6 foot enlargement

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by khitrovg, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. Hello everyone,
    Please help me with this one. I have been shooting weddings for a
    little more than 10 years and in my 10 year carier I have never made
    enlargements past 16X20 for the bride and groom. However, this
    couple that I am shooting in July wishes to have their portrait
    enlarged to 6 feet.
    I have two questions:
    1. I am going to shoot with 1Ds, can this image be enlarged to 6
    2. If yes, what lab would you reccomend around NYC area?

    Thank you as always.
  2. jbq


    1. You're gonna be printing from the 1Ds at about 55 dpi. Take a 600x480 crop of a photo and print it on letter paper. That'll give you an idea of what to expect. I personally would question any attempt to print from 1Ds beyond about 3ft.

    2. I will recommend discussing the issue of print quality with your customers, and (if they insist) finding somebody to shoot in on 8x10 (we're already talking about an 8x enlargement here)

    3. (not my problem, of course). 6ft is HUGE, I wonder what they're gonna do with it. But that's not my problem (or yours for that matter).
  3. In years past, there was a lab named Meisel (sp.?) that would take a 35mm slide, copy it, then create as large-a-image as you wanted to pay for. When completed, the 'enlargement' was very good at the proper viewing distance. A 6 foot print would need something like a 20 foot distance for proper viewing. If they plan on looking up close to the final print -- good luck!
  4. I was a poster/billboard model as a child and got the negs...They are around 8 x 11.

    IMHO...1Ds won't do the job.
  5. Greg, this is exactly the application that Genuine Fractals was designed for. GF is a resolution independent file format that allows any sized file to be made using a highly refined mathematical interpolation program. While there are many digital interpolation programs that will take smaller files up to 3-4 feet, etc. (including PS and Fred Miranda's SI programs) Genuine Fractals comes into its own with enlargements like the one you are looking for. It is specifically designed for massive enlargements. While I have not done one that large for a wedding client, I regularly produce commercial work up to 8-10 foot wide (or high). The product I produce is through my ad agency for in lobby merchandising posters and Duratrans displays. The requirements for these are far more demanding than producing images for an outdoor board which is viewed from a greater distance. These posters must hold up well to viewing as close as 4-5 feet. Like my area, (Detroit), I'm sure NYC is jam packed with commercial oriented labs that specialize in such digital enlargements for advertising applications. The ones we use are printed, laminated, and mounted ready for hanging. Contact one in your area, to see what file size they require because they may already have their own interpolation system in place. Failing that, Genuine Fractals WILL do the job. FYI, how you shoot the 1Ds file will be as important as how you enlarge it. I shoot on the lowest ISO, Manual Mode, RAW, f/5.6 with an L lens (a prime if possible) and bracket using shutter speeds to keep the optimal aperture of the lens. The camera is on a Tri-pod and sand bagged (or hang your gear bag from the center pole of the Tri-pod). An electronic cable release for the 1Ds (or any other camera) is absolutely essential. Even the pressure of a finger on the release button WILL move the camera... at 6 foot a print will show any movement as blur. FOCUS MANUALLY, and remember that depth of field is roughly 1/3 front, 2/3 back. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions. If I don't have the answer my agency print production manager will, and I'm his boss so we'll get the answer ; -) Here's an example that I was working on yesterday. It's a portrait of my photo pal Edward Richter with the famous Russian photographer Irakly in the background. It will be printed 5 foot high for Ed's studio. Fractals was used to get it that big, then re-saved as a Tiff. I hand held a 1Ds with a 135/2 @ f/2, so it sure ain't sharp at that size due to camera movement... but for this type shot it doesn't matter. Note that in my second upload, there are no signs of pixillation and very little posterization... which is a result of nice interpolation.
  6. Detail of above shot.
  7. Thank you all for your feedback, especially Marc. This was a great suggestion with regard to GF. As for the gear, I am planning to use prime fast L lens I would imagine to try to have an outside shot for this portrait allowing me to use the lowest ISO and since I always shoot in RAW I am sure that won't be a problem. I know there is a lab that does print such huge size posters called Duggel's but I heard allot of unpleasant things about it.
    I will keep in touch with everyone and will update on the situation.
  8. Greg, you could use Fred Miranda's Step Interpolation PhotoShop Plug -in designed for the 1Ds to get it up to 55 inches @ 300 pp[, and let the lab take it from there. Genuine Fractals isn't an inexpensive program, where Fred's is only $15 or so and it's e-mailed to you right away. Go to www.fredmirand.com and look at the examples. Here's an example of Fred's action on a straight shot of my pal Ed. I used a strobe on this one, so it's a little sharper, but still hand held.
  9. Now here's a tight crop, which I then used Fred's SI 1Ds action. Again, little pixilation or posterization.
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Part of the issue is viewing distance. If this couple is going to hang this 6' image up as a poster in their living room and examine it with a magnifing glass, it'll be a problem. If the typical viewing distance is more like from 10, 15 feet away, you can away with a lot more.
  11. Here I only wish I had files as large as the 1Ds to work with; when making big posters and full size images of people. Last week we had a job where we made a dozen trial posters 30x40"; from the digital files supplied; VGA images ; yes 480x640.

