Resizing images for digital competitions in SERIF AFFINITY PHOTO

Trevor Waller

Over time photographers find several ways of resizing images quickly, and no doubt you will build up your own shortcuts. Here is a good safe starting point. It seems a long task but actually once you have done it a few times it is very easy and quick to whizz through.

  1. First save your image in its largest size. Nothing is more annoying than reducing the size of an image and later wanting to print up a larger file! Duplicate it and give it an appropriate title. The compsec usually states how files should be renamed and it will end with your membership number.
  2. Open the duplicate to be resized in Affinity.
  3. Drop down the Documents menu and click on ‘Resize Document’. NB NOT resize canvas!
  4. A dialog box appears. At the top is ‘size’. Now is the time to pause and think for a minute. Your image might not be a ‘normal’ rectangle; the fact is the horizontal width must not exceed 1600px and the height must not exceed 1200px. First make sure the line below is set to Pixels. The left number above is the horizontal width, so type in 1600. (Do not touch the lock symbol as it keeps the proportions right). If the right box changes to 1200 or less, you are all set to go. Whatever, play with entering numbers in the boxes to get the biggest choice – the left box must not go bigger than 1600 and the right not bigger than 1200. For portraits the left number will often be less than the right and for landscapes the left bigger than the right.
  5. The next box down is DPI – Dots Per Inch. This is about printing and not important here. You have set the number of Pixels so it doesn’t matter what number is in this box. Ignore it.
  6. Next down is ‘Resample’. You can read all sorts of stuff about this but for now when reducing the size of an image, Bilinear is good. Leave the tick that should be by ‘Resample’.
  7. Click on the box ‘Resize. You probably won’t notice anything but you can read the file info on the top of the screen, top left.
  8. The next thing is to change the Colour profile to s(for small)RGB. This is so that the colours are reduced slightly in order to appear almost the same on the projector as your screen. The projector will do it anyway but it is far better that you do it. Go again to the Document menu and click on Convert Format/ICC Profile. You will see a long list of choices and somewhere will be sRGB IEC61966-2.1 or similar. Highlight it and then click Convert.
  9. Now most people will want to put a thin line round the photo. Some put white and some black and white. Personally I favour Grey.
  10. If you want to do it. Look to the right of the photo. If there is nothing much there, then your ‘Studio’ needs opening. Go to View menu and click on Studio. Accept the basic set for now – you can play later. On the right you will see a tab “Layers’. It should have one line called Background and when you click on it will turn blue to show it is active and the computer is ‘looking’ at it. If there are several layers, go to Document and Flatten.
  11. There is a tab close by Layers called Effects. Click to show its drop down menu. You will see one called Outline. Click a tick in the little black box to the left of the word Outline. A small cog wheel appears to the right of the line, so click on it. A box appears. All the effects’ detailed settings are listed so click again on outline. Start at the bottom. Colour probably has a black box beside it. Click in the box and change it to the colour you want the line to be. Click just outside the box to make the colours go away. Fill can be left at solid colour. Next upwards is Alignment. It is set to Outside, but we need Inside, so click and change it. The last bit is Radius. Look at your image and move the slider on the bar to the right, stopping when you think the outline looks right. End by clicking on Close at the bottom right.
  12. Can I just say that if you have been cropping your image and outlining without duplicating etc, you may find the line does not go round the box – just right click the Background layer and choose Rasterise and Trim. That’ll sort it.
  13. Lastly, resizing can often make images softer. It is a good idea to look at whether you need to increase contrast or maybe sharpen a little.
  14. Save as .jpg and send to Cardiff.compsec@gmail.com