When Ordering Prints For Photo-Frames Or Albums You Have Sourced Yourself:
One: Do your selected print sizes mean that parts of the images need to be cropped?
Images from most professional level digital cameras are in aspect ratios similar to wide-screen televisions. If you select print sizes which are narrower then the images need to be cropped away on two sides.
These print sizes do not need to be cropped at all so the content is unaffected:
9"x6", 7.5"x5", 6"x4"
This print size needs a little cropping to the two shortest sides but the content is unlikely to be affected:
This print size needs rather more cropping to the two shortest sides and the content will be affected:
These print sizes need heavy cropping to the two shortest sides and the content will be affected:
The loss of content caused by cropping may not matter, for example if it is the garden in which a group of friends is posing for a group photo. However if cropping means that important parts of the content are lost you may wish to consider an alternative print size or to have the print made onto a 10"x8" backdrop (see further down this page.
This image helps you to visualise the impact of cropping. The light coloured vertical lines show where cropping occurs at each print size. This particular image works equally well at any print size / aspect ratio as it has been composed to allow for cropping:
Two: Your Ashton Lamont prints can be supplied on a backdrop to avoid cropping.
For example if you have a 10"x8" photo frame but your chosen print does not work well when cropped to that size, a 9"x6" photo with a narrow ivory border can be dropped onto a black 10"x8" backdrop. This enables you to place the print straight into your 10"x8" frame.
This is the default style in which Ashton Lamont supplies prints ordered at 10"x8" which do not crop well to that size.
The prints look very classy as you can see from this example of a 9"x6" print on a 10"x8" backdrop:
Three: Ensure you order the best size prints for your intended purpose.
It may seem obvious but while a 10"x8" print can look terrific as a centrepiece, several of these can quickly fill a room. Take into account the overall sizes of the frames in which the photos will sit, especially if the frames are to include card mattes which surround the photos on all four sides.
Frames are widely available online and on the high street to fit these sizes:
6"x4", 7"x5", 8"x6", 10"x8". Larger prints may be framed by specialist framing shops, or you can buy larger frames such as 12"x9", 14"x11", 16"x12" and 20"x16".
The most common slipin album sizes are: 7"x5" and 6"x4".
If the photos include lots of people, or if there are lots of important details, these may be lost in smaller sizes. 7.5"x5" and upwards work well for group photos.
This chart helps you visualise comparative print sizes:
Four: If designing your own album or scrap-booking ensure your prints fit the pages.
Again it may seem obvious but if your album page is 12" x 12" you will not be able to fit a 7.5"x5" vertical print and a 7.5"x5" horizontal print onto the same page, especially as you need to allow for borders on the page edges.
So to avoid getting the scissors out Peter recommends you sketch out your pages before ordering your prints. This is called storyboarding and is very common at the initial design stage even in this age when computers seem capable of simplifying anything. It is exactly what Peter does when he starts the designing of professional Graphistudio wedding albums:
Inevitably, if you purchase your own album and mount your own loose prints the design will not be as rich as that of a professionally designed and manufactured album ..... but you will save some money!
It can be difficult to source decent quality albums in department stores or even online. Peter recommends that you consider Aspinal of London. Aspinal albums are not cheap but they are very nice and they are built to last. They compliment the professional grade loose prints you receive from Ashton Lamont.
The easiest design is simply one photo per page. The next photo shows an Aspinal album of that type.
It is in "portrait" aspect. If your chosen prints are a mixture of portrait and landscape aspects then a square album would be a better choice.
The next photo illustrates a larger square album from Aspinal:
An album with interleaves as seen in the next photo adds a timeless quality:
If you plan to have more than one photo on each page then you must be careful that your prints will fit. Here are some suggestions for mixed photo sizes on 12"x12" album pages:
Some photos work best when they are large, such as those of groups so that you can see lots of detail. And of course portraits of the newly-weds! For these consider a single photo per page sized at 10"x8" (in a 12"x12" album).
Don't forget that you can order extra prints to supplement your existing package.
Five: Print quality.
"You get what you pay for" applies to most things in life but not all things. Supermarkets and chain stores can often benefit from economies of scale to offer you very low prices. Some results compare well, others not so well at all. So how are you to know?
You can probably identify for yourself whether a nasty colour caste compromises your prints - a common problem with cheap labs.
But not so obvious is whether all the available detail shows in the lightest and darkest areas of the photos; the highlight and shadow areas as they are known in professional circles. This is particularly relevant if the subject matter includes white wedding dresses and dark smart suits all in the same photo (note that the shooting conditions may preclude all the details being captured in the original file).
The range of blacks to whites are assigned values and these range from total black which is 0 (zero) to total white which is 255.
The chart below shows you whether the screen on which you are viewing this page can show all these values. Its quick and dirty, and not a perfect way to access all screens but you get the idea:
You can download a 6"x4" printable version here to test your intended lab.
(profile adobeRGB1998, not sRGB, 360ppi)
If you get very interested in all matters colour management you could do what most professional photographers do which is to calibrate their editing screens using devices such as the Spyder 5 Pro from Datacolor.
Meanwhile why not simply order your prints from Ashton Lamont to be sure of the best possible professional quality!