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Re-sizing digital images

All digital images for club competitions should be sized to a maximum of 1600x1200 pixels (and optionally set to 300ppi). The exception is the Three On A Theme competition which allows 1920x1200 pixels as the limit.

The examples below show how an individual image can be re-sized in Photoshop or Lightroom. The dialog boxes may have slightly different options in different versions of Photoshop but the procedure is the same in all versions. Similar options exist in Photoshop Elements and other image editing software will also have equivalent options.

The image used in this example starts at 6000x4000 pixels and has no border. It is re-sized to a width of 1600 pixels with a 4 pixel white keyline border.

For more on resizing and resampling see the Adobe resizing support page for Photoshop Elements or the image size and resolution page for Photoshop.

Re-sizing without a keyline border

Before creating a crisp border on a re-sized image, the image should be re-sized without a border. This is the starting point for the keyline border methods that follow.

Re-sizing with a keyline border

The two most common methods for creating a keyline in Photoshop are:

The main differences in the two methods are:

The "inner border" method (stroke line)

For this method the image is first re-sized to the exact required final width or height using the "without a keyline border" method. A stroke line of the required colour and width is then added to create a border around the inside of the image. This stroke line will lie on top of the image so some image pixels will no longer be visible. As usual with Photoshop there is more than one way to create the stroke line.

We are now ready to add the stroke line.

The "outer border" method (canvas extension)

For this method the image is initially re-sized slightly smaller than the required final size and is then extended to the required final size when the border is created. For our example image we want a final width of 1600 pixels and a 4 pixel border all the way around. So the initial re-sizing must produce an image that is 1592 pixels wide. When the 4 pixel border is added to each side we end up with a 1600 pixel image.

Save option for jpeg files

Files should be saved as in JPEG format. The following applies to Photoshop but other software will have similar options. The quality setting in other software may be described differently e.g. 0-100 rather than 0-12.

Re-sizing in Lightroom

The Lightroom Export screens allows resizing but does not have a simple means of adding a border to a borderless image. The standard Export module is therefore only good for borderless resizing.

The approach to re-size an image and to add a border on the re-sized image is to use the "Edit in Photoshop" option in Lightroom and then use one of the methods described above.

Alternatively, the LR Mogrify plugin for Lightroom adds a powerful set of options to allow export with a single inner or outer border, or a combination of multiple inner and outer borders, without the need to go into Photoshop - everything is controlled from the Lightroom Export screen with the the benefit that an export Preset can be saved. Once configured this means that only a few clicks are needed regardless of the image aspect ratio.

The plugin appears as a set of post-processing options in the Export screen. The example below mimics the "outside border" method above. The image is re-sized smaller than the final required size and an outer border is added to create the keyline and achieve the desired final image size.