Beginner Preparing photo for first time printing

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66
Name
Tilly
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#1
Hello everyone I hope someone can help me

I’m looking to print some photos for the first time. I will be getting a spyder 5 express to calibrate my screen. Im looking to print around a3 size and poster size, I don’t own a printer so will be using a online service any recommend for company’s would be wonderful, Iv been looking at Loxley as they seem Reasonably priced.

I need some help on what kind of paper to use (there is so many options) and how to prepare my pictures on m computer.. I had some previous photos printed from photo box however they seem to be quite crinkled.

They are just for personal use I would like to hang them at home
 
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414
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#2
Loxley is indeed a good service and they have a really useful guide on how to prepare the photos for print:

https://www.loxleycolour.com/help/Colour

Essentially the process is (assuming you've taken the photo and got it into Lightroom):
- calibrate your monitor
- edit the photo so it looks how you want it
- choose a paper type for print
- download and import the paper profile for your chosen paper
- soft-proof your image against the paper profile
- resize for print (includes up/down scaling and setting the desired DPI/PPI)
- apply any output sharpening
- export as JPEG (ensuring the correct colour space is applied)
- get it printed :)

I generally use Lustre as I think the matte finish looks more professional (and they are going in frames anyway) but it's down to experience and person preference really. Check with Loxley but I think they do proofs for you.

Good luck!

EDIT: one more thing to mention, make sure you don't tick "apply automatic colour correction" when uploading the files, otherwise all your hard work will be messed up!
 
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OP
OP
T
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66
Name
Tilly
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#3
Thank you so much.

I’m using lightroom to edit my photos

How do I import the paper profile? Soft proof, resize, and the sharping output tool? Can I do this in lightroom?

I like the lustre paper and have read that it looks more professional so I will more then likely use this paper..

Iv just looked at the link you sent for Loxley and I believe it’s all there.. thank you again for your help
 
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OP
OP
T
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66
Name
Tilly
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#6
One more question sorry.. do you guys print with a boarder? I quite like the look of a boarder would it give off a more professional look? Is there a standard size for borders or again does it depend on preference? Also what about laminates?
 
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#7
Personal choice I’m afraid. A mount in a frame is what sets an image off for me. I don’t use borders for print. And I haven’t tried laminates.
 
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OP
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66
Name
Tilly
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#9
Is there a standard size mount? I like the idea of a mount in a frame.. do you print the picture with a mount or print the picture then buy a mount separate?
 
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9,252
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Jeremy Moore
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#10
Normally you stick the photo to the inside of the mount and pop the mount in the frame. It's framing that's the expensive part these days. If you need advice go and see a framer.

I get my prints done at DSCL who seem to be reasonable but i have made the mistake of forgetting to tick the "no border" box and finding that the image doesn't fit in to the pre-cut mounts that I have without the border showing.
 
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Nightmare
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#12
Loxley is indeed a good service and they have a really useful guide on how to prepare the photos for print:

https://www.loxleycolour.com/help/Colour

Essentially the process is (assuming you've taken the photo and got it into Lightroom):
- calibrate your monitor
- edit the photo so it looks how you want it
- choose a paper type for print
- download and import the paper profile for your chosen paper
- soft-proof your image against the paper profile
- resize for print (includes up/down scaling and setting the desired DPI/PPI)
- apply any output sharpening
- export as JPEG (ensuring the correct colour space is applied)
- get it printed :)

I generally use Lustre as I think the matte finish looks more professional (and they are going in frames anyway) but it's down to experience and person preference really. Check with Loxley but I think they do proofs for you.

Good luck!

EDIT: one more thing to mention, make sure you don't tick "apply automatic colour correction" when uploading the files, otherwise all your hard work will be messed up!
All sound advice.

If using JPEG don't forget to max out quality. If permissible - use full 16 bit TIFF or as close as possible to that.

Loxley is good company and hopefully they do reasonable job if profiled for their targets. DSCL made so much mess with that (aside from other problems, including receiving a bunch of someone else's work a few years ago!). From the bigger ones I'd rather pay more and use Loxley. DSCL will be cheap for some bulk order school portraits, and just send the straight sRGB unless you want mess. Their very out of date C-type machines have much smaller gamut than even sRGB so they will just sort them out within that level. You won't have any real reds or oranges left. Not a big deal for portraits.

Prints will look darker than screen so it is critical they are well exposed and the histogram is maxed out (as it should be anyway).

For a start I'd do a test order of small prints. It will be cheap. Then scale it up once happy.

Auto colour correction is not a great thing, but if it is personalised and qualified service (like OVI) you may find it may be quite helpful if your images aren't entirely optimised for that run.
 
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9,252
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Jeremy Moore
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#13
Following on from LLP's post, do you use Loxley as the direct fulfilment printer from your website? How do you find their results?

I normally use DSCL for standard prints and generally get a good service, but if the print is going direct from the website to the customer I'd be worried that they might not be getting the maximum quality possible from the file.

This may be going into far more detail than the OP requires (I'm sure it is......) but these big photo printers have a big range of papers available now. How does the photographer make sure that the right profile is being used for the paper that has been selected without the human element - ie the photographer - making that choice?
 
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3,474
Name
droj
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#14
Essentially the process is (assuming you've taken the photo and got it into Lightroom):
- calibrate your monitor
- edit the photo so it looks how you want it
- choose a paper type for print
- download and import the paper profile for your chosen paper
- soft-proof your image against the paper profile
- resize for print (includes up/down scaling and setting the desired DPI/PPI)
- apply any output sharpening
- export as JPEG (ensuring the correct colour space is applied)
- get it printed :)

EDIT: one more thing to mention, make sure you don't tick "apply automatic colour correction" when uploading the files, otherwise all your hard work will be messed up!
As you can see from the above (which is all quite correct!), it's a can of worms.

Or several cans of worms - calibrating your display being the first. Getting a Spyder shows your commitment, and I hope that using it doesn't confuse things. Myself, I'd have started without, and seen how it went.

The second confusion is colour space settings (in your display, your files themselves, & your processing application), and getting everything in sync (or at least translateable).

Your files ex-camera, and/or your photo-app working space, and indeed your screen itself, might (or might not) have a wider gamut than the base-line lab requirement of sRGB. So it's about reconciliation, and you need an awareness about this and a structure for dealing with it.

Then papers render differently, in particular to do with brightness and contrast. Which is where 'soft-proofing' comes in.

The next hurdle after soft-proofing is the form in which you dispatch your files to the lab in terms of embedded colour profile. Follow the chosen lab's particular advice, but some aren't so clear about it.

DSCL - dear old DSCL - are one of the latter. But they're very cheap!

Take it slowly. Don't try too many things at once.
 
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