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Submission Guidelines

1. Introduction
For digital competitions the club uses software called “Film Free Projection” to run the evenings and keep track of the competitions. This software uses “Metadata” stored in the files to know what the title of the image is and who is entering it. If these details are not correctly provided, then it may not be possible to allow the images to be entered into the competition. We have recently introduced a new system to simplify the correct labelling of images. This automated system should be easier for less computer literate members to use but the methods used in previous seasons are still available for those members who are comfortable with the approach.

One of the key constraints we face is the number of images that can be shown and commented on in an evening, so we often have to restrict entries on popular events. Therefore, we ask members to indicate their order of preference for entries by labelling them numerically, where 1 is the most preferred entry and 4 is the least. If the event is oversubscribed, then the 4th ranking images of all entrants are dropped first and then the 3rd etc., until we have a suitable number of entries for an evening to run successfully. If you do not number your images, as described below, then the random order that they are downloaded will be used to prioritise your images.

Print competitions are run manually with images being placed into the club lightbox for review by the judge. Once again the club is limited by the number of prints that we are able to show in one evening so a cap is put on the number of prints allowed based upon the level of entries received. This cap will be communicated to everyone the day after the submission deadline so as to allow sufficient time for printing and mounting.

2. Submission of digital images using the automated system
The automated system is designed for users who are unsure of how to correctly add metadata to their images for the competition software to work correctly. It is recommended for those who are less confident using computers. For existing members who are comfortable using the old method described below, there is no reason to change.

The system allows you to upload images to a website, which automatically adds the appropriate metadata before emailing the files to the Competition Secretary for inclusion.

2.1. Registration
The first step to using the automatic system is to register as a user:
  • Go to the submission website
  • You will see a button marked “Register”. Click on this to register as a user on the system.
  • Your “User Name” should be a name you can remember as you will use this to log in to the service.
  • The “Your Name” field should contain your full name as this will be applied to the images and used to identify you during the competitions.
  • “Email Address” and “Password” should be self-explanatory. Again, try to pick a password you can easily remember.
  • When you have filled in your details, click on the “Create User” button and you should get a confirmation that you have successfully registered.

2.2. Uploading images
It is suggested that you already have a folder prepared with your entries ready to be uploaded. Although you don’t need to resize images for this system as it will do it for you automatically, you will find images upload much quicker if you have resized them to 1400x1050 pixels. If you are unsure of resizing then don’t worry.

Since a competition may be oversubscribed and therefore not all entries will be shown on the night, it is important that you rename the files to include your name and a preference order before they are uploaded. To do this in Windows, simply right-click on the file and select “Rename”. You can then type the new name for the file. Ideally, filenames should be in the form of Authorname Abbreviatedtitle XofY (where XofY indicates the Xth entry out of a total of Y – e.g. PaulB Sunset 1of3 is the filename for Paul Beastall’s entry “Sunset over the Cam” and is my first entry out of 3). If images are not numbered and the event is oversubscribed, then they will be selected in the order that they are downloaded.

You will be able to upload entries using the automated system from 2 weeks before the closing date (3 weeks before the competition itself). To upload pictures:
  • Go to the submissions website
  • Log on to the site using the User Name and Password you set up previously
  • You will be presented with an option to select which competition you wish to enter (there should only be one option available at any time). Select that event by clicking on it and you will be taken to the upload page.
  • On the upload page, select “Browse” and then find your image folder and select the first image to be uploaded.
  • The page may appear to have stopped working for a minute or so while the image is uploaded.
  • When the image has been uploaded successfully, the page will show you a thumbnail of the image with a box underneath that you should type the title of the image into.
  • Then click on the “Refresh Images” button to save the changes.
  • You can then upload further images and even delete ones if you change your mind.
  • Once all images have been uploaded, click on the “Email Entries to Projectionist” button to send in your entries. If that option is greyed out, it is because you haven’t correctly titled all your images.
  • You should get a confirmation screen that the images have been successfully emailed.

3. Advanced users
Although the software upload is intended to simplify the entering of competitions, for more experienced users, it is still possible to enter by directly emailing submissions, or by supplying on DVD/CD. In this case, you should ensure that your images are correctly titled to avoid problems. If you are unsure about titling your images, please use the automated system described above.

3.2. Submission of digital entries
Images should be submitted by the end of the club meeting the week before the competition via the upload service described above, email to scc.competitions@googlemail.com or on a DVD or CD to the Competition Secretary (or nominated deputy) at the club. DVDs or CDs will not be returned after submisison..

Important Notes concerning the scc.competitions@googlemail.com email address:
  • It is set up to automatically send a receipt for emails received. If you don’t get a receipt you must assume that your entries haven’t got through and you will need to submit your entries by DVD or CD to meet the deadline for that method of entry.
  • If you send more than one email from the same address the Googlemail email will not send a “proof of receipt email” to the second or subsequent emails sent within 4 days of an earlier email. It is therefore suggested that if you need to send multiple emails from the same address you do so in sufficient time to space them accordingly.
  • If you send a competition entry with no text in the body of the email then it may get marked as spam and you will not get a proof of entry reply. Emails should therefore include some words in both the “subject” and “main message” fields.
  • Do not submit email entries for a competition until the preceding competition has finished. If for any reason (such as holidays) you need to submit earlier than this, please do so only by DVD or CD.


