6 PDI Production & Submission

Please complete the following;

  1. Review the Rules for Projected Digital Images (PDIs)
  2. Be aware of the General Advice for Image Sizing in Photoshop (PS)

Complete your Printing process for the print(s) before carrying out the next process.

PDI Production

This process ensures your PDI is the same ‘crop’ as your image area. If you have bled part of your image behind the frame edge, you will need to re-crop the image before saving a PDI. This article tells you how to do this.

I am using Photoshop (PS) as the main software for this process, with a final review in i-Mac Preview software.

To start the PDI production process;

From LR, select the option to ‘Export’ your printed competition images. This creates separate, JPEG files of your image.

Open the exported file in PS, in the module where you can crop it.


  1. Set your Mounted Print near your PC screen so that you can see it. If you have bled the printed area under the frame (so that your print area is bigger than the frame opening), the visible area through the frame will be less than the original size on your screen image.
  2. You need to reduce the area of your image accordingly for the PDI file. This is so that what is projected is the SAME as your framed area. Judges often comment on the PDI not matching the Print, so PLEASE, take the time to complete this step.
  3. In PS, using the PS Crop tool, set the selected crop area of your image to equal that on your print as visible within your mount frame. You can do this exercise by calculation, but nothing beats what you can physically see! Please crop your image.
  4. With the correctly sized image, use the top of screen menu to change the Image Width to 1400 pixels, with the aspect ratio lock ON (the chain link icon beside height and width). If the height is less than 1050, you are in business. If not, set the height at 1050 pixels, and accept the reduced width. OK the changes you want.
  5. Go the top menu again but this time to Image, Canvas Size. Decide on the anchor point first. I like mine at the top for landscape, centre for portrait. Click the appropriate arrow for you. Ensure canvas extension colour is black.
  6. The canvas MUST be 1400 X 1050 unless you are operating under the soon to be new rules of 1600 X 1200 pixels. These sizes are absolute, not maximum or minimum. Both these sizes have aspect ratios of 0.75 (which is 4 X 3). You now have the image set up for your waiting colleagues, but possibly not the judge. The judge is briefed to discount the PDI. I could go on.
  7. In PS, Menu option File, Export, Quick export as JPG, note where you are sending the file (so that you can find it), and save it.
  8. Your PDI JPEG file (a compressed file with .jpg extension) is now in a format and size to send to the club electronically.
  9. You should email the Print Coordinator. You do not need to send a second copy to the PDI coordinator because the Print Coordinator does this for you.
  10. I add the Competition Date and Name in the email subject heading, and I list my prints by title, followed by their jpg files in the same email.

This is the end of the PDI process. These notes are for those who fear rejection.

PDI Submission

Having produced your PDI JPEG file, a useful rule of thumb you can use to quickly assess your PDI for accuracy, is to check the size of the file. For example using a Micro Four Thirds Camera with a 18 Megapixel sensor, set to capture RAW and jpeg simultaneously:

  1. The RAW image produced will typically be 16MB – 18MB in size (4608×3456). After resizing to 1400×1050 and exporting as a jpg at maximum quality settings the resultant file size is typically 1.3MB.
  2. The jpeg captured at the same time is 8MB in size (4608×3456). After resizing to 1400×1050 and exporting as a jpg at maximum quality settings the resultant file size is typically 1.2MB.

Images submitted to the Club competition co-ordinators are typically 800KB – 1.5MB in file size. If yours is significantly less than this, I recommend that you revisit your sizing and jpeg export process to ensure you are getting the maximum quality possible.  It is also worth noting that some email clients, especially Apple will significantly re-compress the attached jpeg file.

  • Check your email is being sent ‘actual size’. If you are an Apple user there is a selector in the top right of your email editing screen.
  • Check too, that you haven’t inadvertently prepared a ‘.png’ file by mistake as that too will lead to rejection. Only ‘.jpg’ files please.

You are now ready to take your finished masterpiece to the competition location on the night.

Please go to 7 Housekeeping