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Huge enlargements (printing)

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Steven Jardine is off-linePlatinum Member
26 February 2014 06:55
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Location
United Kingdom
Buckinghamshire
Stoke Mandeville

Just curious if there's commercial photographers here who've sold massive enlargements of their prints (canvas or otherwise) and what sorts of sizes you were printing at for a given camera (final DPI would be handy to know)?  Also were there comments made when people scrutinised them up close?

I'm currently toying with ideas of enlarging images so the resolution would equate to around 50/100 DPI from my cameras (printing at around 60" long, or perhaps larger).  Obviously if I were printing like this this I'd use some interpolation software to smooth out the pixels for final printing, but am simply curious as to what is/isn't plausible (and no, I can't afford MF or to hire it).
When you are dead, you do not know that you are dead. All of your pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you are stupid.


Shawn Barker is off-line
26 February 2014 07:14
FrameworksMedia
Photographer
FrameworksMedia
Location
United Kingdom
Staffordshire
Stoke-on-Trent

I've had quite heavily cropped images from a D700 (12mp) blown up to 40" canvas on customer request and the results were excellent. I'd say the cropped image was around 3-4mp (it was a headshot cropped from a full length photo)

I think the main factors involved in the quality of the end result were:

-It was spot on focus wise and razor sharp.
-It was a studio shot so either ISO100 or 200.
-I prepped it and enlarged at full 1:1 resolution including sharpening on my computer before uploading the file.
-I used a good quality print house - unfortunately no longer with us as price overrules quality with much of customer demand these days.

If you check older versions of the GadgetShow, you'll actually find that they enlarged an image from a D700 to cover the side of an office block with great results, although they don't mention any interpolation software or printers used.


scubie is off-lineSilver Member
26 February 2014 08:10
scubie
Photographer
scubie
Location
United Kingdom
West Sussex
worthing

Most I've done was print for a shop sign, was 700meg at 300dpi 5ft x 4ft I think. Shot Olympus 5mg res, its still on shop front, been there for last 8/10yrs and still looks good. It was printed on some sort of plastic I think by a sign company.
Doug


Pict is off-line
26 February 2014 08:28
Pict
Photographer
Pict
Location
United Kingdom
Kent
Rochester

I currently have a 4ft horizontal print of a model in the studio that was cropped from a portrait shot taken on my D800. No software involved other than LR. It is pin sharp.
Not sure if that's of any value but there it is


Neil Anderson is off-line
26 February 2014 09:40
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Location
United Kingdom
London
West London

I have a 30" x 40" print that I had done because of a 24 hour special £5 ish offer from Photobox.
The original photo was from a D700 and 4256 x 2832 px - so you can see that is of the order of 100dpi when printed to that size.

I didn't do anything special to the jpg (as it was pretty much spur of the momemt to get it done).
The result is very acceptable as a wall poster. There is some grain (being a Nikon rather than Canon noise) and hints of pixelation on lines.
I have just experimented and I think you get a fair representation of the result if you take what would be a 100 dpi photo and enlarge it in photoshop so that the result is 300dpi at the desired size.
(Just now) I took the original which I actually uploaded and upped the pixel dimensions to 9000 x 12000 px in a simple resize. This looks pretty similar to what I see when I look closely at the print.

I think you would be reasonably safe in creating a photo of the desired poster size at 300dpi, and viewing it at a 100%. Obviously in real life most people wouldn't look so closely at a large print.
Logically this would be the case as they are effectively printing at something like 300 dpi, so if you send them a photo at 300dpi at desired size you should get an accurate reproduction of what you send.

If you are concerned about the pixel-peeping detail of the enlargement you could create the full size photo at 300 dpi, then cut out a 6x4 or 10 X 12 section and order a fairly cheap test of quality.
Like any dealer he was watching for the card that is so high and wild he'll never need to deal another...


David Heels is off-line
26 February 2014 10:21
Crippen
Photographer
Crippen
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire
Sheffield

The only piece of advice I would add, is, assuming you are getting your work printed by a third party (online or in a shop or something) make sure you speak to them before hand and download any suggested profiles. This will ensure that what you see on your (hopefully calibrated) screen, will match their printer.

Please forgive me if I'm teaching Granny how to suck eggs.
Dave


Anthonygh is off-line
26 February 2014 10:35
anthonyh
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Kent


Easy to experiment if you have Photoshop.

Use PS to exactly divide an A4 image into 4 quarters then print each quarter to A4 size.....tape them together and see what you think of your A2 equivalent print. If your printer won't do full A4 edge to edge prints then you will have to make each print area slightly smaller and trim the appropriate edges to match up. You can go larger with 16 A4 pages....so an A1 result. Or just pick one of the divisions with important detail and print that for assessment.

This is a good way for people with smaller printers to get large prints....I have divided images into 3 A3 vertical strips and very carefully matched them up on a card base and even knowing how I did it, spotting the joint was difficult.

I started experimenting with this process after visiting the Ansel Adams exhibition last year and saw that he had used the same technique....I did it rather better than him however..probably due to the better technology available to me.


Steven Jardine is off-linePlatinum Member
26 February 2014 10:45
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Location
United Kingdom
Buckinghamshire
Stoke Mandeville

Doh!, I didn't think about producing cropped samples at the DPIs I'm worried about.  It's a good idea I may get a load of prints done (even at A2 being £1 a pop it's cheap enough to get a grid of 9 done in a 3x3 configuration to sample a full-size image)
When you are dead, you do not know that you are dead. All of your pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you are stupid.


OldMaster is off-line
26 February 2014 11:36
OldMaster
Photographer
OldMaster
Location
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
Harpenden

You could use an upsampler which is a common way of doing it. Photozoom does a good job up to around 600% they claim. Genuine Fractals actually didn't come off much better under test than the latest re-scalers in CS6.I haven't tried the Perfect Suite up-scaler so can't comment on that.

I think this would be a better way of creating a large print than working only with the original file dimensions and just printing at much lower resolution unless you only intend to view them from several feet away! 180ppi is considered to be the minimum you can get away with as long as you view from "exhibition" distances...

As you say, you can print small areas and check for yourself!



Steven Jardine is off-linePlatinum Member
26 February 2014 11:40
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Location
United Kingdom
Buckinghamshire
Stoke Mandeville

I've been recommended to look at Alien Skin Blow-Up, it's said to be better than Perfect Resize (which I believe is effectively Genuine Fractals re-badged).

That said, I'll only be scaling by 2-300% at the most I'd imagine so I could employ ladder scaling (I have CS4) and then add some noise back to mask the softness/blur that results from the scaling.
When you are dead, you do not know that you are dead. All of your pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you are stupid.



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