enlarged print / montage


Old 12-21-06, 03:52 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 20
enlarged print / montage

hi i recently sent some montages for poster printing (bonusprint) who were the cheapest. i'm not happy with the results as they are lifeless and the colours are duller. do you have any tips for recreating your prints at a larger size.

firstly the montages are 20"x16" at 72dpi or whatever it is.
i've used 4 photo's in rows at top and bottom, with 2 alomost double size photo's in the middle. effectively the smaller photo's are normal size, i may have zoomed in and cropped a little but not enough as to make a difference.

my questions are:
does a computer screen show the photo's at a better quality than an enlarged print would do? or if the finished montage looks ok at full size in photoshop, should a printer be able to reproduce this quality?

bonusprint who did them, only do them in matt finish. is this recommended? does it have any adverse affects with regard to colour/vibrancy loss?

as most online printers seem to want them in jpeg form, would i be losing quality when converting them from psd to jpeg?

should i expect any loss of quality by having them printed in a larger format?

appreciate any help thanks.

Last edited by lowlife; 12-21-06 at 03:54 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-22-06, 05:57 PM
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Hello lowlife,

There could be several reasons why you are not satisfied with the print you had made.
You describe having cropped and zoomed in a bit but depending on the resolution you took the pictures at the magnification on the finished print could be very large.
What your monitor displays may not accurately reflect what your print will look like. A monitor does not always show colors accurately.
I have dual monitors with 19 and 17 inch crt displays and even after trying to tweak the colors only one is close to what my printer outputs.
As well the fact that the colors you see in a monitor are projected light make comparing a monitor to a print a bit difficult.
If I'm considering having an image professionally printed I will make an 8 1/2 x 11 print on my Epson home printer to see what it looks like on glossy photo paper.
The results that you get on inkjet printers these days are very good and can make a print that most would be happy with.

Photoshop in the right hands can be a photographers friend but it is very easy to overdo things.
Cropping and zooming which are pretty much the same thing cause you to throw away pixels. When you stretch what is left you have effectively enlarged your image. When you then get it enlarged in printing you have again increased its size.
The best quality prints are ones that you touch the least.

As far as file types there will be some losses when converting from photoshop format to jpeg but I am not sure if a processor can print the psd format.

If you give us some info we may be able to help more.
What make and model is your camera?
What resolution setting were these pictures taken at?
What is the file size of the individual pictures?
Old 12-23-06, 01:44 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 20

firstly the photo's were scanned from negatives, although the company said they would be plenty good enough for enlarging. photoshop says they are 72ppi at standard 6x4" size.

the montage at finished size of 20x16" is comprised of 2 rows top and bottom at 4 photo's at 5x4" with 2 10x8" side by side in the middle.
so effectively the small photo's haven't been enlarged, ok maybe a little cropping and zooming but not enough to make much difference. the centre photo's are effectively doubled in size.

i've been told somewhere else that 72ppi is no good for enlargements so i was considering to see, how or if i could change this. having said that, it's not the larger photo's that look bad. the whole montage has lost colour and lustre so i think it is more of a printing problem, or perhaps the difference between looking at a photo on a monitor and on paper. The original analogue photo's look ok so i would hope to reproduce the same for the montage.
Old 12-24-06, 02:52 PM
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Curious to know how big the file size is for each scan.
You can over the cursor over an image and right click the mouse.
If you select properties you can see how big the file is.

As a comparison a 2 mp image in jpeg format and high quality would be around 750 k or 3/4 of a meg.

How big are the files for each image?
Old 01-23-07, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
72dpi not good enough, need to calibrate your monitor

hey there, first IMO you have to calibrate your monitor to accurately display the colors of your photos, if you are using adobe photoshop, you can do it with the adobe gamma tool, its in your control panel, this is software based but it does help. you can also purchase a "spyder" which is a hardware calibration tool that attaches to your screen and it reads off different properties of your monitor, this is the most effective way of calibrating your monitor, this "spyder" also comes with a calibration for your printer so the monitor and printer match colors more effectively. Now most cameras shoot in RGB, primary colors, if you own an epson printer or an HP they print using CYMK which means that the printer converts your RGB images to CYMK, canono printers on the other hand print in RGB so no conversion happens.

72dpi is no where near acceptable for printing, thats good enough to display your images on the web, all photos found on the web are displayed at 72dpi, this is done to reduce the size of the file(greatly) thus reducing the overall quality of an image, for you to trully get excellent results i recommend saving the file at 150dpi, thats standard fror printing purposes, any commercial printer requires files to be submitted at no less than 150dpi. i print all my photos at 150dpi and achieve great results. Especially since you are enlarging the negatives, rescan the ones you will be enlarging at a minimum of 100 dpi if they are 35mm negatives, thats good enough to reproduce an excellent 13"X19" print, possibly even larger. Findout what printers they are using, usually is a 3 color ink system, which means that only 3 colors (red, green, blue) are beeing used to reproduce an entire gamut of colors, not good. good luck

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