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Image retouch and edit

We will edit your image according to your requests before printing so the pictures you display will look their best. This service is included in the price of the print. We prefer to work with the original image that came from your camera or scanner. If you do edit before sending, it is best to save as an uncompressed flattened .tif file and do not upsize or sharpen (we do that just before printing).

Extensive image editing

Below are some of the techniques we use that are usually included in the price. If you are looking for something special, please send your request! If the image requires extensive editing, we will send you a quote for any additional cost before the work begins.

If you edit your images:

See our tips on Color manage­ment and using Photoshop.

Color management

We calibrate our monitor and use custom color profiles for each type of paper or canvas to be sure that we achieve accurate colors in our prints. We can print and mail proofs to you if you want to check the colors before we print the enlargement (no extra charge for this). If you edit your images before sending, calibrate your monitor for best results...more

Adjust levels

We can fully correct poor exposures as long as the exposure was not off so much as to block highlights or lose shadow detail in significant areas. We can also brighten or darken the mid-tones as needed. This will, for example, open up backlit faces so they stand out better.

Reduce noise

There will be noise (similar to film grain) especially in dark areas and especially for photos taken with compact cameras. We use Noise Ninja or Topaz DeNoise to reduce noise and find them very effective. However, it sometimes reduces detail in some areas of the image so we will mask them and reduce noise mainly in areas that should be smooth such as sky and faces.

Color saturation

Increased color saturation will often help landscape photographs, especially rocks.

Correct Red-eye

If you use a direct flash, you may end up with red-eye. We will correct this in the computer. Your photos will print better if you use bounce flash or available light for people shots.

Crop

We can crop to fit a standard frame or to any dimensions you choose. If you don't want us to crop, then you can choose either the width or height and the web form will choose the other for you so the image will fit exactly.

Remove distracting background objects

Request this when you want to fix a problem with the background of your image, or modify the background to improve the image's impact. This can often be accomplished without a new viewer being able to detect any modifications as long as the removed object does not border on the main subject. If the distracting object intersects a person’s hair, for example, this modification may become difficult or impossible to execute effectively. We will contact you in advance about additional charges for difficult image modifications that you have requested. Typical background problems include unwanted people, unwanted objects, distracting surfaces and poor lighting. In many cases "softening" (slightly blurring) or darkening a background can draw better attention to the subject. Sometimes we just need to remove the date inserted in the image by the camera.

Combining faces from several shots

For group portraits do you find that there is often one person who has his eyes closed or did not have the best smile? If you have two or more shots that were taken in rapid succession and have minor differences except for facial expressions, we can combine the best from both in to one photo! There may be an extra charge for this service.

Remove blemishes, scratches, and dust spots

We can easily take care of these in Photoshop to make your photos look great.

Dodge and Burn

We can lighten and increase shadow detail on a portion of the image that is too dark, and we can darken and increase highlight detail on a portion of the image that is too light (as long as it is not blocked).

Soften

Sometimes portraits look best when softened. Let us know if you want this. We will leave the eyes sharp.

Convert to black and white

With black and two different gray inks our HP Z3200 printer makes excellent black-and-white prints that turn out completely neutral on all of our paper types. We suggest you submit a color photo so we can optimize for black and white in Photoshop. We can also add a sepia tone.

Vignette and border treatment

On portraits we can fade the image into the white background in an oval around the subject. If the background is already bright, a dark vignette will work better, and there are a variety of other borders we can add...more

Upsize image

At the end just before sharpening we upsize the image to 300 dpi using OnOne Perfect Resize.

Sharpen

The last edit made before printing is to sharpen the image with the Smart Sharpen filter in Photoshop. This increases the apparent detail in small objects and texture. Since this is best done at the last step in the editing process, we prefer that you do not sharpen before sending us your images. We receive many images that have been over-sharpened either in the camera or in editing software. The resulting halos are difficult or impossible to remove.