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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> 40 x 60 print request YIKES
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07/15/2008 12:55:40 AM · #1
I had someone call me today looking for a "unique" photo of her and her husband that she would like printed at 40 x 60. (Actually she wanted 40x70 but the printer only goest to 60) I've never printed anything near this size, and told her this, the largest was about half that. Are there any recomendations when printing this large?

Message edited by author 2008-07-15 00:56:27.
07/15/2008 08:08:35 AM · #2
Step one: Ask what her budget is for the project (it may not be worth the effort if she thinks this will only cost $50)

Step two: Their are alternatives to 'standard prints', such as Simply Canvas offering prints up to 60 x 100. Of course, it is canvas (read - expensive)... but think of the impact when others see it on the wall & ask "who did that work for you?" Never limit yourself, or your client's ability to pay for what they want, even if they don't yet KNOW they want it ;)

Go big, sell big :D

Oh yeah!
(Step three - good luck!)
07/15/2008 10:02:37 AM · #3
If by "recommendations" you mean "How do I prepare an image to be printed at this large size?" most companies that specialize in making very large digital images will handle the upsizing themselves with their specialized software. Communicate directly with your vendor regarding their recommendations/requirements.

R.
07/15/2008 10:10:47 AM · #4
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

If by "recommendations" you mean "How do I prepare an image to be printed at this large size?" most companies that specialize in making very large digital images will handle the upsizing themselves with their specialized software. Communicate directly with your vendor regarding their recommendations/requirements.

R.

Could you elaborate on that?

Is there software that'll enlarge and maintain image integrity?

I've gotten 24x30 images out of PS and run it through a regular large format printer and had it come up very nicely, but 40 x60 is BIG!!!
07/15/2008 11:00:25 AM · #5
I am no expert, but I have had print places tell me they can make large sized prints from my files. And yes they have the software to do it.
07/15/2008 11:25:09 AM · #6
Keep in mind, also, that anyone viewing a 40x60 print will be doing so from a distance. They won't likely walk up close to see any loss in quality.
07/15/2008 11:27:31 AM · #7
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

If by "recommendations" you mean "How do I prepare an image to be printed at this large size?" most companies that specialize in making very large digital images will handle the upsizing themselves with their specialized software. Communicate directly with your vendor regarding their recommendations/requirements.

R.

Could you elaborate on that?

Is there software that'll enlarge and maintain image integrity?

I've gotten 24x30 images out of PS and run it through a regular large format printer and had it come up very nicely, but 40 x60 is BIG!!!


Yes, they have high-end resizing software that's intended for professional printing use. I don't know offhand which programs are most-used, but it's nothing you or I can afford :-) I've seen my printer pull wonderful 60x40 prints off 20D files, though i've never had it done on my own work. One thing's for sure: any processing flaws in your work get magnified into the "glaringly obvious" category at that size... Things like sloppy masking, blotchy burning, color banding, you name it...

R.
07/15/2008 12:14:52 PM · #8
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Yes, they have high-end resizing software that's intended for professional printing use. I don't know offhand which programs are most-used, but it's nothing you or I can afford :-) I've seen my printer pull wonderful 60x40 prints off 20D files, though i've never had it done on my own work. One thing's for sure: any processing flaws in your work get magnified into the "glaringly obvious" category at that size... Things like sloppy masking, blotchy burning, color banding, you name it...

R.

Oh, well no worries here then, 'cause I don't know how to do any of those things!!!

LOL!!!
07/15/2008 12:37:57 PM · #9
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

If by "recommendations" you mean "How do I prepare an image to be printed at this large size?" most companies that specialize in making very large digital images will handle the upsizing themselves with their specialized software. Communicate directly with your vendor regarding their recommendations/requirements.

R.

Could you elaborate on that?

Is there software that'll enlarge and maintain image integrity?

I've gotten 24x30 images out of PS and run it through a regular large format printer and had it come up very nicely, but 40 x60 is BIG!!!


Yes, they have high-end resizing software that's intended for professional printing use. I don't know offhand which programs are most-used, but it's nothing you or I can afford :-) I've seen my printer pull wonderful 60x40 prints off 20D files, though i've never had it done on my own work. One thing's for sure: any processing flaws in your work get magnified into the "glaringly obvious" category at that size... Things like sloppy masking, blotchy burning, color banding, you name it...

