Now that we’ve nailed down some of the basics of capturing a good photo let’s take a look at the technology side of the image creation process. After all, taking the picture is only half the battle. No one cares how nice the house is if the final picture makes it look like it was built for Count Dracula to live in (unless that is the angle you are going for). Having the technical aspects squared away will make life easier when it comes time to finally printing your beautiful work.
Camera settings are an important and yet often overlooked part of the photography process. If possible, shoot property pictures with a wide angle lens as this allows you to capture the most space. The alternative for those who don’t have a wide angle lens is to do outside shots in panoramic. You will also need to have a tripod on hand as this will allow you to set up shots correctly and prevent blurry photos, especially in low light environments.
Granted you likely have no idea what this setting is on your camera, but the white balance adjustments here can make a big difference in the hues of your pictures. All cameras have a few default settings for white balance adjustment, for example, a picture of a sun or a cloud are the best settings for their respective environment. Select the setting that is appropriate for your situation and the camera should take care of the rest.
Resolution is a critical component to quality, especially when considering how you’ll be using the images in different mediums such as print or web. When taking pictures be sure to set your camera to the highest resolution setting. You always want to do this because you can always remove pixels for web use after the fact, but you can’t go back and add them after you’ve already taken the picture. For print use where images will be blown up and used on a postcard, a high ppi (pixel per inch) of the photo is critical to the quality of the postcard.
High resolution vs. low resolution
The file format for your picture is an important consideration to take into account when prepping for printing. Different formats have different characteristics and some are better suited for certain situations then others.
- TIF – .tif, short for tagged image file, is an older file format whose strength is that it is useful to use in image altering programs as it does not suffer image quality loss from compressing the file.
- JPG – .jpg is a common file format used in photography. The strength of .jpg is that the file size can be compressed to a very small size which allows users to maximize space. The downside is .jpgs can gradually lose image quality from compression and multiple file savings.
Image considerations for print uses
So now that you have some beautiful pictures and the right formats and resolution, the next step is to consider how best to integrate them into a design for printing. This last step is focused on ensuring that your postcard meets all the basic design specifications.
1) Check for layout dimensions such as ensuring your design meets USPS postcard specifications.
2) Image compression and/or downsizing options are turned off
3) Rasterized graphics or type are saved at least 200 ppi (pixels per inch)
4) All your images are embedded in the file
5) Fonts are embedded
6) Color is set to CMYK (Not RGB)
7) Save or export your file into PDF format for upload into expresscopy.com
If all else fails call a professional. Beautiful pictures attract a larger pool of prospective buyers, and in a shorter time period. If having a high quality picture is the difference between making a sale and not making a sale then you are better served to spend a few hundred bucks for a professional.
If you have any questions you can simply call our VIP Support reps at 800-260-5887 for more information.