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Making prints of my paintings.

I would love to make good quality prints of some of my paintings. I exhibit in two exhibitions each year, one where we can not sell prints and another where anything goes. I have tried getting prints made of some Watercolour Paintings but the greens in particular turned out horrendous. I got a few photos printed in a photographic printers, I had loaded them up to a memory stick, the delicacy of floral photos did not come out well. I took the same media stick to a Stationery shop and they printed it out on regular paper and the results were perfect.The Stationery shop told me that they cannot scan anything bigger than A3 or quarter imperial. So after all that my question is ...if I do as @David_Quinn_carder advised in the thread on processing the Photographs of paintings for the Web, and save the results onto a media stick would this be a good way to make Prints? Currently because of the economic climate prints sell well at Art and Craft Exhibitions. :-?
scoobydoo1_1

Comments

  • Images created for the web (screen) are not sufficient for printing on paper. Images for the web are measured in pixels per square inch (ppi) and for paper dots per square inch (dpi). A good web image is 72 ppi (or 100 if you have a Mac), you need 300 dpi for a printed image. Also, most printed images are done in tiff format, not jpg, jpgs are a lossy format and every time you save it you lose data. Not every print shop uses the same printer and the quality will vary greatly. I suggest you use matte photo paper at home or a coated paper if you go to a print shop. The best print quality comes from the big digital printers but there are some smaller "proof" printers that will rip a very good quality print.
  • @junebug, I have a 35mm digital SLR,which I thought might be good enough to photograph my work. I cant scan it at home as my scanner will not take the painting size. I do not know if the scanner will scan the correct colours...or is the colour correctness determined by the printing. I spoke to a guy who works in a local photographic printer and he used to be in the "General" printing business e,g books pamphlets. He said that the paintings would have to be scanned in two halves and joined using photo shop. He also told me about the difficulty of reproducing colour accurately saying that the type of paper and the printer used would affect the outcome.@dencal, thanks for the info on giclees.I am sure there is a printer in Ireland that would make Giclees, but posting or delivering the painting and getting Giclees made would be expensive.Any input on what junebug said about images for screen are not of sufficient quality to print. Some photos I took printed out really well on ordinary paper.I would be very happy with that quality if I could scan it. someone suggested going to a local Architecture and asking them to scan them.Frustrating not having the knowledge myself ...Grrrr
  • edited April 2014
    If quality and accurate reproduction are important, you are going to have to find a good print shop where they'll scan and print the work for you. In the information @dencal provided it mentions having your work professionally photographed and that 35mm is accepted but they are actually saying that the work should be photographed with a medium format camera(or better) using transparency film. Film captures more stops of light than digital which means better depiction of values.

    Does your DSLR have a full frame sensor? You could take several shots with different exposure settings and then combine them in Photoshop. It won't be the same as scanning your work at the print shop or having your work photographed as mentioned above but it will be better than what you have right now.
  • edited April 2014
    @marieb I have confused you, sorry. This may get too bogged down, but here goes. The images you take with your camera are probably good enough for printing as long as the actual size printed (e.g., 8 x 10) is at a resolution of 300 dpi. You can check dpi in Photoshop. If you have the same 8 x 10 image in jpg suitable for web at 72 dpi, it will not print clearly. It will look fuzzy. To get the best reproduction of your painting, I suggest you take it to a print shop that has a drum scanner that can scan it at its actual size. If they have to scan in two pieces and marry them in Photoshop that will work as well as long as they get the seam correct and if they are in the print biz they can likely do that. If they scan at actual size and you tell them you want it scanned at a resolution for printing, they will scan it so it will print properly. Some scanners work on lines per inch vs. dots per square inch. Let them worry about that. A good quality scan can cost as much as $75 US. Once you get your scan in digital format, make a copy of it (save as painting-orig.xxx) and work from the copy so you don't accidentally lose data when you save as a jpg or some other lossy format. Print shops usually use .tiff or .tif files which can both be kept on a thumb or flash drive. Hope this helps.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited April 2014
    Junebug said:

    Images for the web are measured in pixels per square inch (ppi) and for paper dots per square inch (dpi). A good web image is 72 ppi (or 100 if you have a Mac), you need 300 dpi for a printed image.

