When you're photographing your artwork for online display on World Art Hub or for printing purposes, here are the important things to consider:
1. You need to use the highest-resolution camera that you have. Higher resolution = better image. A 5-megapixel camera is always better than a 2-megapixel camera. A 10-megapixel camera is better than a 5-megapixel camera.
2. You need to photograph your artwork using evenly distributed light (i.e. no flash). Ideally, if you would want to set up some professional lighting like they use in portrait studios. Since most of us don't have access to professional lighting, the next best option is to photograph your artwork in outside under sunlight.
3. You need to make sure that your camera is steady when you focuson a image (i.e. use a tripod). If you hold the camera in your hand, your hand will be shaking when you press the shutter button, and your image will be blurry. A little bit of blur won't be noticeable on small prints... but you need to keep in mind that World Art Hub offers prints up to 10 feet wide!
4. You need to make sure that your camera is on the highest possible quality setting. If you own a 10 megapixel camera, for instance, you have the option of lowering the quality setting on the camera in order to shoot a 1 megapixel image, if you want to. That's definitely not what you want to do. Make sure that the camera is on the highest possible setting.
5. After you shoot the image, you'll obviously transfer the image over to your PC. At this point, you need to open the image in PhotoShop or some other photo-editing program and do the following:
a. Zoom in to full resolution (i.e. one pixel in the image = one pixel on your computer screen) and make sure that the image isn't blurry
b. Crop the image so that you can't see the background (i.e. easel, wall, etc.)
c. Adjust the brightness and contrast, if necessary
d. Adjust the color settings, if necessary
e. Digitally sharpen the image, if desired
f. Save the image as a JPEG file
6. You should not do any of the following:
a. Enlarge the image
b. Save the image with too much JPEG compression
7. Do not, under any circumstances, enlarge your image. Doing so instantly ruins the image for printing purposes. If you shoot your image with a 3 megapixel camera, for example, you'll end up with an image that is roughly 2000 pixels by 1600 pixels. At that image size, you'll be able to sell prints that are up to 20" x 16" in size. A lot of times, artists will say "hey, I want to sell this image as a 40" x 32" print - I'll just enlarge the image in PhotoShop". You definitely should NOT do that. Again, when you enlarge an image, it instantly becomes blurry, blocky, and unusable. If you want to produce a print that's 40" x 32", then your image needs to be at least 4000 pixels x 3200 pixels... which means that you need to go purchase a 13 megapixel camera.
4000 pixels x 3200 pixels = 12.8 million pixels = 12.8 megapixels
There is no other way around it.
Again - I can't stress this enough - you should not enlarge your image using software.
Also - don't adjust the DPI settings. DPI doesn't matter. All that matters is the actual image size (e.g. 4000 pixels x 3000 pixels). As long as you don't enlarge your image, you'll be fine.
8. Also, when you save your image, make sure that the JPEG compression setting is as low as possible (minimal compression). JPEG compression is a feature that allows you to reduce the quality of your image in order to conserve space on your hard drive. For example, your 4000 pixel x 3200 pixel image might take up 15 MB of hard drive space when you transfer it over from your camera. Then, you open it up in PhotoShop and crop it, sharpen it, etc. When you go to resave the image, you might accidentally have JPEG compression turned up too high. When you click "save", your image will be save at a reduced quality. The image will still be 4000 pixels x 3200 pixels, but now it might only take up 3 MB on your hard drive.
How is that possible? The JPEG compression actually removes details from the image in order to conserve hard drive space. The finer details of the image are lost, and the image becomes blocky. Please note - the effects of JPEG compression are irreversible. Once you save your image with a lot of compression, you CAN NOT go back. The details of your image are permanently lost, and you'll need to reshoot the image with your camera again.
When viewed from a distance... or when viewed as a small image on a website, the loss of detail in a compressed image isn't noticeable. However, when viewed closely or printed at a large size (e.g. 30" x 20"), the image quality can be absolutely terrible.
Here is a perfect example:
Earlier today, the above image was ordered from World Art Hub as a stretched canvas.
On our website, the image is displayed as a 600 pixel x 600 pixel image. At that size, the buyer liked what he saw and made a purchase.
However, when we reviewed the order, we noticed that the high-resolution image was very, very blocky and blurry when viewed at full-resolution (as shown on the left, above).
This image would make a terrible print.
So - we immediately notified the artist of the problem and asked if she could reshoot the image.
Fortunately, she could, and she uploaded a new image, which is shown on the right, above.
There is a Huge difference in quality between these two images. One was compressed with JPEG compression... the other one was not. That's the only difference. One will produce a terrible print... and the other one will be beautiful.
With certain orders, here is where problems sometimes begin and our artists can become frustrated...
If the artist doesn't have the original painting available anymore, then it obviously can't be re-photographed. Therefore, World Art Hub has to cancel the order and refund the purchase price back to the buyer.
Please note - we simply do not have the resources to review each image that gets uploaded to World Art Hub each day.
Instead, we're relying on the professionalism of our artists to ensure that their images are "printing ready" when they upload them. Then, we take the added step of personally reviewing EVERY SINGLE IMAGE that gets ordered before we release them for production.
We do this to ensure that our buyers are happy with their purchases... that we don't have to disappoint our members when a print gets returned... and that word of mouth continues to grow about the quality of prints on World Art Hub.
Please let me know if you have any questions.