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Photography Question 
Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2003
 

Professional Printing


I've read a lot of questions and answers on printing in the archives so went back to the print on my computer to see if resolution was correct--I just received the first 2 digital prints I ever made and I'm confused. The 8x10 on canvas looks nice. The 11x14 on premium lustre paper is horrible. When I blew up my original on the computer, sure enough, it looked the same there...horrible. The shadows on face were black, more like lines, and had tinges of red and green. I don't know why...and why would the printing company I found on-line say "Thank You and Enjoy" on their invoice when the big pic is so clearly unenjoyable. Can they tell ahead of time what's gonna work and what isn't? THANKS.


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5/20/2004 2:47:39 AM

 
Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2003
  PS --- My camera is a Sony DSC-F717 and my pics were taken in the highest quality TIFF mode. Also, when I blew up my own pic, I could see a big mess from where I made some color changes with Paintbucket--not sure how to do the clone stamp which I gather is preferable--company cropped the pic for me since they said the file I sent was too square, otherwise that big giant mess of blue gobs on his chair would have shown up. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT...and don't know what to do next.


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5/20/2004 3:11:01 AM

 
John Wright   Let me see if I get what you are saying here...

1. You sent files to be printed.
2. You got back prints that had questionable quality
3. You checked your originals after getting your prints and verified that the original files looked bad.

Did I miss anything?

It sounds like you have the answer already. You have to check your files at full size before sending them to be printed. You also need to check the files on a (at least somewhat) calibrated monitor to ensure that you are seeing as close to the real thing as possible.

Surely you don't expect a printing company to pick and choose what looks good and what doesn't and then only print what looks good to them. It's up to you as the photographer to ensure the quality of your work.

As for the cropping, you should also have an idea of how much cropping is going to take place when the file gets printed. I know the place that I get prints done (mpix.com) shows a cropping tool and allows me to select the crop I want - if the files needs to be cropped at all.

I'm sure the people that read this thread will be more than willing to help - as am I...

John


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5/20/2004 8:11:17 AM

 
Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2003
  John,
"It's up to you as the photographer to ensure the quality of your work". My main point is that I don't know how...the monitor is calibrated...where did that odd coloring and texture come from? Should I assume that 8x10 is biggest size? How does one fix a mess that's exposed only when pic is blown up? I mean, is it necessary for everyone to fix the pic? I'm not blaming the printing company although I do think it's odd that they wouldn't make a more apt comment like "SORRY" instead of "ENJOY", LOL. Anyway, maybe I will study a photoshop book, but I was shocked to see the mess of a pic and don't understand the process that makes it that way. Thanks for your help.


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5/20/2004 9:18:57 AM

 
John Wright   Without seeing the photo, it's hard to talk about the coloring or how to fix it. Do you have an example somewhere that we can view?

The Sony 717 should allow you to get prints up to 16x20 (and possibly larger), but the photo needs to be excellent quality - sharply focused and properly exposed.

Paint bucket is rarely a tool that I use, but there are times... :-)

When shooting, I try to make the photo as close to perfect that I can (at least to the best of my ability), so that post shoot processing is limited. The more post processing that you do, the more chance there is of failure (IMHO).

You might do a search on "photo digital workflow" or "digital darkroom" to see what others suggest on post processing. This might also give you some ideas on what you need to look for...

John


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5/20/2004 10:57:44 AM

 
Laura J. Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2003
 
 
 
John, thanks, i'll do that...here is pic...I've gone back over others I have and have found no color distortions on some and the same red and green stuff on a black dog...


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5/20/2004 2:45:00 PM

 
John Wright   From what I can see, it looks like you did some significant modifications to the wall behind the man. In fact, it looks like the whole wall behind him was colored (maybe this was the use of the paintbucket you mentioned). I also see the black paintbrush effect along the top of the chair.

As for the man, it looks like it was pretty dark and you lightened up the shot. As a result, you have some considerable noise (all the red and gree spots). I wonder if this is from a significantly larger shot that has been cropped just to show the man.

In Photoshop, I use the cloning tool and the healing brush to mask out areas (or replace them altogether). Learning to use those two tools would help in correct a shot like this.


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5/20/2004 3:51:10 PM

 
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