    The only difference between PPI and DPI is that PPI refers to the input resolution and DPI refers to the output resolution. In other words, if you were to print a 1200ppi document at 2400dpi, technically the printed document would be a 2400dpi document because the printer would sample 2400 dots per inch, but effectively it's more like 1200dpi because you can get more out than you put in… if that makes sense. A pixel is the smallest unit in the source file, while a dot is the smallest unit in the printed file. Some oversampling might help but a 300dpi image printed at 1200dpi versus, say, 2880dpi, is not going to look any different.

    Images for the web are not measured in PPI. The whole 72ppi (often stated 72dpi) for the web thing is complete and total hogwash. Try it yourself — go take any image into Photoshop and change the PPI in the image size to any number you want… say, 2ppi. Save it, then make another copy at 3000ppi. Make sure to uncheck the "Resample" box so the pixel dimensions don't change. The resulting image will be identical. PPI is only applicable for physical media. Digital images — and thus, images for the web — are solely measured in pixel dimensions. A 200px × 200px image will take up 200px × 200px on the web, and be the same file size, regardless of the PPI set. Setting PPI only changes the scale of the image when printed. A 200px × 200px image printed at 200dpi will be 1in x 1in printed, while a 200px × 200px image printed at 50dpi will be 4in × 4in. Regardless, on screen the 200px × 200px image will be 200px × 200px, which will vary in on-screen size depending on the pixel density of the display.

    Amazingly, this myth is still widely prevalent, which is why contests often ask for files at such-and-such DPI. DPI and PPI are only meaningful if they're coupled with a physical printed size. In other words, saying "we require a 1200dpi file" is pointless, but saying "we require a 1200dpi file with a minimum size of 8in × 10in", or "we require a true-to-scale 1200dpi file" makes perfect sense.

    And actually, it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense because a good $1,000 camera these days can only take an image that is less than 4in × 3in at 1200dpi.

    Anyway… @marieb‌ As far as printing your own stuff… files that are Saved for Web should never be used for anything except for emailing to someone or posting directly to the web. In fact, if you're uploading to Facebook or something, they're going to process it on their end (compress it more), so you shouldn't even send them Saved for Web files. My guide didn't cover printing, but basically here's what you do:

    1) Buy a good printer. If you don't need to laminate prints, the Epson Artisan 1430 might be sufficient, but I can't say for sure. If you do need to laminate prints, or you're serious about this, the only options I can safely recommend are the Epson Stylus Photo series (with the R3000 being the best deal of the bunch by far) or the printer we have, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880. For most purposes the Stylus Photo R3000 and the Stylus Pro 3880 are the same printer in different sizes. If you print often you'll make your money back on the cheaper ink refills compared to cheaper printers (which are more expensive to reload).

    2) Don't skip Step 1. I think there used to be some cheaper adequate printers but times have changed, and the reality is, a good printer currently costs more money than we'd like.

    3) Use Epson Premium Photo Paper (Ultra Premium is fine too but visually won't make a difference) — we use Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper, which I recommend, but you can use Luster or Matte or something too. The important thing, though, is you need to set the correct printer profile for that paper. This does make a difference.

    4) Let Photoshop handle the color management. There's an option for this (see attached images for all the settings I used on a recent print). This makes a huge difference. It wouldn't hurt to have set the image to AdobeRGB during the RAW processing, and this may make a significant difference, but I haven't tested this yet (or rather, I haven't tried NOT starting with an AdobeRGB file for printing, because it's worked so well).

