Tag Archives: photo printing

Canvas Prints | Metal Prints

Canvas Prints | Metal Prints – From Camera to Print

Canvas Prints Metal Prints

In today’s world of digital media and digital photography, there are many printers and sellers of canvas prints | metal prints. You can upload you vacation photos to a commercial consumer print service and voila…you have a beautiful canvas print hanging over your bed! Watch for the additional charges to upgrade your images in order to print?

There are companies and businesses which print and sell quality prints, with a quality build, on quality canvas and paper. Yes, there are some which advertise low prices, but how is the quality. The price is great, but when it comes to what is hanging on your wall, quality, beauty, and sharpness of detail are important. Are they not? Where and from whom do I buy? What goes into a final print production of a canvas print or a metal print, or any kind of print for that matter? What is important from the photographer’s standpoint?

I have broken down my process from camera to print in four phases. I mention a lot of detail in image processing, but in the end, I am hoping that it will give you a true picture of the quality I seek to obtain in my finished product – your fine art photography print hanging on your wall.

From camera to print to your wall!
camera image settings - canvas prints | metal prints
Camera Image Settings

Phase I – The Image: Whether landscape or portraiture, I shoot in a high resolution raw format. Shooting portraits in a large digital file size means possibly slowing down the camera’s ability to process multiple burst exposures. The camera will need time to process these large files. Sometimes it can be just when you wanted that “one more” shot! But different cameras have different abilities, and I chose one that processes quickly with large file resolutions.  With landscapes, this works very good. I must mention that this is the large format for a crop-sensor camera.

A sharp, finished print begins with a large, high-resolution file in raw format. Raw, allowing for more color pixel options in the edit process; resolution being the sharpness of the image for reproduction. During the workflow editing process, size can be lost, but not enough to effect print quality unless the image is cropped too small. I shoot all my images in a 3:2 ratio. This affords me more options for print sizes and crop options. But I’m talking about the beginning to the end for producing high-end, high-resolution, sharp images for small to large prints. I’ll continue…

Image in Lightroom - canvas prints | metal prints
Image in Lightroom


Phase II – Workflow:
When importing my files into my photo-processing software, such as Lightroom, I import the raw formats. This is the first phase of my editing process. This is where I make my images look good. In some cases, there is nothing more to do, except save the image, which I mention in the following segment. I export the processed image as a .psd (PhotoShop Document) file. At this phase the file is still a large format. In the next phase I open the file in Photoshop where I will tweak highlights, colors, lighting, etc., where the file size is typically reduced according to cropping. The image below has been cropped to 4578 x 3052 megapixels. This interprets to a canvas of roughly 19 x 13 inches and 236 DPI or PPI (pixels per inch). The image still maintains its 3:2 ratio as originally cropped. This file size is now 40 megabytes. See image below.

Image loaded in Photoshop - canvas prints | metal prints
Image loaded in Photoshop

I set  the DPI or PPI (pixels per inch) to 300. In turn this increases the size of the image which gives me the option to set the size in dimensions to 24 x 36 inches at 10,800 x 7221 megapixels. The file size is now 224 megabytes. I am now ready to save/export this image as a .jpeg file for compression.

Final Image Size - canvas prints | metal prints
Final Image Size

Phase III – Resolution/Size: Now I have a completed image ready to export as, print ready (see above image). I have set the size parameters I require for getting the sharpest resolution from the print process. This is where I still require a large file in a high-resolution format, but saved as a .jpeg (Joint Photographic Experts Group) file, which will compress file size without destroying resolution. In the case of uploading images and storage of images on a server, size matters. It also matters in print production. This image file is perfect for print production.

This is my experience for achieving the quality, finished product I wish to sell. I have had images saved in lower resolutions printed in large formats on canvas, such as 36 x 48″, and they look good, but canvas prints are more forgiving. When I speak of file dimensions, I speak in terms of megapixels and DPI (Dots Per Inch) or PPI (Pixels Per Inch). Megabyte is the image file size relative to the amount of digital space the file needs. Thus the larger megabytes the files are, the more space they demand and the longer time it takes to upload.

Some storage services limit up to 50 megabyte. I can save a file in 4500 x 3000 megapixels – 72 DPI – 4 megabyte, and it will print a decent print in smaller sizes, but sharpness will diminish as larger prints are demanded. I save my final images at 300 DPI and set the size according to the largest size print I choose to offer. The larger the size in dimension inches (i.e. 24 x 36) the larger the file. In some rare cases I may need to lower my DPI in order to keep my file size under the maximum limits for upload, but I am assured of its print quality. I usually don’t need to go lower than 250 DPI which still produces a very sharp, large wall-hanging print.

Phase IV – Upload to Print Service: I choose a print service that demands 300 DPI and sized for printing needs. I choose a professional print services such as ProDPI for Professional Photographers. Turn around time is quick and production and build are top quality. Besides, as a consumer of fine art photography for wall-hanging prints, isn’t this what you really want?

Ready to purchase your best quality canvas prints | metal prints?

Visit my gallery of both Landscape Photography for Prints and Abstract Art Photography for Prints…Click Here!

Intuition ~ The Missing Link of Landscape Photography

Like many other photographers who sell prints of their landscape photography work, I too have my “best sellers”. But what about so many other images that are nice shots, photos I have received many compliments on, but have not made a penny in the store? Intuition is a necessity for inspirational landscape photography.