R.


Who do you use to do your printing?

~Ab
07/15/2008 01:24:46 PM · #10
Originally posted by chunky:

Who do you use to do your printing?

~Ab


I have a local camera store, Orleans Camera on Cape Cod, that's run by some serious photographers and has large-format printing stuff. I hand-deliver my disks when I need large prints, and we work on them together. I do up to 13x19 myself with my Canon large format printer.

R.
07/15/2008 02:50:01 PM · #11
I've never used them, but you may want to check out PixelOutpost.com. It looks like they specialize in large prints.

07/15/2008 02:56:15 PM · #12
If you want a rough idea of the quality, do an upsize in CS2 on Bicubic Smoother and crop a 11x14 chunk out to print for them. The cost should be minimal compared to the money they are likely to pay for a 40x60 and so they can get an idea of what the pic will look like at whatever distance it will be viewed from.

I always like upscaling myself because USM is best applied after any upscale and I lack confidence in other people to sharpen things to my taste.

Message edited by author 2008-07-15 14:57:03.
07/15/2008 03:05:53 PM · #13
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

If you want a rough idea of the quality, do an upsize in CS2 on Bicubic Smoother and crop a 11x14 chunk out to print for them.

That's a great idea, for the reasons you stated. I can get a 12x18 at Costco for $3 ....

You could also crop out several smaller chunks to gang on a large print to test different sharpening settings or different areas of the photo.

Message edited by author 2008-07-15 15:07:33.
07/15/2008 03:31:03 PM · #14
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

If you want a rough idea of the quality, do an upsize in CS2 on Bicubic Smoother and crop a 11x14 chunk out to print for them. The cost should be minimal compared to the money they are likely to pay for a 40x60 and so they can get an idea of what the pic will look like at whatever distance it will be viewed from.

I always like upscaling myself because USM is best applied after any upscale and I lack confidence in other people to sharpen things to my taste.


Well that's where I have to made with my store: we upload the image to their pooter, blow it up, and print small samples just like that on the spot and adjust as needed before running the big print.

R.
07/15/2008 03:42:26 PM · #15
Originally posted by Mick:

I've never used them, but you may want to check out PixelOutpost.com. It looks like they specialize in large prints.

Now this looks interesting. I had just posted a message here concerning large textured prints and my lack of success in finding a service locally.

Anyway, I did some research. It looks like Pixel Outpost may be my solution. Hopefully, it also helps the OP. Anyway, check this link for an interesting interview with the founder of Pixel Outpost.

Thanks Mick!

-len
07/15/2008 07:01:43 PM · #16
Originally posted by lenkphotos:

Originally posted by Mick:

I've never used them, but you may want to check out PixelOutpost.com. It looks like they specialize in large prints.

Now this looks interesting. I had just posted a message here concerning large textured prints and my lack of success in finding a service locally.

Anyway, I did some research. It looks like Pixel Outpost may be my solution. Hopefully, it also helps the OP. Anyway, check this link for an interesting interview with the founder of Pixel Outpost.

Thanks Mick!

-len

You're welcome!

Another one to consider is WallHogs.com. They do large prints too. They can also print on reusable vinyl or Photo-Tex. These have a semi-adhesive backing that sticks to your walls but can be moved anytime you want.


07/17/2008 02:30:35 PM · #17
You could try this software. ( Genuine Fractals 5 ) //www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=2

I believe they have a demo as well too.
07/17/2008 04:04:12 PM · #18
Sounds like you may have already found an alternative, but I'd also recommend checking out Exposuremanger -- they do canvas up to 30x40 and enlargement/prints up to 40x60.

While I haven't even requested prints that large from them, all my customers have had overwhelming positive response to their prints, and everything I have ever ordered from them (they are where I get all my personal prints done now, too) is top-notch.

As mentioned previously, as many printers, they recommend you let *them* do the upsizing.
07/17/2008 05:38:44 PM · #19
You can take your image and upscale it by using CS2 or CS3 (both now upscale as well as Genuine Fractals at the size I'm suggesting). Go to Image Size, then change the unit to percent. Upscale your image by 200% keeping the aspect ratio the same. Use Bicubic Smoother. Based on Bruce Fraser's work, you would be viewing this at at least 144 inches (12 feet) and could have it printed at 180 dpi (or even less - you can see detail at 180 dpi at 24 inches - anything finer than that is lost visually). That means your work would need to be 10,800 x 7200 pixels. Since the D20 shoots 3504 x 2336, doubling the image size would give you 7008 x 4672 which is not large enough. It would only make a 39 x 26.

