the box to the right says inches and not pixels. If you need to change this just click on the drop down menu to the right and select inches.

At the bottom of the dialog box is a box call Canvas Extension Color. Click on the drop down arrow and select White. Then Click OK. You have now added a ¼ inch white border to your image. If you cannot see it on your monitor, you will have to go to View and click on full screen.

Select your image by double clicking on it. The image should be showing full screen.

Move the cursor to the left side and a menu should appear.

Click on Canvas Size (or if you do not want to use the menu just press Control + K on your key board.)

Add the size you want your border to be in the Left, Right, Top & Bottom. If you are undecided, I recommend 10.

Click on Background and choose your color. We recommend white.

Make sure the Expand Mode Box is checked. If you are going to add a white border, just Click OK.

Double click on the Image to save your change.

Now we have to work on the resolution. Our digital projector project an image resolution of 1024 x 768 so we have to match that resolution. If we ignored that the digital projector would resize it the way it wanted. This is your image so you need to create it and not let the projector do it. This procedure has nothing to do with printing your image so don’t confuse it with printers. I will go through it for PhotoShop and Faststone again.

The program is up, running and your image is displayed.

Click on Image

Click Resize

Click on Image Size.

In the top section, Pixel Dimensions, change the width box to 1400. The height box will automatically change. That value needs to be 1050 or smaller. If it is not, change the height to 1050. The width box should now be less than 1400 Pixels.

Make sure the 3 boxes near the bottom of the dialog are checked. They are Scale Styles, Constrain Proportions & Resample image. In the drop-down box to the right of the Resample Image box, change this to Bicubic Sharper. In most cases we are downsizing an image, and Bicubic Sharper will sharpen the image.

Click OK and you’re done.

Bring the curser to the left side for the box to appear.

Select Resize (or press Control + R.) You should have the resize box displayed. Make sure that Pixels Circle is highlighted. If not, click on it.

Make sure the preserve aspect ratio box is checked.

Change the width box to 1400. The height box will automatically change. That value needs to be 768 or smaller. If it is not change the height to 768. The width box should now be less than 1400 Pixels.

Click OK.

Do you want to save the changes to this image? Click Yes.