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Your fine art print studio!
At Texas Giclee we produce the Most Beautiful printing anywhere!

Why File Preparation is Essential?

Great photos start with great photography! They just don’t happen! Well sometimes they do, but it is mostly an accident. Many things need to happen to create photo files that make breathtaking prints! This requires work on your part before a file is ever sent in to make a print.

Most great photos start with great light. Overexposed photos will loose color and detail in blown out areas. Underexposed photos will be too dark and may also loose all details in dark areas. Use a tripod when possible for sharp photos. The sharpest photos can be created with tripod and shutter release. This may take time, but well worth the results.

What is a digital file? Well, what is a file? A file is something that holds information. Therefore a digital file holds information in a file format but stored on a computer, not paper. There are many digital file formats today, some are common and some are not.

Whether you have a photo file or a digital file created in software like Photoshop, Corel painter, or a vector based software like InDesign. All files must be prepped for printing.

Photo files may be shot in RAW or JPEG formats. These files may need to be corrected in a number of way to generate the best color, sharpness and clarity for printing. The truth is, poor quality files create poor prints.

Although you may store your photos in raw PDS or Tiff, we prefer you send the file in JPEG to us for printing. It is true that Raw or TIFF may be best for long term storage, JPEG is great for printing. The problem is JPEG is a compression format and if saved over and over, will loose quality greatly thru time. However for one time printing, it is excellent.

The information to right is a breakdown of things to review before sending us your JPEG file.

 

5 Essentials to Create Great Files for Printing!

Please review your files before uploading.

1. Great Photography

The creating of the digital file starts with your camera. Most of your time should be in this step, so take your time. Keep your camera settings on largest file size and finest quality for printing. If your files are too small or poor quality, no editing will make great prints.

Use a tripod

Using a tripod will help you create very sharp photos with great detail. If you use a shutter release, you can make them even sharper. When printing large prints, this is very important

Find Great Lighting

Outdoor or indoor, lighting is really important when shooting. Watch out for overexposure outdoors. Indoors try to learn about the type of lighting and use settings in camera correctly.

Use Great Glass

Do you want clear, super sharp images with great color? Then use great glass. The rule is, buy the best glass you can afford. One thing to remember when buying a lens is, they hold their value, so you can sell later.

 

2. Make sure Color Mode is RGB

When you get ready for printing, make sure your color mode is RGB. We never print in CYMK for various reasons. That said, you may use sRGB or RGB 98. Which should you use? That is a great question.!Here is information to consider.

This graph shows the smaller color gamut of sRGB and the larger color gamut of RGB 98. Can you see the two triangles? The larger one is RGB 98. Can you see the color gamut it covers? Although you will have better contrast with the larger color mode, especially on the computer and web. In the highest end printers, there is only a slight difference in printing. We can create Great prints with either.

3. Sharpen your File

Sharpening your files should be done with great care! The only thing worse than a soft print is a over-sharped one with noise and artifacts. Remember the saying “less is more”? Below is one way to sharpen your photo files.

There are many ways you can sharpen your photo files. We will show you just one! Open your file in Photoshop and at the top of the page, click the filter link and look for sharpening. When you click on sharpening, open the Unsharpened Mask page. When opened you will notice 3 options. I play with AMOUNT slider at 150 to 180 percent. Radius is the distance between pixels to sharpen. Do not over do this slider. I keep it between .01 and .05. Remember, everything you do to files in large prints is exaggerated. Something you might not see on your computer screen. I keep the threshold between 6 and 10. This is pixels of color difference and this setting will reduce noise and produce great results. In the end, use your eye and good judgment for best results. Have fun....

4. Crop your File

Your camera will save your photo file as a ratio size. For example a 4:3 is a common setting. This means for every 4 inches wide it is 3 inches tall. The same in pixels. A 1600 pixel wide photo would be 1200 pixels tall. This is a real issue when you need a 8 x 10 photo. Therefore you need to crop.

Open the crop tool on the left tool bar in Photoshop. Look on the top tool bar and you will see all crop options. First check pixel size. Place this on 300 pixels per inch as this is necessary for great prints. Then you will see the crop size boxes. One box is for width and the other for height. Make sure in is set on inches and not pixels. If you want an 8 x 10 photo print, put in your size and then drag the tool across your photo and whala! Your new cropped image is that size when you press enter.

5. Convert to JPEG File for Printing

When you have completed all editing in sharpening, color mode, cropping and perhaps color correction, you need to save your file in a file format. When you save your file if is important you save it long term in the best format. Great file formats are Tiff, Raw and even PSD. Create a folder in you computer that you want to store archival files. What about for printing?

If you want to print your file, first make a copy of it. You can copy and paste in a folder or you can open Photoshop and make a copy. We only need a copy of the original file for printing. After making a copy of the file, in Photoshop click on File on top navigation bar. When drop down opens click Save As . When the pop up box opens, name the file and under Format, select JPEG. After selections save in file folder you need. Send us this copy in JPEG. This format is great for printing.