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03-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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Sale of image, requires "20x30 image size digital image" ?

Well the good news is, I've received a purchase order for one of my photographs. Hooray! (I've sold a couple informally, but this would be a "first" of a sort.) The bad news is, I don't understand the purchaser's requirement: "300 DPI, 20" x 30" image size digital image."

If it's a digital image, how can it also be a "20 x 30 image size"? I understand their DPI requirement, but wouldn't I just send the file, and they can then print their required size from that? I'm not going to be making the print myself, so I don't understand how those two requirements can be compatible. Does anyone have any insight on this?

FYI here's the image in question (linked from Flickr):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulelden/4713096405/in/set-72157624245467129



Last edited by NeverSatisfied; 03-25-2013 at 08:32 PM. Reason: added link
03-25-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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20 inches x 300 dpi = 6000 dots/pixels on the short side
30 inches x 300 dpi = 9000 dots/pixels on the long side

I assume they just want a high resolution original. If you have to upscale the picture to fit the requirements, then I guess that's what will have to be done?

Also, smashing photo. I love black eyed susans, and I like the repetition in the bokeh and the composition.
03-25-2013, 08:43 PM   #3
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Oh boy,,, well I guess I'm pretty ignorant of some of those aspects of "photography". Like, "upscaling". I do know that this particular image has been cropped quite a bit, and at least by Mpix standards, the largest acceptable print size is 20 x 30. Do you think this means that the image just won't be suitable for their use?

Sounds like I have a lot more searching and learning to do yet.
03-25-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the compliment, that was courtesy of the Cosina 55/1.2. Excellent lens, one of my favorites!

03-25-2013, 09:03 PM   #5
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I am sure that others can add much more. I recently printed a 20 x 30 inch poster of an image I took with my K5 (it was my first large print). It was full size and not cropped, however I did do some post processing to it, and saved it as a TIFF file. This is the file I sent to Costco for a test print ($8.99). I picked it up the next day and it was absolutely wonderful. Now, I don't know if it was 300 dpi when printed. I left that up to them.

The best suggestion, until more knowledgeable folks arrive, is to select a good printer, submit the file to them as a TIFF. Then call them, let them examine the file and I would imagine that they would make suggestions.

Excellent image by the way..... Did you use the K5II?

03-25-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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Thanks I.E., that was with the K20D, in failing evening light. Yea I'll probably have to email them for further clarification, it's just that this is my first experience selling a photo as a digital image only. This was a "call for art", in which several notable area photographers also participated. I'm pretty excited that I was among those selected, so I didn't want to portray myself as a total novice!

FWIW I'm still too used to the handling on the K20D, compared to the new K5II. But I'll get used to it!
03-25-2013, 09:21 PM   #7
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I'd heard mention of Genuine Fractals before, but never looked into it. Thanks for the tip!
03-25-2013, 09:29 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
"300 DPI, 20" x 30" image size digital image."
You may find this page useful:

DPI Calculator | web.forret.com

With a K20D, a Hi-res photo print at 300 dpi (11,8 px/mm) will deliver you a 15.6" x 10.3"
(39,6 cm x 26,3 cm) image. Drop the DPI down to 150 dpi on the printer for a normal photo print and you would get 31x20 inches. Usually the dpi scaling is done in the printer.

If they absolutely insist on you giving them something at 300dpi for a 20x30 inch print, as others have suggested, simply upscale/resize the image file in Photoshop/Paint Shop/ Irfan View etc to 6000x9000 pixels.

03-25-2013, 09:34 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Depending on what software you use, you can set that up pretty quickly.

In PS (or Elements,) open your original PSD or TIFF (final edit) in "Image/Resize." Enter 300 in the "Resolution" box and see if you have enough pixels to resize without resampling. You can see that if the sizes in the boxes are larger than what you need without processing. If they are, just enter the new sizes and process. If not, you will have to transform using the "Resample" selection. Check "Resample" and "Constrain Proportions" and enter 300 for Resolution and enter the appropriate sizes for Height and Width, then process. I don't use Lightroom but I know it has the same functionality.

"Save As ..." a slightly different file name to preserve your original and you can send the new file to the buyer.

As noted above, there are other software options available if you have to resize very much beyond the native size of your image. The aforementioned Genuine Fractals is now called Perfect Resize by On One Software. There are others.

Last edited by abmj; 03-25-2013 at 09:40 PM.
03-25-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
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Boy I'm getting a lot of very good, helpful information! I guess I should've also mentioned that I'm using LightRoom 3. Sounds like I can enter 6000 x 9000 in the Resize section, in the Export settings...?
03-25-2013, 09:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ponosby Britt Quote
While you can use Photoshop to scale an image file larger, alternatives exist. For a long time, I used Fred Mirandas "Stair Interpolation" plug-in. Inexpensive and worked well. Eventually, I went to On One Software "Perfect Resize", originally named "Genuine Fractals". I've printed and sold 20"x30" Images from a K-10 that you could get close and it looked good.
Foiled! Tried to download the free trial of Perfect Resize, but it requires Windows Vista or later. (Mine's XP) Guess maybe I need to spend less on photo gear and more on a new computer! Oh well, more than one way to skin a cat...
03-25-2013, 10:04 PM   #12
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Congratulations, that's a lovely image.

Since you don't have much experience uprezing images for printing, I would find a highly regarded printer in your metro area and let him or her manage the job. There are a number of ways to accomplish the uprezing, plus the associated sharpening and noise management. The thing with large prints is that every little defect is magnified and you want to minimize that as much as possible on a commissioned work such as yours. Good printers work with photographers to ensure both of your success.

A good printer will show you recommended papers as well. They will let you know about their sizing, color space, and file format requirements. If you plan on printing and selling more large prints, then it is very important to build a good relationship with a printer.

I would focus on smaller shops offering custom work instead of say a Costco. While I have seen decent, bargain-priced very large prints from Costco, I don't think their quality is sufficient for fine art sales.

M

M
03-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #13
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Thanks Miguel. I'll have to check around for good local printers. Up until now I've gotten pretty good results with Mpix, but they are certainly not conveniently located.
03-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #14
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You are welcome. Maybe Mpix will work best for you, but "pretty good" quality doesn't cut it for me on commissioned work. It is a useful exercise to compare same-sized prints (they need not be 20x30) from multiple printers to gauge cost and quality performance. Might turn out that pretty good is actually great.

M
03-26-2013, 07:29 AM - 1 Like   #15
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A few thoughts about up-sizing (I've printed thousands of large prints, commercially):

Don't do any sharpening of the image until after you've up-scale it. If you sharpen first and then up-scale you will get a harshness on the contrast edges of your image. The PS "bicubic smoother" works very well in CS 4 or newer. Resize it to 20x30 @300 dpi, view at 100% then sharpen only until the "haze" goes away. The second-party plugins might work a little better, but the difference isn't as big as it used to be compared to older versions of PS. Some people up-scale in 2 or more steps. It might make a very small difference. The Epson large format printers will print at 360 dpi, but it usually doesn't make any difference, the only time I've seen a difference is printing from a full frame Nikon D800E file, and then you've needed a loupe to see it.

One problem with using Costco or other cheap printers is the operator may not be aware of your color profile (sRGB or Adobe 1998). If it is Adobe 1998 and is printed sRGB the colors will be dull. If it is sRGB and printed in Adobe 1998 it will look garish. Also, check carefully for banding, caused by a clogged nozzle. It can be very subtle, but will be more prominent at the leading edge of the image. Watch for handling marks (fingerprints, slight scratches in the surface, dings and creases) as well.
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