    With a 6 ft image; get a local shop you can work with. Do not underestimate the mailing costs of shipping a giant 6 ft high rolled; or mounted image; or the possiblity of it getting crushed in transit.

    Use a local shop; make some samples; strips; say 1x3 feet; at the full print size. This is for showing to your customer; to see how good; or how yukky the image appears. It is all about viewing distance. A good solid image will reduce the effect of looking for artifacts. Most all folks here mention goofy quotes such as "it will only look good when in the next county"; and are abit way off beam; and fail to understand what the resolution of the eye is.

    There are alot of tricks to make the printed image better looking. You are not having a giant street map printed; but a giant poster. Strive for a good solid image; without micro details/warts that makes a person want to get a few inches away. A mural or fine map is often viewed close. A shot of a person should be retouched to not show every fault of their skin.

    If inkjet; you might want to have it laminated. Glossy adds alot of pop to the saturation; but adds glare with certain lighting. Your masterpiece might be great if non laminated; but too saturated if laminated. Get samples beforehand.

    Regular lamination adds only physical protection. More costly UV laminate adds say 3 to 5X UV protection. Lamination adds a monkeywrench in the job cycle of a printer. If not bone dry; the print witll be ruined when laminated. Lamination prices vary widely; because the printer eats the rework of a goofed job. A rush print and laminate job tends to have more scrap; so expect to pay for the printers scrap with higher rush rates.

    Fractals helps some; but it doesnt creat data that is not there. Many times one has to fix the print pixel by pixel; to make it appear better; for a giant 6ft image; done with little resolution.

    Once we printed 42" wide images from regular 8 movie; for a court case. For gag work; some teenagers had me print 30x40" posters from 110 negatives; C41; they appeared alot better than one can imagine. For a 6ft high image; many times these are printed out of a person; and mounted on foam core; and then the person is cut out. Bracing behind the arms; head is required.

    Do some samples with a local printer; this will show you how good or bad the poster will be.
  12. "Fractals helps some; but it doesn't create data that is not there."

    Actually, that's exactly what Fractals does. It isn't just picking up a pixel and duping it next
    to the original, it actually modifies it based on others around the core. Quite amazing and
    complex math at work here. If I recall correctly it was developed by some egg-heads at
    Georgia Tech. However, it isn't any better than PhotoShop when doing less ambitious
    sizes. It was optimized for really huge enlargements.

    Look, this is making a mountain out of a mole hill : -) Enlargements like this are done
    every day. The lobby of our Ad agency has stuff originally done for ads, that are 10 feet
    wide and are viewed from a distance of 4-5 feet. Even the printer was amazed when we
    did the test strip using Fractals. They immediately went out a bought it for themselves.

    People look just fine, and take my word for it, if you start spot softening select areas it'll
    show up like crazy at that size. Just an opinion based on doing maybe about 100 of these.
  13. jbq


    GF has algorithms that create high-frequency details that couldn't exist in the original file, whereas other algorithms are careful to avoid creating such details, and those "imaginary details" are not any more mathematically correct than any other interpolation (I actually wouldn't be surprised if they could be proven to be less correct). They are more pleasing, without a doubt, and might turn out to be more correct in more cases. But it doesn't "create detail where there is none".

    If you could create details out of nowhere, why would people be spending $x000 on a 1Ds when a D30 could do the same with a 2x upsampling?

