Saturday, February 27, 2010

Learning how to submit applications for shows

I don't know Photoshop. I wish I did! My nephew, Illustrator Shane Rebenschied has written books about it, but I think those genes came from a different side of the family. And he lives in Arizona while I am in Colorado. No asking for help there. So, I spent a couple of evenings and learned the few little things I needed to know to submit photos to Zapplication so that I can enter some summer shows.

Many shows will only accept applicatons through this website, and it is pretty easy once you figure out how to do what is required. Uploading a photo is a piece of cake, but making sure that it is 1920 pixels on the longest side, that it is no more than 2MB but still high resolution, and that my name did not show up on the photo, is not as easy as I thought it might be. I always take my photos so they are at least 2MB, but once I cropped them to get rid of the frames, they were less than 1920 pixels on the longest side. I retook the photos with the camera set at 3.1MB, then once I cropped, I was able to resize the image to 1920 pixels.

Step two was getting rid of my signature. The first photo is one of the paintings with my signature. I have marveled at how people can just get rid of things in a photo. I recently had a good (for once!) photo taken, but had a candlestick growing out of my head. My daughter is good at photoshop, and she just eliminated it. I had to figure out how to do that with my signature on my painting. It actually isn't too hard. First I zoomed in on the area where my signature was, then I chose the clone tool (it looks like a picture of a rubber stamp). To eliminate the signature, you have to select a color very near the section of the signature you want to cover up by doing an Alt-click, then click on the area you want gone. It will clone the area you first clicked on and duplicate it with the second click. It takes lots of clicking, especially if the painting has a lot of color changes and brush strokes under the signature. Here is the painting without the signature.

Oh-oh, I hadn't compared the two before, but it looks like the color in my second one isn't as good. The first photo is the better of the two. I didn't change that in photoshop. They are two different photos taken at different times as I had to start over. Live and learn! I have been doing a lot of that lately.
The third step is to save it at the right size. The first time through I didn't realize it was preset to about 57 kb, which is too small. You cannot resize a small file and make it larger, so I had to redo the whole thing and this time save it as a 2MB file. That was why it took two evenings!

Good practice though. I submitted my application for the outdoor art show in Crested Butte, Colorado this summer. I hear it is a difficult show to get in, so I don't expect to be accepted, but I definitely wouldn't be if I didn't apply!

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