Many times we get an artist who needs help with resizing their images in order to meet the requirements for uploading. If the artist runs their computer in Windows, there is an image editing feature that they can utilize to resize their images. In Windows this editing feature is called Paint.
Why does an artist need to learn how to resize images? Any image that you download directly from a camera or from a scan will be very large in terms of pixel size. The size of the image file is contingent upon the settings of the camera such as image quality, sensor size and resolution. Most organizations will require exact image sizes when entering their art competitions (and there is no standard size) and it is very important to follow their instructions for the files that you are uploading to them. This article is for anyone who has never resized an image before.
As previously discussed, Paint is a feature of your Windows operating system. Paint is used primarily as a drawing tool, but we can use their features for our resizing features. Locate this program in your Start Menu and it will be in the Accessories file. Open the program (if you feel you will be using this program more in the future, you can right click and create a shortcut to your desktop).
Locate and click on the “Paint” button located on the toolbar at the top of the application, choose and click “Open”. Locate your image file on your computer and then click “Open.”
Locate the “Home” tab. Below that tab is the “Image” tab. Click on the toolbar, then locate and click on “Resize”. A new small window will open called “Resize and Skew”.
In the “Resize and Skew” window, check the box labeled “Maintain Aspect Ratio”.
Check the “Pixel” feature and enter the “Horizontal” and “Vertical” specific pixel sizes required for the art competition that you are entering. Then click the “OK” button.
If the resultant image is correct, then click the “Paint” button on the toolbar. Choose and click the “Save As,” button. A new box will open and ask for the type of file that you want to save. Generally, this will be “JPEG”.
Name the file differently (or name according to the organization’s file naming requirement) than the original image and click “Save”. This will complete the resizing process.
Other features that Paint will provide to you are cropping, skewing and rotating images.
One feature that is lacking is the ability to edit and alter the image resolution. If for instance you are required to upload an image of 100 DPI, you would not be able to change your current image resolution with Paint. If you feel that you are limited with this resizer tool, try performing an internet search for “free image resizer software” and see what you can find. A couple of free programs that I have used are Gimp, PicResize and Sumo Paint and provides an artist with a “Photoshop Elements” type editing program. They have a lot of editing features and both programs have the ability to enhance images and to change the resolution of any image.
In addition, here is a great article from the Digital Photography School detailing different types of editing software http://digital-photography-school.com/tips-on-choosing-a-free-photo-editor-for-post-processing/.
I hope that this information helps the novice when resizing an image for art competitions or prior to getting any prints made.