    Prove otherwise, and your name will go right up there next to Shannon and Nyquist.
  14. At home we have a 2m picture looking up through trees on our bathroom ceiling. It was taken with a good quality P&S camera on normal 100ASA slide film. We paid a company in Scotland to scan it (4000 pixels on the long edge) then took it to a pronta-print type outfit. They printed it as 2 strips which we glued together on a wooden board. Printing it cost about 80 GBP/~$150.

    It worked really well. I can't see the join between the two strips and I know it is there. Standing up in the shower you can see the grain of the film, but lying in the bath it isn't noticable. Looking at the detail, anyone can see that it isn't the same as in an 8x10, but I don't find it a problem.

    As for the Nyquest/Shannon crowd: You need to show that the eyes extract all the data available in the image, and a 'detailed' image depends an all of the data to be present. If anyone can show that there is not a single image that looks OK and can be encoded in less than the number of bits that come out of the back of a 1Ds, then I'll concede that it isn't possible, until then I'll spend the $150 and try it.
  15. Original statement that I answered:

    "...but it doesn't create data that is not there.""

    Counter point:

    "...doesn't create detail where there is none"

    Never said it created new detail, but in order to up-sample GF has to create data... or the
    image would be the same size... right? Or am I missing something?
  16. Meisel, well they went out of business in Dallas, but someone has turned up with the same name in San Francisco. They do large enlargements for sales presentations at places like Moscone Center. Sounds like they do what you could use. Of course, NYC will have comparable services.
  17. Meisel Photochrome Corporation was in Atlanta and Dallas at one time. I used these labs alot in the 1970's and 1980's; with much success for color printing work. They did very nice pro level work with Vericolor; Medium format; etc. The last item I used their services was about maybe 1988 or maybe 1990. I was at the other end of the country; and going overseas; so I used more local labs later on.

    The "details" comment was not to start a ruckus. Of course there are more pixels when up sizing. By details ; I mean the optical/engineering resolution thing. One doesnt just take a crude image; and use fractals; and the man on the grassy knoll appears; so sharp one can read the time on his watch. The general public sees this in movies; where the "magic" adds gobs of resolution; data; that is not in the actual image.

    With a strip of movie frames; or a multiscan of the same negative or slide; extra data can arise. Here the multi scanning; multiple sets of data causes the noise floor to drop; which increases the signal to noise of the data in the shadow areas. The "coherence" of the image in the shadows rises with many samples. This makes the image actually sharper; since it arises out of the noise of the films scan. In Police work; sometimes a stream of frames is combined; which makes the image alot better; in the areas which didnt move between frame to frame.

    Today we got some more VGA's to make 30x40" posters. They are a dinky 34 to 39k jpgs each; straight from the attorneys camera. Here the fractals gambit is slightly better that a straight Photoshop upsize; because the image was jpeg'ed already; is not the best. This is like making swamp water into bottled water :) They look good from 6 feet away. many times one must work with what is supplied.

    Is this Giant 6 feet enlargement to be inkjet; a real B&W photo; indoors; outdoors; permanent; a gag for a party? How is it to be lite? A 6 foot image from a 4x5 camera is super...

    With a large 6 to 12 foot image; it is common to hit the 30,000 pixel limit of pre CS Photoshop. A real SOB of a problem is that older Photoshop with a image 4000x10000; printed as a sample; becomes when upsized 4x to 16,000 by **30,000 pixels. The aspect ratio changes; with NO warning. Once on a job the full size giant banner made the folks appear "more chubbier" ; as we got caught in the 30,000 pixel limit; without checking. The banner came out shorter; and had to be redone.

    6 foot images are costlier to transport; find a local printer or lab.
  18. The old process camera here has a 98 inch wide projection platten. A 6 foot enlargement from a standard small size 12x18 inch negative would be a 4X enlargement. Maps were commonly enlarged like this once. Maps are held close to the eye; as tiny street names must be read. This is the opposite extreme of enlarging a 8mm or 16mm movie frame to 42" width. How "good" is "good" depends on the viewing distance.
  19. jbs


    I have printed 6 footers many times with as little as 2 and 3 megapixel files. As Marc pointed out, shoot the best photo you can and find the best printer. Interpolation is your friend...;)...J
  20. Everyone, thank you very much for your increadible input.

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