Digital Competition entering

Quite a few times I get asked “How come my images that are digitally projected look so flat and yours look so good?”


Well for a start running the Digital competitions at Southampton Camera Club and also running the Digital side of the Southampton International Exhibition has given me an insight into what needs to be done to an image to make it look right, although I was playing around with finding the right settings right from when I first started entering digital competitions. I like so many wondered why my images looked so flat when projected onto a big screen.

The first thing to sort out is as with the proverbial print that comes out to dark, even on a colour calibrated monitor, most people forget about the brightness when calibrating. M ost monitors straight out of the box will be set to about 180 - 200 cd/m2 which for pohto editing is way to bright, most calibration software these days allows you to set a monitor brightness and this should be down around the 100 cd/m2 mark.

Now with our perfectly colour and brightness calibrated monitor if you can get an image to look right on it then you can quite easily make it project right. There are only 2 things extra that I do for a projected image over what I do for a print.


Lightroom users needs to decrease the exposure by -0.20 and increase the contrast by +15

Photoshop users need to add an adjustment layer and drecrease the brightness by -10 and increase the contrast by +15

Of course this is all dependant on the projector that is being used to view the final images being calibrated too. Which any camera club running digital competitions should be doing.

© Ian Hutchinson 2017