Some photographers are born with the ability to recognize the moment when composition and lighting come together to form the perfect shot. Others spend years studying the science and art behind the field, investing great sums in the process. Yet all photographers can benefit from learning more about the tricks of the trade used in post-production. Professional photo labs have a way of fine-tuning images using today’s technology that make them truly pop. The following are a few of their secrets.
Don’t be Contrast-Shy
Have you ever taken what you thought was the perfect dramatic shot, only to have it fall flat in a print? A lack of contrast between black and white is one of the main reasons why this happens. In professional print labs, this contrast is tweaked until you get a perfect balance.
It’s all in the Process
Digital printing makes it easier than ever before to retouch and color correct your photographs before printing them. Inkjet printing is the type that is most frequently used in professional photo labs today because these new types of printers can distribute pigment-based inks with high-resolution results. With processes such as Giclee printing which makes use of micro-bursts of ink, you end up with a crisp, defined, gallery-quality image. These digital inkjet printers are also ideal for creating large prints, without sacrificing quality and resolution.
Using New Materials Can Create a New Image
Today’s professional-grade printers can also transfer images to both traditional and non-traditional forms of media. You can choose to order high-quality professional prints on matte or glossy photographic paper, for example. If you want a more dramatic appearance you could choose plastic materials or alternatives like an acrylic sheet which can give you the effect of backlighting. Canvas is another popular option, particularly with Giclee prints, because this automatically gives you a finish which is ready for gallery exhibition or display.
Retouching Programs Make a Difference
There’s a certain art to printing off your initial images as they are in their natural state. Yet even in a traditional home darkroom, you might need to adjust the contrast or tone of the image. With the types of retouching programs available in a professional laboratory, you can manipulate the smallest corners of the image. Professional photographers like this because it allows them to exert greater creative control, and amateur photographers like this because it helps hide novice mistakes from red eyes to blurry areas. Everything can be brought into crisp, clean focus with the help of professionals and their arsenal of tools.
If you can’t edit the photo in Photoshop as you want, address online photo editing services like FixThePhoto to correct colors, shades, make portrait touch up or creative photo manipulation from $2 per photo. Remember, only high photography resolution and high-quality photo post-production give you good outcomes for printing.