In other words, you'll want to have it professionally upscaled.
07/17/2008 06:56:40 PM · #20
Regardless of who you have it printed and what software they use to up-size it... you have to start with an image that is tack sharp, correctly exposed (this means no shadows that are blocking up or washed out details) and with color balanced correct or at least neutral so it can be color corrected easily. While a image that is under or over exposed can be corrected to a certain extent and one that has a mix of hot spots and deep shadows can be fixed and color balance adjusted... all of that's going to require work and when you enlarge that big, unless the repairs are done by someone that knows what they are doing, they are going to show. Focus can't be fixed, nor can soft lenses (unless you are going for soft and mushy look). Assuming they want a nice, crisp, sharp and well exposed image, you will need to be sure you have the equipment that allows you to do that. And don't forget the tripod for that extra bit of stability during the taking of the pictures. I would shoot in raw as well (of course I shoot everything in raw, but if you don't, you might want to consider it).

Once you have a image file that is just about perfect, you can get it printed at a lot of places. It's going to cost more if they (or someone) has to fix it first.

Mike


07/20/2008 01:33:20 AM · #21
Thanks to everyone for all of the comments and information on this topic.

I shot the image for this huge photo tonight. What they wanted is VERY different, and not what I would put up at all. They are looking for a shot of only their hands and arms, extended straight out either side of the frame. (hands in the middle wife's arm out one side, husbands out the other side) The composition is NOT flattering IMO, it's boring and stiff looking.

I think after speaking more with the client and trying to visualize what she wants it's going to need some creative post processing. Not necessarily a straight photo is what I am thinking. She does want me to add wording to it so that already takes away from the straight photo aspect of it. I tried to convince her of more flattering poses and other ideas but she insisted on this composition.

Any thoughts on that?
07/20/2008 03:43:53 AM · #22
Originally posted by picturesbykim:



Any thoughts on that?


Giver her what she wants....as long as she pays for it.
07/20/2008 04:18:17 AM · #23
Originally posted by picturesbykim:

Thanks to everyone for all of the comments and information on this topic.

I shot the image for this huge photo tonight. What they wanted is VERY different, and not what I would put up at all. They are looking for a shot of only their hands and arms, extended straight out either side of the frame. (hands in the middle wife's arm out one side, husbands out the other side) The composition is NOT flattering IMO, it's boring and stiff looking.

I think after speaking more with the client and trying to visualize what she wants it's going to need some creative post processing. Not necessarily a straight photo is what I am thinking. She does want me to add wording to it so that already takes away from the straight photo aspect of it. I tried to convince her of more flattering poses and other ideas but she insisted on this composition.

Any thoughts on that?

I don't understand the problem. It sounds like your customer has a very specific image in mind. Were you able to capture/create that vision, or not? It may not be your idea of a good image, but you're not the one paying for it. If you've shown them the photo that you created and they're happy with it, then you shouldn't have a problem. Can you post a small version of it here for us to see?

Message edited by author 2008-07-20 04:19:18.
07/20/2008 12:53:27 PM · #24
Here is the original image cropped. I have also included what I started working on last night. Looking at it this morning I'm starting to see something with the image that I like. I'm going to keep playing with it. What do you all think of it so far?
I will also say I'm not totally thrilled with the lighting in the first image and you can see the changes. I didn't have time to reset lighting because the final image that we captured was probably an hour into shooting and trying to get the best posing down.

original:
[thumb]701050[/thumb]
[thumb]701051[/thumb]
07/20/2008 12:59:08 PM · #25
Originally posted by picturesbykim:

Here is the original image cropped. I have also included what I started working on last night. Looking at it this morning I'm starting to see something with the image that I like. I'm going to keep playing with it. What do you all think of it so far?
I will also say I'm not totally thrilled with the lighting in the first image and you can see the changes. I didn't have time to reset lighting because the final image that we captured was probably an hour into shooting and trying to get the best posing down.

original:
[thumb]701050[/thumb]
[thumb]701051[/thumb]


The thumbs....are really small.


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