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FAQ > File Size & File Preparation Guidelines

File Size & File Preparation Guidelines


File Size:

We recommend that you do not resize your files for ordering. Simply send them as they are and we will resize your files as needed (see below for exceptions).

If Color Correction is selected, an experienced technician will view and correct your file by hand for color and density before printing.

File Preparation:

  • Accepted file formats are JPG, TIFF, and PNG, but JPG is preferred.

  • 8-bit RGB files only
  • Embedded color space should be either sRGB or Adobe RGB.

    • Other color spaces can be embedded, but our processes may not be able to reproduce all the colors within larger gamuts, such as ProPhoto RGB.

  • If you are ordering multiple print sizes from the same image, only one copy of that image is required, so long as it is a sufficiently high resolution for the largest size you wish to order.

  • If you have done any retouching work on the image in Photoshop, make sure that all layers are flattened and extra alpha channels are discarded before saving your final copy.

  • Our printers will render each image at the optimum resolution for the print size. However, this will not improve the quality of low-resolution files.

File Formats:

JPG

  • 8 bits per channel

  • Baseline Standard encoding (Progressive encoding will cause problems with the image in ROES, and possibly in our system)

PNG

  • 8 bits per channel

TIFF

  • 8 bits per channel

  • No layers

  • No alpha channels

  • Image Compression: NONE, LZW, or ZIP

  • Pixel Order: Interleaved

Naming Your Files:

Do not use special characters when naming your image files. Use of Special Characters will require filenames to be changed before we can process the order. This will delay the production time, and possibly incur extra charges for the renaming service. Special characters include the following: ~ ` ^ : & * ( ) | ' " , ? © [ ] < >

Color Correction vs. No Color Correction:

We have a highly trained staff of Color Correction technicians to color correct your images. This includes adjustments for Lightness/Darkness, Red, Green, Blue, Saturation and Contrast. Each image is viewed and color corrected individually by hand. We fully guarantee all of our prints ordered through our color corrected workflow in the Aspen Creek Photo Web Ordering system.

The majority of our customers prefer to do their own Color Correction.  Orders placed through the Web Ordering system are No Color Correction by default.  We calibrate our machines regularly throughout the day to insure consistent results.

Note that Color Correction is not currently an option available through Aspen Creek Photo ROES.

Monitor Calibration:

When handling color correction yourself and ordering prints without our Color Correction service, in order to insure that the colors on your monitor match the colors in the prints you receive from Aspen Creek Photo, it is best to have a properly calibrated and profiled monitor. You can try some evaluation prints without calibrating your monitor but you will get more consistent and repeatable results if you do calibrate.

Photoshop Settings

Additionally, you need to make sure that you are embedding an ICC profile into the files you send to Aspen Creek Photo. We recommend that you use either sRGB or Adobe RGB (1998) as a working colorspace.
Below are the directions for proper setup of your Photoshop Color Settings:

  • Open Photoshop and go to Edit > Color Settings in the menu bar. If you are using Photoshop CS3 or earlier on a Mac, the menu location is Photoshop > Color Settings.

  • Go to Working Spaces and for RGB Files select either "sRGB IEC61966-2.1" or "Adobe RGB (1998)"

  • Under Color Management Policies next to RGB select “Convert to Working RGB"

  • Next to Profile Mismatches check “Ask When Opening” and “Ask When Pasting”

Whenever you open a file that is in a color space other than your working space, Photoshop will prompt you to convert to the working color space. If you would rather not be prompted when opening a file with a different embedded profile than your working space, you can un-check the “Ask When Opening” box and the “Ask When Pasting” boxes next to Profile Mismatches. Photoshop will then apply your working space to files that are in a different color space or with a missing profile.
VERY IMPORTANT: When you save your files, make sure to check the “Embed Color Profile” checkbox in the Save dialog box or your working profile will not be embedded and we will not know the colorspace of your files leading to inaccurate color.

Recommended File Size

Digital Cameras measure their resolution in pixels. These pixels are NOT measured per inch, but are a total count of how many pixels were used to capture the entire image. If you take a digital photo at 1600x1200 pixels, the total pixel count of the captured image will be 1,920,000 pixels. Whether you print this 1600x1200 image as an 8"x10" photo or a 16"x20" photo, the original file will still have 1,920,000 pixels.
Photos intended for print should be taken at the highest [pixel] resolution possible for the best print quality. Lower resolution photos printed at larger sizes may stretch the pixels beyond the point where they look clear and sharp however it is amazing how large you can print a small file that is sharp and properly exposed. View your files at 100% in an image application such as Photoshop, this will give you an excellent representation of how the file will print.

Print Size Minimum Image Resolution

Print Size

Pixel Dimension @250 dpi

File Size 
@ 250 dpi 

Minimum Pixel Size
to Yield Good Prints

Minimum File Size
to Yield Good Prints

4x6

1000x1500

4.29 Megs

200x300

1 Megs

5x7

1250x1750

6.26

250x350

1.75

8x10

2000x2500

14.4

400x500

3.5

8x12 

2000x3000

17.2

550x700

4

11x14

2750x3500

26.6

700x1050

5

16x20

4000x5000

57.3

1200x1500

9

20x24

5000x6000

85.9

1300x1560

12

24x30

6000x7500

128.8

1550x1937

17.5

30x40

7500x10000

214.6

1625x2166

20

*File sizes are full image sizes not compressed jpeg size. In other words your jpeg size will be smaller than the file sizes listed above. To view and display the file sizes listed above, open the JPEG in an image application such as Photoshop to check the Image Size.

What is an image histogram?

A histogram is a very powerful measuring tool that graphically represents the data within an image file. Having an understanding of a histogram will enhance your camera’s exposure which determines the pixel values of your image. Having properly exposed images is the #1 thing to improve color management.

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