BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Tami Jo Gramont
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/24/2006


Is there someone who'd be willing to look at or offer suggestions BEFORE I send a photo for giclee? Has someone done this before and knows "next time I'll..." It could be an expensive lesson on my part and I'd love to hear other's experiences before I send my photo in... What to look for before, what you'd have done differently, what have you learned from going this route?

Thanks in advance for any help at all!

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4/23/2006 10:13:54 AM

Michael H. Cothran   Tami,
First of all, do not be mesmorized by the term 'giclee.' Commercial Giclee's were in fashion before the advent of quality home inkjet printers, simply because the latter were not as sophisticated as they are now.
A Giclee print is NOTHING MORE or LESS than an inkjet print. Period. Put another way - it IS an inkjet print. Nothing more, nothing less. It has NO magical properties to it that you cannot get from a home computer/inkjet printer setup.
When ordering a giclee print from a lab, here are some suggestions to follow -
Be sure you contact the lab, and ask what color space they use or recommend, and be sure your file is set to that space. Ask them what their suggested ppi is for the file size you are requesting, and be sure your file is capable of producing the needed ppi. And finally, be sure that your file is color corrected and contrast adjusted on a calibrated monitor, and that it is clean and adequately sharpened.
Remember the old adage - "garbage in, garbage out." The better your file, and the better it matches the lab's printer, the better your print will be.
Michael H. Cothran

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4/24/2006 12:15:08 PM

Tami Jo Gramont
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/24/2006
  Thank you Michael!

Ah, yes, just a printer, but then, just a printer that will print on canvas and very large, whereas, mine will only print 11 X 8.5. So, therein lies the issue; I'd like a large version of one (or two) of my photos, something I cannot do.
I can guess that my monitor is calibrated correctly, as it prints what I see, except when I upload to betterphoto it looks like the exposure if off, (too light) compared to what I see on my monitor before I send it. I also can send the very same image to another website and see what I saw on my monitor (mac, by the way). There is another aspect of my confusion, and then, referals are always preferred, I don't have a referal for a printing company. I guess, too, I'm trying to head off any potential problems BEFORE I print and then think, Oh, I see that now, after spending too much money to learn such a lesson.

I thank you for the feedback, very helpful.

Do you print larger versions of your photos? If so, what company do you use?


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4/24/2006 1:27:50 PM

Michael H. Cothran   Hi Tami,
Yes, I print up to 24"x36", but I bought my own wide format Epson printer, so all my printing is done in the comfort of my living room (also from a Mac)! There are some reasonably priced Epson printers that will print 13x19, and even one that will print 17x20-something. If you do a lot of printing, you might consider the purchase of one in the future. And many of these Epson printers will print onto canvas.
I belong to a Yahoo group called Art Show Photo. Many photographers on the forum farm out their larger prints. I strongly recommend you join the forum, and then post a question as you did here. You should get lots of responses. In addition to the forum, there is also a large area provided by the owner which lists highly recommended supplies and services, including top notch labs around the country.
Michael H. Cothran

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4/24/2006 3:18:05 PM

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