title

FIXING JURY IMAGES

JURY SLIDE PHOTOGRAPHY

Digital Jury Resources

Hire me to Prepare your Digital Jury Images

Questions About Digital Jury Images

I've answered all image questions on the ZAPP forum since it's inception
I've put this page together with the most frequently asked questions
E-mail or call (800-350-9289) with your questions
 if I haven't already answered them here or on the ZAPP forum
Hire me to prepare your digital jury images for the best possible results
0 ZAPP has recently changed their image specifications. How will it effect my images already in the system, or the new images I'm about to prepare?

1

Why should there be a standard image size?
2 Can my 1920x1920 ZAPP formatted images work in the 1400 pixel digital jury system used by Juried Art Services?

3

Can art shows resize JPEGs to match their viewing format?

4

Why do 35mm slide projectors produce warmer colors compared to the colors produced by digital projection?

5

Won't using image editing programs like Photoshop open the door for people to cheat on their images?
6 I don't want to prepare my own images. How can I find someone I can trust to prepare them for me?

7

I want to prepare my own images. What are the issues I need to be aware of?
8 I had my slides scanned at a local lab but they cropped into the image area too much. What can I do about it?
9 I took my slides to a photo lab for scanning and they want to give me a Kodak Picture CD. Is that a high enough resolution to work with?
 10 What's the difference between sRGB and RGB and why do I need to know it? (same answer as question 6)

11

How accurate is the color we see on our monitors and how will we know what the jury is seeing?
12 The ZAPP images look too light or too dark on my monitor. How can I tell if the images were prepared correctly or if it's my monitor?

13

I've had a professional prepare my images. How do I view them on my computer to see if they're properly done?
14 If my images are 300PPI, will they look better than 72PPI images when seen by the jurors?   Sometimes asked as 300DPI
15 How come when I view my 1.8 megabyte JPEGs, they are 10.5 megabytes in size?
16 I've prepared my images using an older version of Photoshop on a MAC and they get rejected during upload.
17 I've uploaded my images to my ZAPPlication profile but now some look blurry or don't fully load. Should I be concerned?
18 I'm on a MAC OS 9 using AOL. Will I have a problem with ZAPP?
19 How can I add more information to my images if they're committed?

Answers

ZAPP has recently changed their image specifications. How will it effect my images already in the system, or the new images I'm about to prepare?
Images not prepared in the original ZAPP 1920 pixel square format will put artists at a disadvantage in the jury room. For monitor jurying, the jurors never see the black borders because they view the images on a black page background. But for projection jurying, which the top art shows use, they will either project smaller when they are modified to have the black borders added to them. Additionally there are countless shows not using ZAPP that are asking for 1920x1920 pixel square images.
Read the last paragraph of my review of the 2010 Cherry Creek jury and call me if you have any questions. 412-401-8100

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Why should there be a standard image size?
There needs to be only two sets of requirements. One for monitor jurying and the other for digital projection jurying. After careful analysis and testing, Paul Fisher's system for the Smithsonian decided on a long pixel dimension of 700 which is reduced from the 1400 - 2000 pixels that are uploaded. That would be viewable on over 95% of the monitor resolutions, with the average screen resolution being 1024x768 where it would fit perfectly.  ZAPP is asking for a larger size 1920x1920 pixel Jpeg for projection jurying. The square format for projection gives both horizontal and vertical images equal size on screen. Additional size formatting will put unnecessary hardship on artists. Consider how you would feel if you had 10 applications in front of you and each required a different size image, or gave no image size requirement at all.
If you want to do your own images, read our instruction page or hire us to prepare your images for you.

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Can my 1920x1920 ZAPP formatted images work in the 1400 pixel digital jury system used by Juried Art Services?
Yes and no. Yes the images will automatically be resized by the server and display at the correct size, but there are two drawbacks. The first is that you are depending on a script to resize the image (read the next question also) and not a person who can make decisions that insure your images will look as good as they possibly can. The other issue is that the black borders, which are not visible to the jurors when the images are projected with ZAPP will be clearly visible on the monitor viewing system used by Juried Art Services (that has a gray background) and might distract the jurors, and might actually take up some of your image space. For the best looking jury images for any system, the original scans/digital images should be resized, not an already resized image.

