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Tips

Have a question you don't see answered below? Let us know.

How do I order digital press products?

Please visit the Press at PW page and click the button to request product and order information.

How can I send you my files? Which online service should I use?

  1. You can upload them to Photoworkssf.com and pick them up in the store or have them mailed to you.
  2. Print from your Flickr account. This works great as you do not have to wait as long for photos to upload. For best results, upload high res files to Flickr. We use the original file size you uploaded - not one of the scaled down versions.
  3. Print from your Instagram account. Like Flickr, this works great as you do not have to wait as long for photos to upload.
  4. We recommend using WeTransfer to send us files. If you already have an account with Dropbox or YouSendIt, that's fine too. Please send to info@photoworkssf.com.
  5. Feel free to bring a CD, DVD, USB Drive, or any or any other storage device down to our retail store and Photoworks will help you with your printing needs.

How can I make my uploads faster?

If you are not sending JPGs you should be. These load the quickest because they are compressed. We convert to JPGs anyway when we print. Just make sure they are set to minimum compression. Also, do not send us files that are excessive in size. We will have to compress them and quality could be lost. It is best not to exceed 400 dpi at the size you will print. You can also use upload files from your Instagram or Flickr accounts. Your originals are already uploaded so the wait time is minimal.

Can I use your photo uploader with my ______ browser?

Our photo uploader can be used with all the major web browsers. (Note: Javascript and cookies must be enabled.)

How do I know if my image will crop?

Cropping occurs when the aspect ratio (or shape) of your file does not match up with the print size you requested. For example, if your image is from an SLR digital camera then the image is a 1:1.5 ratio which is a rectangular shape. If you want to print an 8x10 from this file an 8x10 is more square shape so your file would have to be cropped to print a borderless 8x10. Now if you print an 8x12 then your image would not be cropped because an 8x12 is also a 1:1.5 ratio. You can check your file size in Photoshop by going to Image and then to Image size. You can key in the print size that you want and see it the size of your file matches up. You can also see what the resolution of your image at that size is while you're at it. A point and shoot digital camera generates an image that can be printed at 4x5, 8x10 borderless with minimal cropping. An SLR digital camera creates an image that is 35mm and can be printed at 4x6, 8x12 without cropping.

How do I avoid cropping?

If you do not want a crop:

  1. Match your image shape to the corresponding paper shape to avoid cropping.
  2. If the paper and image size do not match up you can print your images "full file." This will most likely result in a border that is thicker on two sides and thinner on the other two.
  3. You can also resize or crop your digital files ahead of time in Photoshop to match your paper size.
  4. - OR - Request borderless or an even border all the way around even though you know the aspect ratios do not match up and expect and accept any cropping that will occur.

What resolution should my file be?

Our color machines print at 400 dpi. So when preparing your files this is the optimal resolution your files can be at the size printed. Our state of the art equipment can interpolate or "up-res" your files so we can generally make quality prints from files as low as 150 dpi. More resolution is not necessarily better. If your image resolution is higher than the res that we print at then your file will be compressed when printing. Files for Giclée printing should be at 240 dpi for optimal results although 240 dpi, 144dpi and anything within this range is also acceptable.

What file types do you accept?

We accept: JPG, TIFF, PSD, BMP, PNG, PDF. We can also accept Raw files but there will be a charge to convert them. When using any of our online ordering systems we recommend converting your images to Jpgs for speedier upload. When submitting PSDs or PDFs please flatten them first especially when submitting images with text layers. Photoworks may not have the same fonts and the software will automatically find a substitute font to use in the unflattened image.

Do you make corrections to images when printing?

Yes, we have a lab technician who looks at each image and makes color, density and contrast corrections.

What if I want to do my own corrections?

If you want to make your own corrections use our color profile and specify "no color corrections" when placing your order. The color profile we use is sRGB IEC61966-2.1 It is a common profile that can be selected in most versions of Photoshop. (For Giclée prints use the AdobeRGB 98 color profile.) This way you will be viewing the images in the same color space we are using. When you place your order let us know that you do not want any corrections made to your images.

What color mode should I use?

RGB is used for web, inkjet prints and photo printing. CMYK is more used for printing presses. You should use RGB.

What ICC profile should I use?

You can download our ICC profile to use in Photoshop or in most cases you can simply choose if from a list of available profiles in Photoshop as it is a common color profile. The profile that we use is sRGB IEC61966-2. For Giclée prints use the AdobeRGB 98 color profile.