    5) Make sure you don't ever resample your image when resizing. The image should be the same pixel dimensions as it was when it came off the camera, minus any area of the image you cropped out. Only resize in inches (or some other physical unit of measurement), not pixels, and make damn sure the "resample" box is unchecked. For example, if you have a photo of your painting and you want to print it on a single 17×22in sheet of paper, you would go to image size and set the width to 16.5in, or the height to 21.5 inch… whatever you have to do to make it fit, with half an inch to spare, onto a 17×22in sheet. The PPI will change automatically, but as long as you aren't resampling when changing the size you know you're getting the maximum print resolution possible given your camera. If you need to print something to a true-to-life scale, that's easy too — if your painting in real life is 12in wide, set the width to in Photoshop to 12in.

    6) When you finally print, make sure the scale is set to 100% and "scale to fit media" is unchecked.

    7) Before judging your print, go into your studio with your balanced white light, or even outside in the sunlight. Our prints look terrible in our office light and some colors are muted, but it has something to do with the spectrum of the light in here I guess.

    That's really all I can say about that for now. Let me know if you have questions.
  • I forgot to attach the screenshots I took of our printer settings. Will do it when I get back into the office.
  • edited April 2014

    DPI and PPI are only meaningful if they're coupled with a physical printed size.

    This is the point I was trying to make in my second post. I was in the printing biz for 18 years and the biggest problem we ran into was people submitting low res (web ready) images and expecting them to print as clearly as they appeared on the screen.

    As you can see on this stockphoto site http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-9956580-watermelon.php?st=29fbcf2 the images are sold based on resolution. 72dpi is considered screen only whereas 300dpi is print quality.

    Also, RGB refers to colors on a screen, CYMK ink is for print. That's why you need to convert your image to tiff as it is separated into layers of ink colors. Pdf's can also be printed in color layers.
  • @David_Quinn_Carder, That is a really detailed reply ,studying it will keep me busy for quite a while. thanks a million :x
  • @junebug, Thanks a million, lots of food for thought...thanks for taking the time to help x
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited April 2014
    Junebug said:

    DPI and PPI are only meaningful if they're coupled with a physical printed size.

    This is the point I was trying to make in my second post. I was in the printing biz for 18 years and the biggest problem we ran into was people submitting low res (web ready) images and expecting them to print as clearly as they appeared on the screen.

    As you can see on this stockphoto site http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-9956580-watermelon.php?st=29fbcf2 the images are sold based on resolution. 72dpi is considered screen only whereas 300dpi is print quality.

    Also, RGB refers to colors on a screen, CYMK ink is for print. That's why you need to convert your image to tiff as it is separated into layers of ink colors. Pdf's can also be printed in color layers.
    I didn't see your second post before I posted — sorry. Regarding converting image to TIFF etc, all that is stuff that might be necessary or helpful if you work at a professional printer, but for printing on high-quality Epson home printers, I would not use CMYK and I would not bother converting to TIFF. Just stick to an AdobeRGB PSD and print. Wish I had more time to discuss.
  • If you don't convert to tiff, your printer program will do it for you. I would rather convert (save as .tiff) than let the printer program extrapolate or whatever it does to separate into ink colors. Photoshop is much better program for this.
  • That Pet comment is for David...just in case you get worried June :))
  • One last comment. The best result is to print at actual size. If you have 8x10 or smaller you can print on most home printers. If you have anything larger, you should take to a print shop or office supply that has a larger printer format. Anything "scaled to fit" (up or down) will distort the actual image. A rule of thumb is you can scale up by 20% and not distort the image too much. But I'm assuming you want an actual reproduction.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited July 2014
    Our new guide covers the whole printing process and is very thorough: drawmixpaint.com/classes/online/advanced-photography-guide.html

    When I've experimented with cross-polarization I will add it to the guide.
  • Kingston said:

    A good scan is around $400.

    Wow, what kind of scanner and why so much? Size of canvas?
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