Preparing images for print – a few hints

I have a lot of people come in and ask for suggestions for getting images ready to print, so I thought I would address this. If you are going to print images you may was well get the best quality.

The first thing to remember is that unless you balanced your monitor more than likely the image on your monitor will not match the final output.   If you are having me print your images I will correct them for you at no charge so they look the best when printed.  If you adjust the color or density do so using a layer so that when I get the image any changes that you made are not permanent, this saves blowing out highlights that cannot be recovered or correcting the color so it is beyond fixing.  If you like I can also provide you with a target to check by eye how close your monitor is.  If you want to make sure that your monitor is 100% correct the best thing to do is to buy a calibration tool and use that.

Cropping – Make sure that when you crop you do not crop too close to a subject. Remember you are more than likely going to frame the print and having the head at the edge of the print is going to be a problem when framed.

Adding signatures – Like above if you are going to frame the print make sure that you leave space around your signature.  You should have your signature at least 1 inch from the bottom or the sides.  1.5″ is better.

Black & White prints & color signatures – if you are having a print done in black & white make your signature black & white.  It looks horrible when you have a print completely B&W and this color signature in the bottom.

Density – even if you have a balanced monitor your prints will generally be displayed in a dark room, so make sure that you do not have your prints so dark that when hung on the wall they are all black.  Making your prints a little lighter than you like them on your monitor will get you a good print to hang.

Media – it makes a HUGE difference what you print your images on.  Some pictures just do not look good on gloss when other look great on gloss.  Some images should not be printed on canvas, other images pop on canvas.

Image size – size is not everything but it does play a huge part in getting a good print.  You should be cropping your images to print size @ 300DPI.  If your image is sized to a 1″x2″ at 72 DPI you will not be able to get a 20×24 from that.



Bucket List

I was out for a drive this past weekend with my teenage son and we got talking about bucket lists, that got me to thinking about what photos I would have on my bucket list. So I sat down and did up a list, and it wasn’t easy.  As you will see below all the pictures that made my list are of either animals or places.  I also found that there are some things that I would like to get at least one picture of (or some that I have pictures of but would like a digital image as the ones that I have are on negatives or slides and they either are not good enough quality or the negative or slide is damaged) , I guess that is my true bucket list as even one would be nice,  things like a cougar or a wolf, or a barn owl. Then there are a number of things that I would like to get more pictures of – or better pictures.  I guess this would not be a true bucket list as I already have pictures of these, I would just like more or different ones and that would include things like the Northern Lights, bears or elk. So I divided the list into the top and the secondary – funny thing is that I have removed a couple from the top list even this year as I got pictures that I always wanted. Then there are MANY pictures that I want to get more of but it really is a day to day thing that I will never have enough or know that I wanted it until I see it, so for these things I have left off the list (things like sunsets, and storms)

So what pictures would you have on your bucket list?

Here is what I have come up with so far (will update as I think of more)

Top (My true bucket list)

North America



Polar Bear





Owls – there are many species that I still have not got a picture of

The World




Victory Falls




Secondary (pictures that I would like more of or different/ better ones of)

Northern Lights

Grizzly Bear

Black Bear


Mountain Sheep

Deer (almost off the list as I have so many)

Mountain Goat

Bald Eagle

Golden Eagle

Coastal BC pictures


Snowy Owls


Camera Tune Up

Well I always tell my students that if they want the best images that they need to maintain their cameras to keep them running properly, make sure that you keep the camera and lenses clean and more importantly make sure that your menus are set properly. A regular camera tune up will save a lot of time and issues.

This past weekend when shooting at Writing On Stone in Southern Alberta I took some great pictures with one of the 40D’s that I took with, then grabbed another one and noticed that something was not right.  Camera was working fine, pictures looked good, but something was wrong.  This afternoon I had a few minutes so I thought that I would check out the cameras – WOW talk about changed settings – it was like two completely different cameras.  I use my cameras to teach with so sometimes I change things when teaching, but I always thought that I put them back to the original settings.  To go through everything that I had changed would take pages – even my clock on one camera was WAY out.  So I took a few minutes and went through all the settings.

What things should you be checking on a regular basis, here are a few:

ISO – Make sure you have not set it for some special picture and never turned it back.

Auto / Manual Focus – Make sure that put this back on your preferred setting – for me it is AF

Image Stabilizer – Make sure you turn it back on after using a tripod

Date & Time – This should not get changed unless you are like me and show people how to change the time and forget to set it back.

Shooting Mode – I usually never adjust this, but sometimes things get set without you knowing.

Custom Settings – If you do set up a custom function I recommend you make a note of it so you know what you have set and what you need to set back to the proper setting.

Also, when checking all your camera settings take some time to make sure that you have the most recent version of the firmware installed. This can make some huge differences in eliminating problems.

A few minutes now will make sure that your camera is set to get those amazing pictures later.