Entering Online Shows
Have you seen online classlists advertised and would like to enter, but haven't a clue as to how?
Here are basic guidelines on how to make it less difficult and easier to understand.

NOTE:  I use custom display colors, which is why my screen shots are orange and yellow
instead of the standard Windows blue and gray.

First, you must have good, clear digital photos.  If you don't have a digital camera, you probably have to either scan your photos or get photo disks at developing.  (Also see Working With Digital Photos)  Either way, there are limits and recommendations that should be followed when sending digital photos to judges.  Most prefer these rules:

1.  Resolution around 72 dpi; no higher than 120 dpi.
2.  Size no larger than 500 pixels per side; many prefer right around 300.
3.  The general rule of thumb is no more than 5 attachments per message.  AOL only allows one attachment, while some people can handle 10 or more.

The best way to be sure is, if the classlist doesn't specify, write and ask the judge.  As the judge of many online shows, I never minded if people had questions.  I would rather be asked than take the time to download unusable entries!

Depending on the scanning/image editing software you use, adjusting your photos to 72 dpi/500 pixels per side should not be difficult.  I use the simple but reliable Microsoft Photo Editor, which comes with the Office suite.  Here is a screen shot of adjusting a photo in MS Photo Editor using the Image-Resize command:

Here, you see that the original photo is 500 x 314 pixels per side.  To change it, I simply type a different number in either of the boxes and it adjusts correctly.  For this one, here is what I did:

Again, depending on the software that you use, certain other adjustments may have to be made.

If your resulting digital photos are too dark, too light, or blurry, you can adjust them, but it is frowned upon to actually edit or change the photos--i.e., hide a fault or enhance the model beyond what it really is.  Also remember that if a judge can't see your model clearly, they can't judge it!

One last warning--don't try to adjust your photos to look better on someone else's monitor.  If they look good on yours, they'll probably be fine on others.

Once you have your scanned pictures, then what?
Actually entering the show is what confuses most people.  Again, how to do it depends on the Email software you use, but here is how I do it with Netscape Messenger.

First of all, be clear on exactly what information the judge wants and how they want it entered into the Email message.  For the old TOPSA show format, here is a screen shot of the information I send:

After typing in the required information, I then attach the digital photos in the correct order:

Last but not least, be sure to proofread it and then address it correctly.

Here's a trick I use with Messenger that should be available in most other Email packages.  When I complete an entry but before I actually send it, I save it as a template.  That way the message is saved as-is and I only have to re-address each one instead of re-typing the information all over again for each show.

And that's it!  The initial composition takes some time, but if you can save it as a template or draft, it only takes a few minutes to send it along to the next show.

Any questions or comments?  Please email me--and good luck! ;-)

Go to How To Hold An Online Show
Go to Working With Digital Photos

Web design by