Top Tips

This is a page for members to share their tips on how to take better photographs and for their favourite methods for post processing. There are many different methods in Photoshop, for example, to achieve the same thing but different processes suit an individual’s style better than others. Most guides on here will probably be either Photoshop (CS or Elements) or Adobe Lightroom but the principles applied in one piece of  software should still hold true for others. If you want your guide to be included on here, please send it to me via Email using my Email address in the program booklet (Len Brook) or via the Yahoo Group with the subject heading reading “Top Tips”. Also, make sure it is clear enough for a complete computer and photographic novice to understand and above all, make sure it works before sending it! (I won’t necessarily have time to test it myself before publishing.) Where possible, I will try and include a You Tube Video giving a practical demonstration of the subject.

Apart from the two Resizing PDI Competition subjects for and the PDI Competition Titling subject all other subjects will be listed by alphabetical order in accordance with the index below. The reason for the Titling and Resizing subjects is due to their importance in submitting entries to Camera Club competitions.


1. Preparing Your Entry For PDI Competitions.

  1. Resizing PDI Competition Images in Photoshop – A step by step walk through guide.
  2. Titling PDI Competition entries in Photoshop – A step by step walk through guide.
  3. Resizing and Titling PDI Competition entries in Microsoft Paint – A step by step walk through guide.
  4. Resizing Diagram.
  5. What Colour Space to use and how to change it – A step by step walk through guide.

2. Photo Judging Checklist. A downloadable document for self assessing an image/print prior to competition entry.

3. Notes on mounting prints.

4. Inside your DSLR. An interesting video of what happens to the mechanical parts inside your camera during the process of taking an image.

5. 10 ‘Rules’ of Photo Composition

6. The Photographers Ephemeris. A useful tool that shows the sun (and moon) direction from any location at any particular time of day.

7. Checking Monitor Luminance and Print Viewing Light. Roger Barrett’s web page to help make sure your work’s exposures are shown off properly.

8. Focus Stacking. A Gavin Hoey Video on how to do focus stacking in post processing, a very useful method to know for macro photography.



1. Preparing Your Entry For PDI Competitions

1. Resizing PDI Competition Images in Photoshop (Len Brook)

  • In the top bar left click on “Image”
  • In the drop down menu, left click on “Image Size”
  • In the box that appears, left click on “Scale Styles”, “Constrain Proportions”, “Resample Image”, and make sure the boxes on the left of these are ticked. In the box below these I have my selection as “Bicubic Automatic” but more experienced members than me might say different for this.
  • With these boxes checked, in the area under where it says “Pixel Dimensions”, enter the desired size (pixels not percent) of “1400” Width or “1050” Height. You only have to enter one set of numbers; Photoshop will resize the other side in proportion. You just have to make sure that neither of these numbers are exceeded. If they are, simply enter the correct number on the oversized section and let Photoshop adjust accordingly.
  • Now save and title your image with the using the steps below.

2. Titling your PDI Image for club competition (Len Brook)

  • In the top bar left click on “File”.
  • In the drop down menu left click on “Save As”.
  • In the box that appears, type in “group_title_your name”. Make sure the box saying ‘Format’ reads as “Jpg”. Please use lower case as this assists the PDI Secretary when it comes to sorting images for scoring. Please also use the same ‘your name’ for each entry through the season. This really does assist the PDI Secretary in locating your entries.
  • Left click on “Save”
  • The next screen gives “Jpg Options”. My personal preference where it says “Image Options” is ‘Maximum and 10’. (The setting for ‘Maximum 12’ uses up a lot more space with little apparent increase in quality).
  • Left click on “OK” and your image should now be ready for entry to the competition.

3. Resizing and Titling PDI Competition entries in Microsoft Paint. (Kate Linfield)

  • Click on ‘Start’.
  • Click on ‘Accessories’.
  • Select ‘Paint’.
  • Click on ‘File’.
  • Click on ‘Open’.
  • Select your image and click on ‘Open’.
  • Click on ‘Resize’. (Depending on your version of Windows, this could be an icon next to ‘Select’ which looks like to a small square with a bigger square in front of it.)
  • Click on the circle next to ‘Pixels’.
  • Click on the box next to ‘Horizontal’ and enter “1400”.
  • Check that the box next to ‘Vertical’ has a figure less than “1050”.
  • If these figures are equal to or less than the numbers stated, click on ‘OK’.
  • If they are not and are greater than the numbers stated, re-enter the too large figure to the correct size (the other should resize in proportion). Then click ‘OK’.
  • Click on ‘File’.
  • Click on ‘Save As’.
  • Enter “group_title_your name”. For example; beginner_sunset on worthing beach_kate linfield
  • Click on ‘Save’.
  • Now you can Email your entry to with the Subject Header “PDI”.

4. Resizing Diagram

  • ‘Right Click’ on the diagram and select “Open link in new tab” to view.


5. Colour Space

  • Images should use sRGB as the Colour Space. Using any other Colour Space such as Adobe RGB or Prophoto RGB will still be accepted for internal competitions but they can adversely affect the quality of your image. External competitions will only accept sRGB as the colour space. You can select the colour space to use by doing the following, depending on your editing software;
  • Adobe Photoshop: You can convert to a different colour space simply by using EDIT>CONVERT TO PROFILE, then select the colour space from the drop-down list.
  • Photoshop Elements: Go to pull-down menu IMAGE and then select CONVERT COLOUR PROFILE and you are given 3 options, select CONVERT TO sRGB PROFILE.


2. Photo Judging Checklist. Click anywhere on this sentence for a downloadable check list for self assessing an image/print prior to entry.



3. Notes on mounting prints.

General competition rules specify that mounts are no larger than 40cm x 50cm. The print can be placed anywhere on the mount. Any colour is acceptable. Prints do not have to be mounted in ‘cut out’ double mounts but can also be adhered to the surface of a mount board. Please bear in mind however that prints must be acceptable to the print secretary and should not be mounted in such a way that other prints are damaged when stored in the boxes used for the competitions. Mounts do not require a backing board but it is advisable to do so for protection. Prints framed in glass or similar are not acceptable.

Generally, prints mounted smaller than 40 x 50cm are not eligible for some other competitions, for example, the Regnum Crouch competition.

Demonstrations on mounting prints, aimed at new members, take place during practical sessions throughout the year. If in doubt, please talk to any committee member before mounting your print. The club have a mount cutter that can be booked out to members.

The club also has a deal with Elizabeth Goddard at Concept Frames where she will mount prints for you upon production of your membership card; 3 competition size prints for £10!

Concept Frames, Unit 8, Oaklands Business Centre, 64/68 Elm Grove, Worthing. BN11 5LH (01903 241613).


4. Inside your DSLR.

Have you ever wondered what happens to the mechanical moving parts inside your DSLR when you press the button to take a picture? This video, which should be of interest to all levels of photographer, shows just that and why you have a highest sync. speed for flash use.


 5. 10 Rules of Photo Composition.

This link will take you to an interesting and useful guide to composing your photos for maximum effect. Just click anywhere on this section to take you there.


6. The Photographer’s Ephemeris

This link will take you to a useful tool for determining Sun and Moon direction at any given location at any time of day or night. It’s free to use as well.



7. Using Your Camera to Check Monitor Luminance and Print Viewing Light.

This link will take you to Roger Barrett’s web page where he explains how to check the viewing brightness of your monitor and prints and avoid under/over exposure in post processing. Just click anywhere on this sentence to take you there.


8. Focus Stacking

This video by Gavin Hoey will demonstrate how to easily use focus stacking during post processing. This method is very useful for macro photography but has many other applications as well.



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