3.1. Preparation of digital files
Some of the following is to do with your images appearing as they should on screen but most is to ensure that the competition software works correctly. Images should be prepared to the following specification:
  • File Type: JPEG (no TIFF’s, PSDs, RAW, etc).
  • Colour Space: RGB (or Greyscale for monochrome).
  • Colour Profile: sRGB.
  • Image Size: maximum 1400 pixels horizontally and 1050 pixels vertically.
  • Note: pixels, not centimetres or inches
  • “landscape” format images should therefore be a maximum of 1400 pixels wide,
  • “portrait” format images should therefore be a maximum of 1050 pixels high,
  • “square” images should be a maximum of 1050 x 1050 pixels.
  • Image Metadata: the author’s name and the image title to be included in the image metadata.

See below under FILE NAMING/METADATA EXAMPLES for what we mean by “Image Title” for Non-Panel and Panel Competitions.

File Naming:

“Non-panel” Competitions (eg. Annual Digital Projected Image): the software can cope with any image filename, however you need to specify the order of preference of images in case the event is oversubscribed. So you should use filenames in the form Authorname Abbreviatedtitle XofY (where XofY indicates the Xth entry out of a total of Y). If it is not clear then the Competition Secretary will assume the order of images as presented on the computer is the preferred order.

“Panel” Competitions (eg. Bamber Trophy): the projection software uses the filename to order the images. Therefore, it must take the form of Authorname Px-Sy (where Px-Sy indicates the yth entry in panel number x) Note the filename has a space after the author name, does not include the title and uses capital letters for P and S with a dash between.

3.3. Submission of print entries
All that is required initially to take part in a print competition is the title for each of your prints. Titles should be submitted by the end of the club meeting the week before the competition via email to scc.competitions@googlemail.com or handed to the Competition Secretary (and/or nominated deputy) at the club, they will then forward your titles to the email address above. Once the submission deadline has passed no changes to the order of your prints will be possible as scoring sheets will be drawn up ready for the competition.

Important Notes concerning the scc.competitions@googlemail.com email address:
  • It is set up to automatically send a receipt for emails received. If you don’t get a receipt you must assume that your entries haven’t got through. A list of all people entered will be send out the day after the submission deadline. Please check that you're on the list and hilight to the competition secretary if not.
  • If you send more than one email from the same address the Googlemail email will not send a “proof of receipt email” to the second or subsequent emails sent within 4 days of an earlier email. It is therefore suggested that if you need to send multiple emails from the same address you do so in sufficient time to space them accordingly.
  • If you send a competition entry with no text in the body of the email then it may get marked as spam and you will not get a proof of entry reply. Emails should therefore include some words in both the “subject” and “main message” fields.


3.4. Tips for Photoshop users
  • Save as jpeg using “File\Save As” menu command with “maximum quality” (12) selected.
  • Images can be resized using “Image\Image Size” menu command.
  • “Scale Styles”, “Constrain Proportions” & Resample Image” should be ticked (“Bicubic Sharper” setting is recommended).
  • Use “File\File Info” to include Author’s name and Title in the image metadata.

3.5. Editing metadata in Windows
  • The Author’s name and Title may also be added to the metadata using Windows:
  • Resize images using your preferred application and save a version.
  • Select, but don’t open the file you wish to title within Windows, right click on it and select “Properties”.
  • In Windows XP, click on the “Summary” tab. In Vista and Windows 7 it is called “Details”.
  • Highlight “Title” and type in the Title. Repeat for “Author” and type Author’s name.

3.6. File naming/Metadata Examples

Non-panel competitions (e.g. Annual Digital Projected Image, most Set-Subjects)
Let’s assume the author is Andy Dearn and the image title is Homer Simpson – D’oh.
  • The full author’s name & full image title as above have to appear in the image metadata, but can be abbreviated in the filename to stop the filename becoming too large.
  • AndyD is a suitable abbreviation of the author’s name as no other Andy with a surname beginning with D is currently a member of the club. Doh is an obvious shortened title.
  • Therefore the filename would be: AndyD Doh 1of4

1of4 indicates that it’s the first of a total of four images entered in the competition by Andy.

Note: Images should be numbered in your order of preference in case the competition is oversubscribed and not all of your images can be accepted

Metadata:
“Author” would be Andy Dearn
“Title” would be Homer Simpson D’oh

Panel competitions (e.g. Bamber Trophy)
Let’s now assume that the above image is to be entered into the Bamber Trophy, as the third of five images in Andy’s second choice panel.

In this case the filename should be: AndyD P2-S3.

P2 indicates that it’s the second of Andy’s panels and S3 indicates that it is the third image to be displayed in that set.

Note: Panels should be numbered in your order of preference in case the competition is oversubscribed and not all of your images can be accepted.

e.g. you put forward two panels but only one can be accepted – Panel 2 will be the one that’s excluded.

Metadata:
  • “Author” would be Andy Dearn
  • “Title” is not used and can be left blank in this instance


4. And finally...

If you have any queries just ask a member of the committee for assistance and a personal demonstration of the “technical” bits if required. Please do so well in advance of the closing date for the Competition.

Don’t let any of this put you off entering competitions though – it’s easy once you know how!!!