~ This is not a “How to” tutorial. This is another photographer’s lesson-learned of who I am in whatever it is I do. In this case, what I do is photography ~

It took me time to learn the answers. I can tell you, and I will, but if you are still somewhat new to photography, especially landscape photography in hopes of selling prints, it will take your own experience to understand. You may even rewrite this topic in your own words one day!

Tall Trees Colorado Landscape Photography Pikes National Forest
Against Reason – going against rational judgment!

With today’s  technological advancements in digital cameras and software, especially phone cameras, the adage seems to be true, “Everyone is a photographer”. Well…one thing I believe separates a talented photographer from “anyone with a camera”, is intuition. The photographer’s intuition which can only come by experience with the camera, time in the field, and tons of learning by not following our intuition!

Recently, I wrote an article on landscape photography referring to one of the key requirements for lighting success – timing. I also refer to this timing as “The Fourth Dimension of Photography”. Now I want to explore another facet I have spent my life learning to do in everyday living – Intuition.

~ Intuition…the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. “We shall allow our intuition to guide us”…Google Dictionary ~
Intuitiveness in photography is much more than a tool of the mind. It is an artist’s creative attribute. It is the hidden, behind the scenes of the mind, power to see what others may be drawn to see, something we are drawn to in nature, an allurement of scenery. Intuition for a photographer works best when we leave the intent to please others behind.
I remember the days of spending time trying to decide where I would go or what landscape or setting I was going to photograph. Sometimes the energy I would drain trying to make a decision, would be the reason for me to not go out at all, or find something else to do entirely. Now, herein may lie a dilemma.
~ Sometimes, by being hesitant to go where I was planning to go, I would later discover that I just may have been following my intuition? Really? ~
I have learned in my life that there are two ways to find that intuitive direction. One – when there seems to be something holding me back, or Two – by just walking out the door with no plan in mind and just see where the day takes me. In all honesty, I do best with the first one. Either way, you are a photographer, an artist, a creative human being. Don’t allow yourself not to go out when you feel different than you did the day before when you were all excited to go set up your camera in the perfect little valley or in front of the historic homestead. Let intuition take over – no matter where it leads you. Learn how to do this!

~ All of the images in this weblog are shots I got by using both methods, by changing my mind or by just randomly setting out somewhere. Each image’s description is labeled by which intuitive method was used – Against Reason or Random ~

Centennial Farmhouse Colorado Landscape Photography
Random – Turned left instead of right

Now here is a story…

I had planned the evening before to awaken early, drive up into the mountains for some “changing colors of the Aspen”. To my disappointment, when morning came, it was unexpectedly rainy. Still sleepy, I decide to use this as an excuse to make another pot of coffee and enjoy a relaxing day.

Not to be. Restlessness set in and the questions of “should I or should I not” began to audit my intent. I could sense those gnawing  feelings and twinges of guilt begin. But guilt can be a motivator. It can be a signal to run on intuition, which is what I did. I grabbed my gear, went to my car and began to drive up into the mountains. The higher in elevation I rose, the foggier the atmosphere became. Before long visibility was on the verge of dangerous. I decided that I should have followed my earlier instincts and just stayed home. I was feeling overwhelmed with that “Well this day sucks” feeling. Just ahead, I saw a pull-off on the isolated, winding road and began the first move to turn around and go back home.

As I was about to pull back onto the roadway into a left u-turn, I noticed through the dense fog, a sign. Squinting my eyes I could make out the words “Entering Pike National Forest”. At the sign seemed to be an opening into the trees. Instinct, a close relative to intuition struck me, along with a little curiosity. I pulled my car into a parking position, got out and took a look. Sure enough it was an opening into the forest. I walked into the trees and immediately discovered within myself just how miraculously intuition can become inspiration. Standing in the midst of this beautiful, Autumn forest my thought was, “I need to get my camera before this all disappears!”

One of the results of this morning, is one of my best sellers you see here. I simply call it “Forest Fog”

landscape and fine art photography
“Forest Fog” Against Reason

As a landscape photographer, or as a photographer who wishes to capture landscapes that others are drawn to, learn to rely on your own intuition. Let intuition be your guide. Loosen up, let go as you would in life. Use your own experience of who you are. What inspires your inner being, may also inspire the inner being of others. At least the odds are now in your favor!

Springtime at “The Rock” of Castle Rock!

IMG_1981-HDR_tonemapped-960Castle Rock is named for a large geological formation which looked to early travelers to the area like a castle on a hill.

The “Rock”, as it is commonly known is a local, regional, and national attraction. With the growth of the ever-expanding Denver/Colorado Springs corridor of Interstate 25, it’s only a matter of time before Castle Rock and the “Rock” will become an international destination, via Denver International Airport. This would not surprise me at all, in terms of the overall growth of the area.rock-rainbow-3000

In spite of this new age, “manifest destiny”, Castle Rock still remains the historical place of Americana, identified by its iconic monument. The “Star” which sets atop the Rock, is an ever-present reminder of the history behind this community of Colorado natives.  The star has been a symbol to people in Castle Rock for over 60 years.

You can read more of the history here:
“History of the Castle Rock Star”

You may see this high-resolution photo, as well as many more of the Castle Rock area and region here: “Complete Collection”