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September 7, 2010

Tuesday Tip

Now that you have calibrated your monitor……

Now that you have your monitor calibrated so that you know that what you see is what you get (read about calibrating your monitor here) let's talk about a couple other ways to give your photos some TLC.

Firstly, don’t delete your pictures directly off of your camera’s memory card. Instead, you should download all of your pictures onto your computer and delete them from there.

Two reasons for this:

First, it is bad for your camera and your memory card. Most camera manufacturers discourage you from deleting pictures directly from your camera’s memory card. You should upload your pictures to your computer and then format your camera to delete the pictures. Formatting your camera deletes all the photos and is better for your memory card.

Second, sometimes it is difficult to tell exactly what you are deleting when you base your judgment about the quality of your photograph on how it looks on the tiny monitor on your camera. A picture that might look blurry or poorly exposed might look fine when viewed on your regular monitor and vice versa. Your camera's viewfinder can not be trusted! Also, you may delete a unique picture that you can only appreciate when you later view it on your computer. Some of my favorite pictures are the ones that did not look the greatest when viewed from my camera.

Moving on to my next bit of advice... Get your photographs developed by a professional printer or a printer that you have tested and trust.

Nothing can ruin a beautiful, technically flawless photograph faster than a poor printer. I (like all of you) take great pride in the photographs that I take. I work hard to set up and properly expose each picture. I spend time post-processing most of my photographs. I have calibrated my monitor to make sure the colors are correct. And I cringe to think that my photographs could be printed in some big box store in a mass-batch processor being run by a pimply teenager with no eye for photography and without a care about whether my prints turn out well. You spent a lot of money on your camera, lenses, and post-processing software – why cut corners on the prints themselves?

For this reason I strongly discourage (almost beg) my clients to let me use my professional printer to develop their prints and why I charge such a high amount for a CD of images. I know that with my printer what I see is what I get, and they do a fantastic job. They produces flawless, true to life prints in a variety of sizes, shapes, and finishes. I don't want people printing my images at low quality printers and saying "Hey look at this picture by Veronica Reeve." There are a number of online printers and local professional grade printers that provide similar work for almost anyone at a reasonable rate.

Before you hand over your carefully crafted photographs to a printer, make sure you have done your homework: ask a photographer whom you trust, ask to watch the printer process a batch, and/or send a couple of trial copies and compare the prints carefully with your calibrated monitor.


Amy Lynn said...

This is so true!! I have an account with a pro lab and I still fall in my old ways and send them to a big box store. I am disappointed each and every time! I am making a pledge :)

Christa said...

Those are fabulous tips even for those of us not blessed with an awesome camera and any talent! :)

Shanna said...

I love these tuesday tips! can you share any places that are good but not too pricey? I like to do pictures for myself and family just for fun and i'd love to learn of some places to go and get beautiful prints!

Jonnie Hartman said...

Great info keep it coming!