Alton Camera Club
Established 1957: celebrating 60 years
Alton Camera Club
Example PDI: Ann Other FEGH_Cactus Spikes_C.jpg
Creating PDIs (Projected Digital Images)
Follow these simple instructions to turn your image into an acceptable PDI file for club competitions.
It is assumed that you are using Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom or similar software. Other free tools are available (see the Links.) Full details for submitting your images are included in the Competition Rules.
The cactus image on the right links to an example of an acceptably prepared PDI though it's unlikely to score a 10.
Make sure your monitor is showing correct colours and tones, otherwise your images are unlikely to look right when viewed elsewhere or printed. Consider calibrating your monitor and using test charts to get this right.
Resizing example PDI
1. Select
It may seem obvious but you need to start with a good competition picture. Does your image show creativity? Does it show or provoke emotion? Is there good composition, lighting, tonal range and form or colours? Ignore any any personal or sentimental reasons when choosing an image.
2. Strengthen
Crop, clone, heal, dodge, burn, convert to monochrome, whatever and otherwise embellish to create your masterpiece.
Photoshop
If you know how to, change the colour mode to sRGB and set the Mode to 8-bit. Save a copy of your work.
3. Size
Photoshop
Images should be resized to a maximum of 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high. Select the 'Image Resize...' option. Make sure that the 'Constrain Proportions' and 'Resample Image' boxes are ticked. Choose one of the Bicubic resizing options. Enter 1600 pixels as the width. If the height is then shown as greater than 1200 pixels change the height to 1200 pixels. Press OK.
The image does not have to be exactly 1600 by 1200 pixels, just that it must not exceed those dimensions. You don't need to fill the edges with black.
You may choose to ignore this step but your image will not look at its best, may not be emailable and cannot be chosen for competitions against other clubs.
Lightroom
Resizing is done at Export.
Sharpening example PDI
4. Sharpen
The image on the right of the cactus has been sharpened on the lower half only to show the difference that sharpening can make. The top half has not been 'softened'.
Photoshop
After all other edits have been made, apply sharpening using 'Unsharp Mask...' or 'Smart Sharpen...' or any other technique you prefer. A starting point for settings in Photoshop is a radius of 0.5 pixels and an amount of 80%.
Lightroom
Use the Develop, Detail section but final sharpening is done at Export.
5. Save
Photoshop
To save the file in JPEG format select File, Save As..., select JPEG from the File format drop-down and rename the file as shown below. Press Save and when it asks for JPEG options Quality must be set to maximum: 12.
Lightroom
Use the Export... option. Select the Export Location where you want to save the file. In File Naming select Custom Name. Rename the file as described below. In File Settings select Image Format: JPEG, Quality: 100, Colourspace: sRGB, do not limit the file size. In Image Sizing select Resize to Fit: Width & Height, W: 1600, H: 1200 pixels. In Output Sharpening select Sharpen For: Screen, Amount: Standard (but adjust to taste). Do not use a watermark. Press Export.
File Naming
The filenames will look like these examples:

Your Name with Distinctions_Your Fantastic Image's Title_L.jpg

Ann Other FGEH_Another Blazing Sunset_O.jpg

The last letter indicates the class: League or Other (usually the set subject competitions).
The '_' is the underscore symbol, typed as shift+hyphen. Please type correctly as any mispelings will be repeated on scoresheets and certificates. Your name must be fully spelt out to avoid confusion with other photographers in our region. Include any photographic distinctions after your name. The '.jpg' will probably be added automatically.
Both your name and the title must use 'Title Case' to improve readability and consistency.
The title shouldn't affect the mark, however, an accurate title will help the judge for natural history subjects and a little wit is often welcome.
6. Send
Please email them to: . Alternatively they may be brought on a USB stick, CD or DVD. Please let the Competition Secretary have the images well before the competition, the Sunday before at the latest, so that problems can be rectified in good time.