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Can art shows resize submitted JPEGs to match their viewing format?
"Any changes in a Jpeg will cause it to degrade some, and there is a chance it will degrade a lot." quote from Jack Berlin, president of Pegasus Imaging whose involvement in the JPEG format goes back to the original Joint Photographic Experts Group.
Message to art shows - Consider the image size you'll need and give the artists the exact requirements so the images won't need to be resized and possibly degraded. Have enough respect for the artists to let them control their digital image submissions as they have with 35mm slides.

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Why do 35mm slide projectors produce warmer colors compared to colors produced by digital projection?
"The color temperature of an ELH bulb for the Kodak Carousel projector is 3350 and the UHP lamp that the digital projector uses has a color temperature of 7600. So the slide projector is going to give a much warmer image and even warmer as the bulb ages faster because it only has a life expectancy of 35 hours vs. the 1500+ hour lifespan of a digital projector bulb. Another factor is that when Fuji introduced Velvia in 1990, a lot of artists started using it to photograph their work because the warmer, more saturated colors made their work look better. For the first time, the shows can see a more accurate representation of the art using digital projection.

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Won't using image editing programs like Photoshop open the door for people to cheat on their images?
Cheaters have always found ways to accomplish their goals. But on the other hand, for the first time artists can give a truer representation of their work. The Smithsonian Craft Show web site has guidelines that we all should try to follow while editing our digital images: "No digitally manipulated or enhanced images will be accepted. You may only adjust for brightness, contrast, color correction and remove scratches or debris."

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I don't want to prepare my own images. How can I find someone I can trust to prepare them for me?
You've come to the right place. We've prepared images for over 500 artists in the last year and a half and have started an educational seminar program. Larry beta tests Photoshop and has become a resource for both artists and the art shows. The illustrated workflow we've created is being recommended on the ZAPP web site as well as by some of the shows. Just be wary of those who print out our information and then proclaim themselves to be experts. We regularly get digital files sent in that need help because one of those so called experts prepared them improperly.

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I want to prepare my own images. What are the issues I need to be aware of? (sRGB vs. RGB)
To work on your images and really see what the juries will see, you need to calibrate your monitor and use an image editing program like Photoshop, which has excellent color management capabilities. Programs like Elements and Paint Shop Pro, though recommended as inexpensive image editing programs, have extremely limited or no color management. The color space used by the digital projectors is sRGB. sRGB has a default color temperature of 6500, which is the standard for images viewed on monitors also. I work in a RGB color space and convert to profile sRGB as the last step before saving the images as a JPEG. RGB images will appear slightly less saturated when viewed in sRGB color space because though they have a wider gamut (range of colors) they are compressed to fit the narrower sRGB space. For example, if you closely examine the colors in this simulated Macbeth color chart below, you can see the that the sRGB colors look slightly more alive than the RGB colors which are appear undersaturated. Though viewing conditions in a jury room may negate any differences in color profiles, if you're extremely particular about how your images appear, you might want to consider hiring someone who understand how to convert color profiles in Photoshop or Elements. Yes, there is a way to convert to sRGB in Elements which you can read about in my Elements Workflow.

RGB compared to sRGB as viewed on a monitor or digitally projected
RGB compared to sRGB
when viewed in a browser or digitally projected for ZAPP

Download a step by step workflow for Photoshop

Download a step by step workflow for Elements from my seminar page

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I had my slides scanned at a local lab but they cropped into the image area too much. What can I do about it?
Some labs use automated equipment, like the Frontier or Noritsu digital printers to scan slides. The problem with using automated scanning is that it crops into the image area because it's scanning for a borderless print. Beside not giving you the full image, there is no attempt to match color. It's better to have a person do the scanning and color correct your digital images.

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I took my slides to a photo lab for scanning and they want to give me a Kodak Picture CD. Is that a high enough resolution to work with?
The short answer is NO. A Kodak Picture CD only contains one resolution of 1538x1024 (called "4 Base") which is approximately 25% smaller than the file size required by ZAPP, and that's before cropping to optimize the way your jury image looks when projected. If the lab can give you the option of a Kodak Photo CD, it will contain the same images at multiple resolutions, one being large enough (2048x3072 called "16 Base") to work with. Even after cropping the image will still be larger than the file size required by ZAPP. I should note here that a lot of non professional sources, like small local labs and Wal-Mart use Kodak Picture CD kiosks and it's the only way that artists can get their slides scanned. Then I end up having to work on those smaller files and fix problems created by those low resolution scans. It's far better to send me the slides to scan to begin with because you'll end up with higher quality file that will be color matched. If these numbers make your head spin, please hire someone who understands and can give you the best digital jury images possible.

