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08-03-2018, 06:44 PM   #1
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Need your expertise for doing Big print from a K3 and many more questions

Hi all,
I have a client want to use my image for their restaurant's wall display. They are building the place right now so they can not tell me the wall size for sure yet, but they estimate it to be around 10 X 3 meter or around 32.8 X 9.8 foot
So now, I am looking for the best way to prepare my files, contract, and price which I have no idea what to do! this is my very first real photography related sale.

Here are questions I can think from the top of my head right now; (some question might be totally irrelevant, I have never done this so please excuse me.)
1. what file format is best when sending a file to the client? (pdf, psd, jpg, tif, etc?)
--- I want the printer to be able to adjust color and contrast according to a sample print on paper which I will send them later, so I guess JPG is and PDF is not an option here?

2. What is a common Space Profile to use? Pro Photo RGB? Adobe RGB? CMYK? or I guess this question should go to client's printer service?
--- refer to Photoshop color profile setting under Edit > Convert to profile

3. the DPI concern.
--- Will image from a K3 has enough resolution to do such large print? if not, what to do? I have been dealing with typical paper print (I am a graphic designer) but I have never prepared photo file for any large wall or billboard print, so I have no idea at all how to prepare my file for such large print.
--- My images are urban landscape using natural light only. it is not a studio image, so it is hard but not impossible to reshoot.

4. any tips and technic on post-processing? This is a large print in a restaurant, I expect people to see it close. I don't want people to see dirty pixels.

5. how much should it be? (just an idea) And if you have a link to sample contract similar to my case, please let me know.
--- I will transfer some right for them so that they can reproduce/reuse the image for another promotional material.
--- I won't re-sale, re-use the image in future.

6. if you have done any large print and or dealing with a similar contract, Any idea, and tips will be very appreciated.

Note:
- #3 and #4 are my most concern.


Hope you all have a nice weekend.


Last edited by pakinjapan; 08-04-2018 at 12:07 AM.
08-03-2018, 09:15 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Just a very general point to start things off ....I think you are looking towards "interpolation" programs, that boost the effective resolution by various algorithms. I have heard of one called "Genuine Fractuals" . Then again, the Printer firm may well deal with this aspect themselves.
08-03-2018, 09:19 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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First, as to your camera. A K-3 image can certainly be blown up and printed 10 meters by 3 meters. However, a larger sensor camera (e.g. K-1, or even better a Pentax medium format digital camera) will produce files that will look even better when blown up extremely large.

Back in the early 1990's, I did one job where one of my 35mm film photos was blown up a bit larger than 10 meters by 3 meters and was made into a highway billboard. It looked good from the highway when you drove past it, but it didn't look very good up close. Your K-3 takes better photos than that old 35mm film camera I used did, so yes, you can certainly blow your K-3 images up extremely large. But it all depends upon how far away the viewers will be. If they are close to the print, it will look bad. If they are far away, it will look good.

I just re-read your post. I just noticed that you said it will be in a restaurant and viewed up close. Given that, your K3 will not be good enough for such a large print. You should consider renting a good medium format digital camera and re-shooting your urban scene.

Another option would be to re-shoot your urban scene using your K-3 camera and a premium prime lens. Take dozens of overlapping photos (using multiple rows and columns) of the scene. Then make smaller prints of each individual section. Then put the sections together on the wall (like a puzzle). If you use good technique, viewers will be able to inspect the giant print up close and they won't be able to see where the seams are between the sections.

I suggest that based on your questions, you would be best served by just going to a commercial printer and hiring them to make the print for you. I am sure that there are many high-quality, printers in Tokyo. Work with them. Ask them your questions. I expect that they will be quite helpful and will tell you what you need to know.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 08-03-2018 at 09:43 PM.
08-03-2018, 09:20 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Just a very general point to start things off ....I think you are looking towards "interpolation" programs, that boost the effective resolution by various algorithms. I have heard of one called "Genuine Fractuals" . Then again, the Printer firm may well deal with this aspect themselves.
I use "Photo Zoom Pro".

08-03-2018, 09:21 PM - 1 Like   #5
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You would evaluate how to deal with the print technology and cost by talking to the printing company and make a short list of print options. If you can you could reshoot with a 645z otherwise if you have to use k3 files you would first have some sample prints done to show your client and include their preference in the choice of print tech and cost. As for how much to charge for this work if you dont know you would charge for the time spent including you own costs (travel etc).
08-03-2018, 09:27 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Try asking a signwriter who does billboards, they do this stuff all the time.
08-03-2018, 11:20 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote

1. what file format is best when sending a file to the client? (pdf, psd, jpg, tif, etc?)
--- I want the printer to be able to adjust color and contrast according to a sample print on paper which I will send them later, so I guess JPG is and PDF is not an option here?
Tif is good. Jpg is fine for the client, but tif or psd would be good for the printer.

QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote

2. What is a common Space Profile to use? Pro Photo RGB? Adobe RGB? CMYK? or I guess this question should go to client's printer service?
--- refer to Photoshop color profile setting under Edit > Convert to profile
.
Check with the printing company. Some use RGB, some have specific colour profile information and they're always happy to tell you what they need. Most can give you specific printer profile information. If the person behind the counter does not know, then speak to their techie.

QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote

3. the DPI concern.
--- Will image from a K3 has enough resolution to do such large print? if not, what to do? I have been dealing with typical paper print (I am a graphic designer) but I have never prepared photo file for any large wall or billboard print, so I have no idea at all how to prepare my file for such large print.
--- My images are urban landscape using natural light only. it is not a studio image, so it is hard but not impossible to reshoot.
It depends largely on how far away from the image you expect people to view it. A good solution may be to do a stitch of about 8 or more photos to create a large, high resolution image.

QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote

4. any tips and technic on post-processing? This is a large print in a restaurant, I expect people to see it close. I don't want people to see dirty pixels.
You'll just have to pixelpeep and look for anything that jumps out. Might be good to do a defringe in Lightroom or similar to get rid of artifacts that may be extra visible when printed large.

QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote

5. how much should it be? (just an idea) And if you have a link to sample contract similar to my case, please let me know.
--- I will transfer some right for them so that they can reproduce/reuse the image for another promotional material.
--- I won't re-sale, re-use the image in future.
That part is up to you!

QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote

6. if you have done any large print and or dealing with a similar contract, Any idea, and tips will be very appreciated.
Not similar contract, but I like to do large prints, usually on canvas. I've not done anything quite that large though!
08-04-2018, 02:12 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I'd agree with others and go talk to a printer, they should have experience with this scale of enlargement.
With regards to re-shooting consider the following:
Your current images is 6028 pixels wide. Printing at 10m gives a pixel width of a little over 1.6mm
If you were to re-shoot say with a 645Z you'd get 8256 pixels in width giving you a pixel size of around 1,2mm
From a viewer's perspective there's not going to be much difference in terms of close detail (I believe the overall effect would be different.
User a technique such as half toning might improve the image at close quarters, whether or not upscaling would be successful I have no idea

08-04-2018, 05:47 AM - 3 Likes   #9
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I agree you should first talk to the techie st the print shop. If he tells you to send a JPG, go somewhere else! Most good print shops will have a way to print from Photoshop; a TIF file also works well and retains all the image detail. Shops do big prints all the time for trade show booths. Definitely give them a printed version you like for them to match color and brightness. They should have a way to upload large images to their server.

As far as getting photo detail, I agree with the others who way stitching multiple shots into a panorama is the way to go. You will get more detail with multiple images stitched together than with a medium format. I do panos all the time and get monster files with great detail. I think you can aim for 150-200 dpi on the final print (if you can) and it will look good... below 100 dpi it will probably look bad.

For post processing you will need to go over your entire picture at 100% zoom because every scratch, dust spot or hot pixel will look obvious when it is enlarged. Take out distractions like reflections or tone them down unless they are intentional.

I think Geniuine Fractals was bought by ONone and renamed re-sizer. I have ONone a few times to make cell phone or Instagram screenshots bigger for friends with luck, but it wonít perform miracles.

I would use Adobe RBG for the profile. Most printers will do most of the colors in this color space. If you do Adobe Pro you could easily end up with colors the printer simply canít recreate.

I would give your customer unlimited right to re-use for themselves, but not to sell your print unless they intend to sell prints. I think you could keep the right to sell your own prints if they just want the picture for promotional purposes. Cost-wise, make sure to include your time taking the pictures and doing post processing. You could charge you actual time and printing fees plus 15-20% profit on the printing fee... if you keep your rights. Charge more if they donít want you to have any rights.

Good luck! Sounds like fun.
08-04-2018, 06:44 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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I have produced these size prints daily.
First, find out who is producing the print. What machine is being used, what final resolution the printer is capable of. What substrate are they using, how many tiles are they printing the image?
What format do they want.
Hi-Res pdf is a normal file, cmyk, there are very few large format printers that incorporate light cyan, magenta and grey for such large images. I have delt with 10 gig files before on 12 metre files, much larger for billboards, tiled wallpapers for such spaces as you are describing. There is a limit to the resolution that can be reproduced.