How should I calibrate my monitor?

We could do a long winded section here, but honestly your best bet is to do some research on your own. There are some tools for purchase such as Pantone hueyPro, Datcolor Spyder3 Elite, and Xrite ColorMunki. The most basic calibration tool, other than ignoring calibration altogether, is Adobe Gamma. This is certainly better than nothing, but leaves much to be desired. The sole advantage is that it is free (once you purchase Photoshop). The primary problem is that your basic eyeball calibration is highly influenced by ambient lighting, how much sleep you've had, and how much coffee is coursing through your veins. Obtaining a consistent viewing environment is difficult under these conditions. When it's all said and done we suggest running a test print with us, asking for "no corrections." Then go back and adjust your monitor to match our print.

Should my files be 8 bit or 16 bit?

They should be 8 bit.

What if I need some Photoshop work done?

If you need some Photoshop work done please bring your files into the store or send them to us online and we will contact you with an estimate.

How are your prints better than my at home printer or local one hour lab?

Our prints are printed on actual silver based RC photo paper using actual photo chemistry. They are not ink on paper. The resolution is better and you have a trained professional correcting your image to get the best print possible.

What type of paper do you print on?

We print our color film, black and white film, and our digital images on Fuji crystal archive. Large format prints at 16x20 and up are on Fuji crystal glossy or on Mitsubishi photo luster/matte.

What's the best way to get black and white prints from my color photos?

If you are new to black and white digital you can leave your images in color and simply request "black and white" from the drop down menu when ordering. Our techs grey scale your images in Photoshop. If you have created B&W in camera that's fine, though it is better to start in RAW and then convert in Photoshop. A simple method is to change your color files to Grayscale in Photoshop (Image > Mode > Grayscale). A better method in Photoshop is to convert the color image to Lab Color mode (Image > Mode > Lab Color) then discard all but the lightness channel by highlighting that channel in the channels palette, then change the mode to Grayscale (Image > Mode > Grayscale). When you get the window asking to discard color, click OK. Our archival paper allows for maximum tonal range.

What are the border options for prints?

We offer several types of border styles for your prints. Click over to our Digital Prints to see them.

How do I estimate file size?

Multiply Height x Width x Resolution then Divide by 1200 = megabytes (For example 11 x 14 x 300 dpi divided by 1200 = 38.5 megs)

Print Size File Size (estimated, uncompressed)
300dpi 200dpi
4 x 6 6 mb 4 mb
5 x 7 8.75 mb 5.83 mb
8 x 10 20 mb 13 mb
9 x 12 27 mb 18 mb
11 x 14 38.5 mb 26 mb
16 x 20 80 mb 53 mb
20 x 24 120 mb 80 mb
20 x 30 150 mb 100 mb
20 x 40 300 mb 200 mb
40 x 60 600 mb 400 mb
Common Image Sizes at 300dpi
Image Size Megapixels "Natural" Print Size File Size (uncompressed Tiffs)
4064 x 2704 11.1 13.5 x 9 31 mb
3088 x 2056 6.3 10.25 x 6.8 18 mb
3008 x 1960 5.3 10 x 6.5 17 mb
2048 x 1536 3.0 6.8 x 5.1 9 mb
1600 x 1200 2.0 5.3 x 4 5.5 mb
1280 x 960 1.2 4.25 x 3.2 3.5 mb
640 x 480 .3 2.1 x 1.6 1 mb

Please Note: we have state of the art digital printers which can interpolate (or "res up") an image. We can make great prints at 150 DPI. Also note that compressed and/or manipulated JPEG files may be large enough to print but can result in poor prints because of compression.

What does Giclée/Giclee mean?

Giclée is French for "fine spray" and refers to our prints done on fine art papers with or without texture, and canvas. We use Epson Ultrachrome Inks, and our prints are archival to 90 years.

What is Gallery wrap/Canvas stretching?

A completed canvas print should be "stretched" on wood bars. The standard depth is one inch. We also have 1/2" and 1 1/2" sizes as well. This creates the museum effect seen in galleries. You may choose to have your image visible (wrapped) on the sides or to you may have a white or black border on the sides. (if you have a family portrait that goes to the edge, you probably do not want to wrap the image) We would be happy to examine your file, and make a suggestion.