Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't find your answer here please use our contact page.
What is the best file format for my images?
The best format for your image files is either Photoshop's native format (.psd) or TIFF (.tif). These file formats do not normally utilize any file compression and therefore will yield the highest quality print. These are the file formats we prefer for your images.
JPEG (.jpg) files always involve some degree of file compression. The compression used is "lossy". This means that each time a JPEG file is opened, edited, and re-saved there is a further degradation in image quality. If you are not shooting in your camera's RAW format, your images are most likely being captured as JPEG's. This can still yield great results, but make sure that after any editing of the original photo you save it as a .psd or .tif instead of saving it as a .jpg. We are always happy to examine any image file and let you know what we think!
We are also able to accept most camera's RAW image files, but this will require some editing and therefore some cost for our Photoshop services.
If you are uploading large image files, you may choose to use the TIFF file format with "LZW" file compression. Unlike JPEG file compression, this is a "loss-less" compression and will not degrade your image quality.
What is the best resolution for my image files?
For the very best image quality we would like to have your image sized to 360 pixels-per-inch (ppi) at your intended print size. For example, if you are printing to 16 x 24 inches we would like to have your file sized to 5760 x 8640 pixels. That is (16 x 360) x (24 x 360).
In reality, we are able to produce excellent results with anything from 240 - 360 ppi at your print size. For very large images which are to be viewed from a reasonable distance we may even get good results from resolutions as low as 120 - 180 ppi.
We are always happy to render an opinion as to how large your image will print.
If you are confused about file or printer resolution, I have written an article that explains this somewhat difficult subject. You may read the article here.
What is the largest print I can obtain from my camera?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are many variables involved such as the sharpness of focus, the lack of camera motion during capture, the quality of the lens, the subject matter, the paper choice, the viewing distance, and the perception of the viewer.
In general, we can enlarge most quality images from 2 to 4 times in length and width from the size of the original. This is a guideline only. With some images we are able to go much larger. We are always happy to evaluate your image file as to how well it will enlarge.
There are some general guidelines for camera resolution and print size listed at the bottom of our File Formats Page.
Are you able to scan my artwork?
Unfortunately, no, but we work with the world's highest-quality scanning service, and we can help you obtain very high-quality and high-resolution scans of your original art. We are no longer providing scanning services ourselves as the demand for this service has declined substantially with the advent of digital photography. For small prints or original artwork you may simply use a high quality flat-bed scanner and submit the resulting image file.
For larger works of art you have two choices. First, you may obtain a high quality digital photograph of the original which you may be able to do yourself with a quality camera and lighting set up, or you might seek out a professional photographer in your area. If you need additional information or instruction on photographing your art, please use our contact form to request assistance.
Second, we can make a referral to a company that does high-resolution and very high-quality flat bed scanning of art work of almost any size. They can even scan art in a frame or behind glass and even tapestries. They are even able to capture the texture of the brushwork in your original art. We are then able to create great museum-quality prints from the resultant scans. If you would like a referral, just use our Contact Form and let us know!
What does the UV protective spray do?
We use pigment based inks which already have multi-decade longevity. The optional UV protective coating we offer can extend this print longevity by about twice under similar display conditions. It is also great for those who do not want to frame or display your print under glass. Glass is expensive, heavy, and can be distracting to the viewer of your art.
We use a 3-coat application process which ensures thorough coverage of your image. The coating is lacquer based and non-yellowing. It will not affect the appearance or texture of the print or paper. In addition to protecting your print from fading due to UV radiation, the coating also affords increased protection from ozone, smoke, moisture, and abrasion. The coating is optional, but highly recommended. It is especially valuable for canvas prints which are not likely to be framed under glass and are more subject to moisture and abrasion. This treatment is included at no additional charge for gallery wraps. For additional information, see our UV Protective Finish Page.
How long will my prints last?
Print longevity or permanence is dependent on the paper or substrate, the ink, and display or storage conditions. We utilize Epson's UltraChrome® HDR™ ink set and a variety of premium papers and canvases designed for these pigmented inks. In general you can expect prints to show no evidence of fading for over 80 years and up to 300 years. This assumes framing under glass or the use of our UV protective coating.
Do you stretch canvas?
Well, yes! We offer amazing Canvas Gallery Wraps. Just visit our Galley Wrap Page.
If you are looking for more traditional canvas stretching, any good frame shop or large craft store should be able to provide stretching over a frame. In addition, canvas prints can be cold press mounted to an appropriate acid-free substrate such as Gatorfoam or foam-core.