Talking with the signage company who is producing the final product is the key to the best results.
08-04-2018, 07:44 AM - 1 Like   #11
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I think you may have an impossible task here, with the only possible solution being Fenwoodians solution, of using a panorama software to create larger files.

The issue being a K-3 will produce somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2700 lwph.
Divide that by 10 meters and that is 270 distinct lines per meter. Or 2.7 distinct lines per CM.
That is not sharp.
Take the largest I'd do from a K-3 which would be a mitre in a stretch, that would not be near the highest possible quality but it might be acceptable for your client. You would need at least 12 files stitched together with very little overlap to meet the minimum standard of looking good from up close horizontally and at least 3 vertically. That's 36 exposures.

The problem as is often the case is what will your client accept?
The problem being you can go through all the work and expense of producing this print, and he might just say "that's not good enough" and refuse to pay.

Below is very large print for Andreas Gursky. If memory serves me well it sells fo over a million dollars.


He typically works with files of 80-150 MP.

The problem here is I see a client wanting a Gursky type effort for bargain basement prices.

SO what I'd do, would be cut your K-3 image into 10 parts wide three up and down, blow the print up using the best software you can find, and print it a meter wide. Take it to him and ask "is this good enough?" The problem being, it will cost you money to do that.

There is a reason that quality prints of this size sell for millions. You're production costs will be enormous. As will the amount of time spent "getting it right". With no experience combining files as Gursky does, you don't know for sure you will ever be able to do this. I've trashed hundreds of MP of images that were supposed to be panos that for one reason or another didn't turn out.

Unless you can give the client a good idea of what the cost will be. Personally I wouldn't touch this for less than $20k and I'd want 18 of that up front. 10% on delivery, no retakes. And I'd consider that risky. If I had any name recognition at all it would be lot more. Unless he says yes to enlarging the K-3 image and living with the image quality. I know of people selling 2 meter prints for $5000 to $6000 dollars. If the guy gave me the impression he is expecting really high quality work in each segment of the image being say 100 lines per inch for an 8x10 type viewing experience over the whole wall, my price would go way up, exponentially.

There are just too many things that can go wrong. This is a trap unless you've actually done it before. And those who actually have done it before want a lot of money for those prints.

If he's willing to settle for a more pixelated "artsy" type image then you're good to go.

A client who doesn't understand the value of what he's asking for and a photographer who doesn't have experience doing what's being asked to do, is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Many clients like this are coming to you because they don't want to pay what established artists are asking. But those artists are asking those prices for a reason.

Last edited by normhead; 08-04-2018 at 08:28 AM.
08-04-2018, 12:17 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The 6000 pixel wide K3 image printed out at 10 meters wide gives a resolution of about 15dpi. I don't know how much interpolation can improve things, but the numbers don't look good.
08-04-2018, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
The 6000 pixel wide K3 image printed out at 10 meters wide gives a resolution of about 15dpi. I don't know how much interpolation can improve things, but the numbers don't look good.
Since most of us aim for 200-360 DPI, ya, the numbers don't look good. 100 dpi usually translates to about 60-70 lw/ph, so in terms of measured resolution it's even worse. In my experience, you need a base value of at least 120 DPI before resizing to have any hope of a decent print. The low a resolution doesn't give you a guaranteed decent print, but it gives you fighting chance.

But 200 DPI as start point is pretty safe. You still have to resize to 360 DPI to print on an HP printer or 300 DPI for a Canon, but it gives you fighting chance.

15 DPI as a start point for resizing to 300 DOI, well, that's not going to show a lot of detail. Yet, if 15 DPI translates to 10 distinct lines per inch, detail as small is 1/10 of an inch should show up. Usually I like at least 1/100 of an inch and some would still consider that pretty course.

Last edited by normhead; 08-04-2018 at 05:54 PM.
08-04-2018, 01:33 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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Another point to note is that a 100dpi 16bit TIFF at 10m by 3m amounts to about 200Gb filesize uncompressed. That might prove entertaining to play around with
08-04-2018, 03:53 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Congratulations @pakinjapan on having your work recognized this way. I always look forward to seeing your astonishing night cityscapes. Having one wall size in a restaurant - or anywhere - would be stunning.

An alternative: There are artists who can reproduce photographs as paintings done so well that you wouldn't know they aren't photographs. Maybe release the rights to reproduce the image, but have the image re-created on the wall by an artist. It would cost, but it sounds like doing the photo at that size would also be expensive.
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