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How accurate is the color we see on our monitors and how will we know what the jury is seeing?
Without calibration your monitor isn't accurate. To see what the juries will see, you need to calibrate it. The color space used by the digital projectors is sRGB, which is a web standard, so previewing your images in a browser (on a calibrated monitor) will give you an idea how the jurors will see your images. Also remember that lighting conditions in the jury room will affect the way the images project more than any other issues. This has always been an issue with slides as well as digital images. In addition, please read the answer to the question above the color comparison chart.
To help artists calibrate their monitors, I've arranged for a $10 discount on color management system from Panton called Huey. Systems for a PC amd MAC cost $79.

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The ZAPP images look too light or too dark on my monitor. How can I tell if the images were prepared correctly or if it's my monitor?
Occasionally I get questions from artists who have looked at their ZAPP profile and think the images are too light or too dark, or are on AOL and have read about some of AOL's viewing problems. In response to these questions, I've figured out a way to test if your monitor has it's brightness/contrast set correctly. In the grayscale image below, there should be 17 steps from black to white. If you can't see all 17 values, you can't make brightness judgments on how your images will display in the different digital jury systems. This is called a step wedge.

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If my images are 300PPI, will they look better than 72PPI images when seen by the jurors?
First of all, it's PPI or pixels per inch. DPI is dots per inch which refers to the amount of ink that a printer puts down on paper. PPI doesn't play a part in how the images are seen by the jurors in a monitor/digital projection system. The only numbers that affect the way the images look are the actual pixel dimensions of 1920x1920. Images can be 300PPI and still project the same size and quality as images that are 72PPI.

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I've had a professional prepare my images. How do I view them on my computer to see if they're properly done?
The simple solution for both PC and MAC users is to drop the image files onto your browser and they will open for viewing. PC users can download a free image viewing program from IrfanView. There is no license required and I include it on the CD when I prepare images for artists. Don't forget to take the color management of your monitor into consideration.
Important
If you've had someone prepare your images, they should be 1920 pixel square JPEGs with an embedded sRGB profile. Open them for viewing only. Making any changes and saving will degrade the image and cause it to change color when the profile is lost.

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How come when I view my 1.8 megabyte JPEGs, they are 10.5 megabytes in size?
What is happening is that people are opening their 1.8 megabyte JPEGs in Photoshop or Elements to read the file size, but don't realize that any image opened into Photoshop is read by Photoshop as an uncompressed native format (PSD) file. They should be reading the image properties of their JPEGs in their operating system or image viewing program and not from within Photoshop.

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I've prepared my images using an older version of Photoshop on a MAC and they get rejected during upload.
Make sure that the JPEGs are saved with the three letter file extension.
For example "picture.jpg".

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I've uploaded my images to my ZAPPlication profile but now some look blurry or don't fully load. Should I be concerned?
This is a two part answer because there are different reasons why your images may look blurry after upload.
1 - As long as they looked OK on your own computer they will look fine in a jury room. There are two different size thumbnails generated by the script on the ZAPP server. The small 100 pixel square thumbnail you see when you go to "manage images" and the enlarged 500 pixel square thumbnail you see when you click to enlarge. Both are just thumbnails and sometimes don't get generated properly. Your full size image would be approximately four times your monitor size, and require scrolling to see it. Sometimes the issue you see can be solved by reloading (refreshing) the page after clearing your browser cache. But in any case, they are not the full size images which you've seen as perfect on your computer. That full size image is what will be shown to the jury, not a script generated thumbnail.
2 - AOL issues. AOL compresses graphics (images) by default and many times images on ZAPP do not look clear are the result of viewing through an AOL browser. There are even stories of older MAC operating systems not being compatible with ZAPP if the user is going through AOL.

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I'm on a MAC OS 9 using AOL. Will I have a problem with ZAPP?
Yes, unless the issues can be fixed, there are upload and viewing issues. I've even hear of issued in filling out an application. AOL isn't the most user friendly ISP and older MAC operating systems can compound some of the problems. The recommended method is to view your ZAPP profile from another computer. As someone who regularly helps artists with digital jury problems, I've had MAC users e-mail their images for me to upload for them, or give me their username and password so I could check that their images look OK.

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How can I add more information to my images if they're committed?
There are two ways. You can upload a second set and add the information. Or you can use the "duplicate" button under the thumbnails to create a second set of images to add the required information. Either will allow you to complete the application with the new images that have the required information.

An illustrated instruction page on how to duplicate the images

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