If you are a Lightroom user, you can use the Print module to prepare your competition files so they’ll be ready to submit to OPPA and PPA competitions. The following steps are for Lightroom on a Mac. Though Lightroom is almost identical on the Mac and Windows platforms, the dialogs shown below are quite different on the two platforms. On the Windows side printer and page settings in the Print module can vary considerably depending on which printers you have installed. If you are a Mac user, the following steps should do the trick. If you’re a Windows user, you’ll have to improvise a bit to figure out how to use your print driver to setup page size.
1. In the Print module, choose Single Image / Contact Sheet from the Layout Style panel at the top right.
2. Click the Page Setup button on the lower left to open the Page Setup dialog (figure 1).
3. When the Page Setup dialog opens, open the Paper Size dropdown menu and choose Manage Custom Sizes.
4. When the Custom Paper Sizes dialog opens (figure 2), click the plus button (+) at the bottom to add a new size. Click the name to rename it to the intended size. The set the Width and Height values to the desired size. Be sure to set all margins to 0. Then click OK, and click OK again to close the Page Setup dialog.
5. Use the Cell Size section of the Layout panel to determine image area on the overall layout. Use the Margin section of the Layout panel to control positioning of the cell on the layout.
6. Select Page Background Color on the Page panel and then click the color swatch to the right to open the color picker. Choose a color for your background.
7. Go to the Image Settings panel near the top and select Stroke Border. Use the color picker to choose a color and then use the Width slider to adjust the width. (You can also click in any numerical field and type values into it.)
8. When the layout looks good, go to the Print Job panel (figure 4), the bottom panel. Change the Print to menu at the top of the panel to JPEG File. The set resolution to 200 ppi and JPEG Quality to 100*. Apply Print Sharpening if necessary. (I suggest you experiment with sharpening amounts to see how they affect your files.) Then click the Print to File button to save your file.
9. After saving your file, check it to see if it falls within the file preparation guidelines of 3.5 Megabytes. If it’s over that size, go back to the Print Module and reduce the JPEG Quality value by 10 and saving the file again. Repeat this process as necessary to meet the file sizing standard. (Here’s a link to the rules: http://oregonppa.org/competitions/oppa-competition-rules/.)
* Digital file submission rules for OPPA and PPA stipulate a maximum dimension of 4000 pixels on the longest edge. If you have a 20 inch layout and output it at 200 ppi, you end up with 4000 pixels (20×200=4000).