BoudieTog

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Morning fellow photogs! First time on the forums so I can't wait to see all the amazing work and learn from everyone. My question is about prints. Large prints in particular. If I know that I want to print a 16x20 canvas, what do I need to be doing in camera to get the perfect print outcome? I just started doing print orders for my clients so I want to make sure I don't end up needing to crop out a head in order to print the size canvas or metal print they want.


I appreciate all the help in advance.
 

Derrel

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Well...if you have a pro-type Nikon camera that can shoot at the 5:4 aspect ratio, you can shoot in that ratio. This is one of the nice things about the Nikon D3 series bodies, which allow full FX shooting, cropped-to-5:4 FX, and APS-C shooting in 3:2 ratio. As you can see, 5:4 ratio, which can also be expressed as 4:5 ratio is also 8x10 and is also the same ratio as a 16 x 20 print.

The issue with most d-slrs is their 3:2 image capture ratio...which is very "skinny" in a vertical camera orientation, and "not very tall" in a horizontal camera orientation. The flat-out fact is that the typical d-slr's native capture format of 3:2 is not ideal for people work,most of the time. A tall portrait usually looks better with some of that 3:2 ratio eliminated. magazine covers, 8 x 10 table enlargements, 16 x 20 wall enlargements...all of those do not macth the 3:2 capture of a typical Canon or Nikon camera.

If you have a Live View type camera, I would get a screen protector kit, and put on a sheet of protective film, and then mark off the outer edges of the frame, so you can get more familiar with about how far inside the edges of the overall area you need to keep things.
 
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BoudieTog

BoudieTog

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You seem very knowledgeable. Thank you. I will look into the settings on my camera once I get home. Will def keep this in mind.
 
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BoudieTog

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Thank you! Straightening is something I do need to prep in camera for a lot more. Great tip!
 

Derrel

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Now that we have hit 18 to 24 MP in APS-C, and 24 to 42 MP in FX, there's more crop-ability than there used to be. Years ago 6 x 6 120 rollfilm cameras like the Hasselblad were common for pro photography shoots, and "talls" and 'wides" were always cropped out of square originals! I believe quite firmly that now, we have similar medium format type image quality from 24MP FX camera shots, and that APS-C (aka DX in Nikon-speak) at 24MP has at least 6 x 4.5 cm medium format resolving capability for people work, so...

Shoot loose, crop later. I think that idea is especially useful for really sharp, high-performance lenses, like 50mm or 85mm prime lenses, which have good, sharp images at f/4.5 to f/8. If there's doubt, with today's modern, high-megapixel cameras, it's okay to frame up a shot and leave some extra room around it for 8 x 10 aspect ratio prints to be made. And as Designer aptly pointed out, framing a bit looser will leave some room for straightening up horizons, as well as give more possibilites as to where you crop the frame. If everything is framed super-tightly, there's a lot less margin for operating in terms of cropping, for rotating the frame a few degrees, etc.
 

Designer

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Straightening is something I do need to prep in camera for a lot more.
I don't understand what you mean by that. I always straighten in post.
 

SquarePeg

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Straightening is something I do need to prep in camera for a lot more.
I don't understand what you mean by that. I always straighten in post.

Easy enough to do but, the original question was about what can be done in camera.

OP - most cameras have an option to show some type of horizon line or grid line in the viewfinder. This is a big help in getting the horizon level in camera and not having to straighten in post.
 

astroNikon

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If we knew the OPs camera would could maybe offer some suggestions/features to turn on to assist in making sure everything is lined up/straight in-camera more easily.

I always have my Grids on (handheld) and sometimes my horizon level on (on tripod in LiveView).
 

Designer

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If we knew the OPs camera would could maybe offer some suggestions/features to turn on to assist in making sure everything is lined up/straight in-camera more easily.

I always have my Grids on (handheld) and sometimes my horizon level on (on tripod in LiveView).
The OP can do quite a lot "in camera" to get her photographs straight, but in my opinion and experience, it simply won't matter. The photos will very likely not be exactly straight anyway, so some minor straightening in post will still be required.
 

Gary A.

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The more you do in-camera, the less you need to do in post. The more straightening required in post equals more cropping of the original image. More cropping may become problematic in cutting-off/clipping of important image elements and more cropping also equates to less pixels per square inch, which, and especially, on such a large size one would not want to lose a single pixel.

In the dinosaur days of film-only, I would print full frame, from negative edge to negative edge. As Derrel pointed out, the proportion of the capture medium doesn't always match the proportions of the presentation medium. I would print with wide borders, more than an inch wide, in order to accommodate differences between capture medium and presentation medium. I still print that way.

As a side bar, when I first started shooting seriously with digital, I got lazy and began fixing everything in post. Fixing in post is very very easy. Then I started getting sloppy because ... well, everything can be fixed in post. My photography suffered. I am now working to fix everything in-camera, expose for the final image, minimize post capture manipulation. I am back to tossing most images which require straightening or cropping in post.
 
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BoudieTog

BoudieTog

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Straightening is something I do need to prep in camera for a lot more.
I don't understand what you mean by that. I always straighten in post.
I just mean I usually frame my image in camera then if I have to straighten in post processing im cutting into the frame more than I'd like to. I need to work on opening up my frame more in camera to leave more editing space. Now I realize this will help when it comes to blowing images up for large prints as well.
 
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BoudieTog

BoudieTog

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If we knew the OPs camera would could maybe offer some suggestions/features to turn on to assist in making sure everything is lined up/straight in-camera more easily.

I always have my Grids on (handheld) and sometimes my horizon level on (on tripod in LiveView).
I shoot with a Canon 6D. Lenses vary but im currently in love with my full frame 16-35mm
 

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