Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Prepare a Photo to be Printed on Canvas

Making Canvas Wall Art

How to Prepare a Photo to be Printed on Canvas
Although we live in a digital age, we still believe in getting photos into albums and on the wall. As you've probably experienced yourself, computers and digital data storage are never fool proof. Hard drives fail, flash drives are lost, and sometimes files cannot be retrieved. Albums and artwork are timeless, and if done right they will last forever and be passed on to future generations. I saw a meme going around a couple years ago that sums it up. It said, "Wow, that CD of wedding pictures looks awesome hanging on the wall - said no one ever" :)

One thing that really sets us apart from other photographers is our commitment to follow through with clients from start to finish, which includes helping them get something up on the wall. Sure, a shoot and burn photographer may sound appealing but without the right tools, your wall art might not be everything you had dreamed it would be. It's important to hire a photographer with the experience and skill for printing! DISCLAIMER: The following is not the only way to create canvas prints, but it is a system for us that works great!

How to make photos canvas-ready:
  1. Photograph with gear adequate for large printing -This is where megapixels come into play.... the more megapixels the larger the native resolution for printing. Also, off-camera lighting is helpful, as used in this photograph above.
  2. Don't overexpose - When highlights are blown in a photograph those are details you can never get back. It's better to slightly underexpose than to blow detail (like skies)
  3. Shoot in RAW - If you're shooting in JPEG you will have way less control over the editing process. 
  4. Edit in Lightroom - We edit for correct exposure and white balance first
  5. Retouch in Adobe Photoshop - I will use the bandaid tool to patch out anything that doesn't belong and I use the content aware fill to take myself out of the photo :) There were other things I did to this image too but each person has different preferences on how detailed they make their edits. (This is the program that had a steep learning curve but with lots of practice and perseverance I'm able to accomplish what I need to!)
  6. Resize in Perfect Resize - OF ALL THE STEPS, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. For example: f you have an image with a native resolution of 8x12 and you try and print a 40x60, that file is getting stretched waaaaayy beyond its means which results in a pixelated canvas. Before printing, you have to prepare that file to match the exact size you're printing. I really recommend "Perfect Resize" for this! If you're doing a canvas gallery wrap, it can also add the mirrored edges.
  7. Export your file - If you're doing a 20x30 canvas gallery wrap for example, make sure you export the file large enough to wrap around the edges. For a 1 1/2 inch wrap we need to leave 2" on each side so I would export the file as 24x34. 
Does this sound like too much to handle? It's ok, just hire the professional to photograph you and create your wall art... We've gotcha covered! :)

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