Printed images can contain more colours (they have a different colour ‘gamut’) than digital images on a screen. In addition, a high quality print is made up of very many more coloured ‘dots’ than an image on a screen — it has higher resolution.
If you are making an image that you may want to print, whether for yourself, for competition entry, or for exhibition, then make sure you read and follow our other good practice ‘rules’ : Digital Image Quality, and Preparing Images for Print so that you do not lose the colours and resolution that your digital image is capable of providing.
These ‘rules’ are particularly important if you may ever want to print ‘enlargements’ — prints bigger than about 10″ x 8″. For example, from time to time the club mounts an exhibition of prints. The club will arrange to have the selected images printed and mounted in 20” x 16” (500mm x 400mm) frames. This means that images will need to be able to be enlarged for printing at up to 15” along the long side.
Sending a file to the club for printing
If one or more of your images is selected for the club’s exhibition, when you have edited your image to your satisfaction, you can save or export, onto a CD or memory stick, a copy of your edited image file:
- In TIFF format
- at full (original) size, and 100% (maximum) quality
- with AdobeRGB embedded (or the ProPhoto colour space if you’ve been using it, but not sRGB)
You do not need to resize files for large prints. The printing software that we have has sophisticated tools for ‘blowing up’ enlargements beautifully, provided that the initial images are sharp and have not had colour or tone information thrown away by compression.
By the way
If you are taking an image to another printer who asks you to bring a JPEG file in the sRGB colour space, you can open your edited TIFF files and EXPORT or SAVE AS a maximum sized, maximum-quality JPEG, as the very last step.
However, you should discuss this with the person doing the printing. If they have any kind of quality printing software, then they should be able to open your TIFF files with a larger colour space easily, as long as they are told what to expect. (Many places simply use Photoshop as printing software, and a competent user can open and print just about any image file type with Photoshop.)