Ordering Competition Prints from the Lab
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  1. Default Ordering Competition Prints from the Lab

    16"x20" print size, 1/8" to 3/8" thick mounting, laminate allowed... got it!

    But my lab has mentioned that they should print my digital files much darker than they would normally for my clients. Is this so? Why? And how much darker should they be printing them?

    Are there any other details I need to talk over with my lab?

    THANKS!
    Amy

  2. #2

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    If your lab is experienced with doing competition prints, they should have competition lights they can use to judge how much darker is dark enough so they look good under the lights. This is one of those things we always leave up to our lab since the co-owner is one of the best competition print printers we know. We trust his judgement on this. He's printed literally thousands of competition prints over the years.

  3. #3

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    Your lab should know how dark to print them. And yes they do need to be darker than normal. The reason for this is due to the brightness of the lights at the judging. I am not sure of the candlepower and distance, but I'm sure it is in print somewhere. Some of the others prpbably have that information if you need it. It helps to have this info if you want to setup your own judging environment to evaluate your prints before sending them in to competition. I know others are doing just that. A competition print is so dark sometimes, you would probably throw it away before letting it go out the door. When viewed under judges' lighting, it looks "normal".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    1,789

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    f16, 1 second at ASA 100
    ____________________
    Dave Cisco M.Photog, Cr., CPP, F-TPPA

  5. Default Competition Print Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Prouty View Post
    The reason for this is due to the brightness of the lights at the judging. I am not sure of the candlepower and distance, but I'm sure it is in print somewhere.
    I found this link on Google - http://www.ppa.com/files/public/JuryChairManual05.pdf - which is a "Jury Chairman Manual". It states it was revised in 2005. This long and quite interesting document says that prints are lit to f16 @ 1 second @ ISO 100.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Prouty View Post
    A competition print is so dark sometimes, you would probably throw it away before letting it go out the door.
    The first time I opened my competition prints from my lab I was shocked at how dark they were. They looked terrible...

    When prints are hung after judging for public viewing sometimes the room lights are not very bright - certainly not as bright as the judging lights. When this is the case it is hard to get a good look at the prints since they are printed so dark. I've actually taken a small flashlight with me to shine on the darker images so I can see the detail in them!
    Stacey West, CPP
    Loft Photography
    Ardmore, OK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    429

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyAnderson View Post
    16"x20" print size, 1/8" to 3/8" thick mounting, laminate allowed... got it!

    But my lab has mentioned that they should print my digital files much darker than they would normally for my clients. Is this so? Why? And how much darker should they be printing them?

    Are there any other details I need to talk over with my lab?

    THANKS!
    Amy

    I used White House for my first comp and made the mistake of not "color correcting" to allowing for the blackest of black on my step mount. Needless to say it hurt my score. And the judges kept mentioning throughout the lectures how many prints didn't score well because of print quality.

    Definately make sure your blacks are BLACK!! )

    my .02
    Debi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    GA girl in Idaho Falls
    Posts
    1,553

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    Also make sure you have a glossy finish. If you have a matte finish, the print will be soooooo flat under the lights.
    Cheri MacCallum
    CPP, M. Photog., M. Artist, MEI, Cr., GFD, Ph. Artist
    Painter Portraits for Pros and Fine Art Printing Services
    http://www.artbycheri.net/proserv.html
    www.artbycherifineart.net
    http://artbycheri.typepad.com/art_by_cheri/

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debra Warner View Post
    I used White House for my first comp and made the mistake of not "color correcting" to allowing for the blackest of black on my step mount. Needless to say it hurt my score. And the judges kept mentioning throughout the lectures how many prints didn't score well because of print quality.

    Definately make sure your blacks are BLACK!! )

    my .02
    Debi
    This is why we have always sent our competition prints to someone who specializes in printing them. They have allot more experience than we do in getting the printing just right and they have the lights right there to inspect them under. Plus our printer is a judge and jury foreman so he know what to look at and can recommend changes if we ask him to.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mathis, TX
    Posts
    3

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    Hi Anne, I'm a newbie on here and know nothing about competition prints. I've been trying to find the info, but it is hard to find. Is there anyway you could tell me who your lab is? Thank you.
    Last edited by Lee_Pargmann; 07-10-2007 at 08:04 AM.

  10. #10

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    This is why we have always sent our competition prints to someone who specializes in printing them
    I would love to know who you use, if you don't mind sharing.
    Tracy, CPP
    Recording Secretary, VPPA State Board of Directors
    2015 VPPA Convention Chairman
    VPPA Tidewater District Treasurer

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