Philadelphia Water Color Society
As an artist taking the very best photograph of your artwork is a requirement. Nearly everything is online: show applications, (and often the shows themselves), websites, social media and many online sales venues.
In addition, online show applications typically have a set of digital requirements. For example, entry for our International Exhibitions are as follows:
Digital entries must be saved in JPG format with a resolution of (at least) 300 dpi.
The image size should be 1200-1500 pixels on the longest dimension with a maximum file size of 5 mb.
The quality of an image taken with a phone or tablet can be inadequate for your purposes. However, the following phones may be able to produce high quality images:
Unless you have spent an enormous amount for one of these phones, it is safer to go with a digital SLR (or mirrorless) camera to photograph your artwork. Cameras like the Nikon D50 are capable of superior quality photography. Make sure you check to see if your device can take a high resolution image.
The next important thing is your skill at photography. The two most common mistakes are poor lighting (getting the right lighting on your subject) and an unsteady shot. Lighting is critical but the advantage of good lighting can be ruined by camera shake (camera/lens image stabilization helps but is no substitute for a steady shot).
DPI stands for Dots Per Inch which technically means printer dots per inch. Today it is a term often misused, more accurately PPI, which stands for Pixels Per Inch. A digital photo would be a high-quality photo with at least 300 ppi (or dpi) image which is referred to as a high-resolution photo. By the way, the most common format is JPEG (or JPG).
OnlineJuriedShows.com presents a number of videos on using their service to manage your submissions at onlinejuriedshows.com/HowtoEnter.aspx. One of these, also shows you how to photograph your work. It's also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7b5A5-USI4.
This video and PDF download by Linda A. Doll is available at the National Watercolor Society: nationalwatercolorsociety.org/page-1770845.
The follow are some step-by-step instructions for using GIMP to create an image that is suitable for digital entry (i.e., 1200-1500 pixels on the longest dimension, 300 ppi and with a maximum file size of 5 MB).
To open the file:
Click on JPG
Click on Image
Click on Scale Image
Adjust the resolution to desired dpi (usually 300)d, then adjust pixel height and width (e.g., 1950 on longest side)
To Export an image:
Click on File
Click on Export As (use the Export AS to rename your jpeg)
Update File Name and highlight Click on Export (lower right)
Export Image as a JPG (this is new dialogue box)
Click on Quit
Click on Discard Changes
Overwrite is good to use so that you don’t accumulate multiple images with different resolution. AS you become comfortable with GIMP you can overwrite your newly formatted jpeg for the next show that may have different requirements.
Go to your picture file folder and right click the image that you just edited. Scroll down and click on Properties (all the way at the bottom of the drop down). Click on Details. The pixel height and width should be displayed per your changes in GIMP. You will be checking for correct file name, jpg format, resolution in dpi, and pixel height and width.