So you want quality…..

You can get quality in Lethbridge, it is not that hard!

I had a chance the other day to talk to a friend that I keep running into around Lethbridge and southern Alberta and we got talking about buying quality parts and items.  Some how our conversation turned to customers and on-line or discount retailers.  He was mentioning that he had reached his boiling point when it came to customers that ordered items on-line or went to a discount retailer and when they had problems would come to him for a solution.  His solution was that he now charges $75.00 for information.  If a person bought the item from him the information is no charge, but from any place else it is automatically $75.00.  He was saying the other day that a customer came in with a problem from a new part they had ordered on-line, asked if he could help and he said it was $75.00.  The customer hit the roof and stormed out.  Three days later in came the customer and paid the $75.00 as it was going to cost a lot more to ship the part back and get another one.  Problem was simple the part bought on-line was generic and needed an adapter to make it work, the parts that he sold were wired of a higher quality and correctly in the first place. Funny thing was that when all was said and done the customer (without taking into account the $75.00) only saved $10.00 on the part, with the $75.00 they actually paid $65.00 more than shopping local.

I was thinking this when a customer came in this past week with a canvas print.  They had mentioned in a course a month ago when I was talking about print quality that they had ordered a canvas print from a company on-line and were so happy that it was $20.00 cheaper than mine, actually mentioned it several times to me and all the students.  Well last week in they came with the canvas to ask me what was wrong.  They got the canvas from the on-line company, had it stretched locally and hung it on the wall.  Now the ink was running, actually looked like a lady with mascara running down her face.  Add to that the fact the surface of the canvas was separating from the backing and she had a big problem. I was so tempted to tell her that there was a $75.00 charge to tell her what was wrong but instead I told her without charge.  To say she was not happy was an understatement.  She then went back to the gallery that stretched it and complained to them and then called the printing company.    The galley told her that it was the printing that was at fault (which it was) and the printing company said that if it was stretched then it was no longer their problem.  All this to save $20.00!

The other thing that that I did not have a heart to tell her was that the color was so far off that it was not even close to being funny.  Her green grass was purple/blue, her water was purple/red and the rest was just a plain mess, and that was before the ink ran in those areas.

Once more (as I have said so many times) if you are looking for a quality print you get what you pay for.  Don’t try to cut corners, it usually does not work!

For more information on printing click here.

 

 

 

Printing digital Images

I am often asked what is the best media to select when printing digital images and I have to say that there is no easy answer for this.  It all depends on the image you are printing.  Some images look better on a matte or semi matte paper and others look amazing on a high gloss metallic.  One thing I always caution is that canvas is not suitable for all images so be careful when ordering a canvas print (or selling to your client).  Canvas should have some contrast in the image to make it pop when printed, and if your image has a lot of fine detail a canvas print may do more harm to the image than using another media.

Some media selections include: matte, semi matte, luster, gloss, metallic, canvas, presentation matte and watercolor.  Each media works better with certain images and can enhance the images being printed.

If you are a photographer in Lethbridge or southern Alberta feel free to come into the studio with your image and I will help to select the best media for your images. If you are not able to make it to my office in Lethbridge then feel free to E-mail your image and I can help you with it by E-mail.

Turn around time for printing digital images: most prints can be done the same day, for canvas please allow at least one week if you would like your print to be laminated. Lamination allows your canvas print to be dusted and even washed if you need to.

For more information on printing digital images check out our web site https://www.firstchoicephoto.ca/paterson/printing/

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.

 

 

Black & White Printing

Black & White Printing

Well some things I miss from the olden days (food that tasted like real food, being able to talk to someone without them texting, etc, etc.), some things I do not miss (having to find a pay phone to call home when on assignment, dial up Internet, etc).  One BIG thing that I do not miss is darkrooms.  Sure there was some fun in getting a perfect print after a lot of experimentation, but it was a lot of work to mix chemicals, wash prints and hang them to dry.  One thing that I have heard from many people was that they could not get a good Black & White print with digital.  Well no more!!!  Last year I did a lot of testing with our new printer and have come up with some amazing b&w settings and media.  I found a high gloss media that makes amazing b&w’s.  True blacks (no yellow or blues mixed in), GREAT contrast and details so amazing that I do think they pass the quality of old darkroom prints.  If you want to see some samples stop by the Lethbridge studio, I have a couple printed and am working on some more samples.