There are also several new do-it-yourself gallery wrap and canvas stretching kits on the market. These are easy to use and fairly inexpensive If you need assistance locating any of these products, we would be happy to assist.
How long does it take to receive my prints?
Our normal turnaround time is 3 - 5 business days from the time of your paid invoice or proof approval. If there are any delays beyond this we will notify you by email. Exceptions may occur during weeks we are traveling for our own photographic shoots. Once your order ships, you will receive tracking data directly from FedEx via email.
If you need rush service, please let us know early in the order process. Rush service may incur an additional processing fee. We may not always be able to accommodate requests for expedited processing of your order.
Do I need a proof print?
Proof prints are useful if you are uncertain of the quality of an enlargement, if color is critical, or if you'd just like to try a new substrate. Proofs are especially important if you are placing an order for a very large (expensive) print or a large print run.
Our entire work-flow is color managed. If you are using a color-managed work-flow on your end, proofs may not be necessary. We soft-proof every image here before printing. If we have any questions or concerns, we will contact you by email before printing. We are also happy to point you to good materials regarding best color management practices, or you may visit our Amazon Store for our recommendations on books and color management devices. For further information regarding our proof services, see our Proof Services Page.
Can I get your printer/paper ICC profiles?
We are able to provide you with our ICC profiles upon request. However, this may not be necessary. If you are using good color-management practices (color managed workspace, embedded ICC profile, and hardware calibrated monitor), then the image we see on our monitor should be very close to the image on your display. We soft proof every image before printing and make the necessary adjustments to color saturation and contrast. Our goal is to match the print to the image display within the constraints of our ink's color gamut and the difference between transmitted and reflected light.
What is meant by "color management"?
This is a complex topic which tends to be confusing. The idea is to use a combination of software and hardware to manage color across different devices. Ideally, with proper color management the image on any two monitors will have a similar color appearance. Likewise, the printer should come close to printing color as it is displayed on the computer screen. This involves the creation of "profiles" for the image, the display, and the output device (printer).
The most critical step for most photographers and artists is to calibrate and profile your computer display. This is best accomplished with a specially designed device to measure your monitors color response. Software then creates a "profile" which helps your monitor display color more accurately. There is a wealth of information on the web, and we would be happy to point you to additional information on color management. In addition, you may visit our Amazon Store for our recommendations on books and color management devices.
What is the best way to calibrate my monitor?
Calibrating and profiling your computer monitor is the most important step towards having prints that match what you see on your screen. There are two ways to accomplish this task. The first is software driven and, although much less expensive, may give only marginally satisfactory results. The most common software used in the past for monitor calibration was Adobe's Gamma Utility which was bundled with many of their software packages. Adobe Gamma was meant for CRT type monitors and not the newer LCD displays, and it won't work on the newer operating systems. A web search will return some software monitor calibration solutions, but these are not ideal.
The better way to achieve optimal monitor calibration and profiling is to use a hardware device which will actually measure your monitors color response. There are several bundles on the market from around $70.00 to over $1000.00. These all combine a software package with a spectrophotometer or colorimeter. Manufactures include Pantone's Huey, DataColor's Spyder, X-Rite's i1 and ColorMunki. If you are serious about accurate color then hardware calibration is the best way to accomplish this goal. We have these devices as well as several good books on color management listed in our Amazon Store.
What are your shipping charges?
Our preferred carrier is FedEx® . Our standard ground shipping rates for the contiguous 48 states are based on your order total as follows:
$50.00 -100.00 = $14.00
100.01 - 200.00 = 16.00
200.01 - 300.00 = 18.00
300.01 - 400.00 = 20.00
400.01 - 500.00 = 22.00
Over 500.00 = free shipping
Larger Gallery Wrap prints must ship via freight and incur additional shipping and handling charges which are listed on our Gallery Wrap Page.
For shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, or international shipping please inquire via email. Overnight and second-day shipping are also available upon request for an additional charge.
Please note that FedEx will not ship to a P.O. Box, and that alternate carriers such as the U.S. Postal Service or UPS may incur an additional shipping charge.
I see that you are accepting BitCoin in payment for your printing services. Where can I learn about BitCoin and how to pay my LargePhotoPrinting.com invoice using BitCoins?
Yes, LargePhotoPrinting.com is excited to now offer you the option of paying your invoice in BitCoin. You may learn more about this service and about BitCoin here.
If you wish to receive your invoice for Bitcoin instead of a PayPal invoice, just let us know.
Are you able to recommend any good books on printing, photography, color management, or the art business?
Yes. We have created a list of recommended books and equipment which are available through our Amazon Store.