Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Anyone who exhibits in art shows will have probably noticed that the trend has been shifting to shows asking for "digital images" for jurying into a show rather than slides.  While some shows still allow artists to send in slides, or even a few smaller shows accept photos, it is clear that eventually most of the larger, better shows have either already switched to only accepting "digital images", or will do so in the near future.  One of the reasons for this change is that Kodak announced back in 2004 that they would cease production of slide projectors.

With the new season of art shows coming up soon, and having to already send in applications, I decided I needed to know how to format my own digital images in the required sizes being requested on the various applications. What I found rather confusing was the difference in size requirements stated in the different shows' applications.

Many of you, I'm sure, have heard or worked with the ZAPPLICATION method of applying for shows, where their requirements stated that images had to be 1920 x 1920 pixels, at 72 PPI (pixels per inch) saved in RGB or preferably sRGB color, and shouldn't be larger than 1.8 MB in size, and in "baseline jpg" format. 

WOW, what did all that mean, and how was I going to figure it out?  I've worked with photo editing programs for quite a few years, but when I tried sizing an image to 1920 x 1920 pixels, it looked weird!  How could you have an image be the same width and looked out of shape!

What I wasn't aware of, at the time, was that ZAPP's image size requirement meant that you had to format your images with a "black mask" so that each image was a rectangular size of 1920 x 1920.  After searching in my photo editing program, that I've used for many years, I couldn't find anything that allowed me to meet all the requirements. Now, I read that ZAPP has relaxed their requirements so that an image's longest side only needs to be 1400 pixels.

Well, now what?  I could pay an additional $20.00 - $30.00 to each show application to have them convert my slides (5 sildes) to digital images, but that didn't seem like the way to spent half an afternoon checking out "photo editing" programs, and decided on ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 8 (the latest version). Other versions, I'm sure work just as well.

After spending another half a day, figuring out the features I needed to use to get my images to correspond with everyone's size requirements, I finally did it!!  Needless to say, I was rather thrilled that I could now handle my own images !!

Below are several links and info that can help you decide how to go about getting your images prepared for jurying into art shows:

1.  Adobe Photo Shop or Adobe Photoshop Elements software are two great programs to help you meet the requirements of jury images.  Adobe Elements is a great program and the price is right!  (I paid $76.00 and got a $20.00 rebate) That is a great price compared to what Adobe Photoshop sells for!

2. Here is the link to the ZAPP site, which lets you upload your images and gives you all the information you need in order to apply for shows that are listed with them:  ZAPPLICATION

Here is ZAPP'S info page on formatting your images:

3. I found this site extremely useful, which gives you the steps and photos to follow in order to set up your images in PhotoShop or Photoshop Elements:  BERMAN GRAPHICS   This site definitely saved me a lot of time in learning how to do this.

4. ZAPP also mentioned free photo editing software sites, if you don't have or want to spend the money on a program for yourself.

   For window based computers, they recommended PAINT at:

  For MAC users:  GIMP at:

5.  One good point I read will researching this info, was that it is a good idea to check with the show you are applying for to determine if their image jurying will be done on a computer screen or will it be projection jurying. 

After all this research and trying to figure out how to do everything....I came across a show I wanted to try this year, only to find that they preferred less!!



No comments: