- Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

IAC > Resources > Tips for Artistic Documentation Tips for Artistic Documentation

Image Specifications

Before uploading images to the Online Grant System (CGO), lease format/size your images as follows:


1920 pixels x 1920 pixels (No other size will be accepted for jury use.)

File Format:

Baseline JPEG (Do not use progressive JPEG format)


Please size your image so the final compressed file is no more than 1.8 MB in size. 

Note: Please do not save your JPEG as a progressive JPEG file. 


Internet submissions only

File Name:

CGO will automatically rename your files


Do not use a camera below 3.2 megapixels. Always use a tripod to steady your shot. If you choose to take your picture on film and digitize from a negative you need to use good color film like Fuji Provia 100F (also called RDP-III) or Kodak Ektachrome 100 Professional or Kodak Elite Chrome 10.

Preparing Images for Uploading

You may use any photo editing software you choose to resize or compress your images. If you do not have photo editing software on you computer, we suggest using the online photo editor

If your image is not square, you will need to mask your image with black to bring your image to 1920 x1920 pixels. EXAMPLE IMAGES: (your image would be the red/blue area)

For Horizontal Images: 
Format with black horizontal bands on the top and bottom


For Vertical Images:
Format with black vertical bands on the left and right


  1. In a web browser, navigate to
  2. Click the "File" tab, and choose to "Open a new image" and size it 1920 x 1920 
  3. Click the paint bucket tool and then click the white square to fill the image with black
  4. Click the "File" tab, and choose to "Open" the image file you wish to edit (once it uploads, it will come up in a new window)
  5. Click the “Image” tab, go to size, change the largest side to 1920 (make sure "constrain proportions is checked"
  6. Click the “Edit” tab, then click "Select All"
  7. Click the "Edit" tab, then click "Copy"
  8. Click the window that contains the black box image
  9. Click the "Edit" tab, then click copy. The image should appear on top of the black box.
  10. Click the "File" tab, then click "Save" to save the file to your computer for uploading to your application in the CGO system

Photoshop Tips

Please note that these instructions are one way to process your image through Photoshop. We advise that artists experiment with their own photo imaging software to develop the best process in sizing their images.

  1. Download your image from your digital camera to a file on your personal computer. You must use an image that has at least one side larger than 1920 pixels. A 4 MB or larger image is ideal
  2. Save your original image in RAW/TIFF format
  3. Open Photoshop
  4. Go to File and open your image
  5. Go to Image, Image Size:
    1. Make sure you are looking at your image size in pixels
    2. Make sure that Constrain Proportions is checked
  1. Take the longest side and size it down to 1920.
    1. The shorter side will shrink down in proportion
  1. Go to Color Picker (The overlapping color boxes at the bottom of the main toolbar)
    1. Make sure the background color is black
  1. Go to Image, Canvas Size:
    1. Make sure you are looking at your canvas in pixels
    2. Size the shortest side to 1920
    3. Make sure you are anchored in the center
    4. If your color picker is set, the canvas background will automatically be black

      If you do not have your color picker set prior to increasing your canvas size, you will need to:
    5. Click on Color picker
    6. Make sure that the background and foreground color is black
    7. Select your paint bucket
    8. Click on the white area
    9. This should only color the white with black
  1. Save your image for the Web:
    1. Go to File, Save for Web 
    2. Make sure your settings are for JPEG
    3. Name your image
  1. Check Properties:
    1. Right click (on a two button mouse) on the image icon
    2. Check image size
    3. If your image file size is LARGER than 1.8 MB, then repeat step 9 using the original image you generated and increase compression (From High to Medium or Low) in the Save menu. Then repeat step 10

Click here for more Photoshop Tips from professional photographer Larry Berman.

Tips on Taking Digital Images

  • Taking a digital photograph instead of scanning a hard copy photograph or slide to digital format will yield the best results. Use at least a 3.2 megapixels camera that will allow you to save the image in a lossless format such as TIFF or RAW. This will give you the best opportunity to resize your image without losing detail.
  • Once you resize your RAW file, you will need to convert that file into a JPEG. The JPEG format will allow that file to be uploaded into a Web application like CGO. If your digital camera only captures images in the JPEG format, do not resize the JPEG--convert it to a TIFF before doing any resizing. This way, you will keep the maximum detail possible.
  • Set your white balance on your camera against a neutral white source to give you a "pure" white color. Follow the instructions that came with your camera to set your white balance correctly.

Slide Conversion

Traditional slides can be scanned and converted to digital format at most full service photo labs. It is better to have the original slide scanned because the color and detail has not been diminished from duplication. Most photo labs offer picture CD's that come with basic photo editing software (KODAK Picture CD) that saves images as JPEGs. You can also purchase a 35 mm scanner designed for scanning slides and digitize the image on your home computer.

Examples of Photo Editing Software

  • Jasc Paint Shop Pro
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Publisher with digital imaging

Artist Spotlight

Organizational Spotlight

Upcoming Deadlines & Events

View All Events »