Archive for September, 2008

HOWTO: Making an amazing Canvas print with reads

Posted on September 20, 2008, under general, photography.

I recently moved into my own apartment in Dublin, and after a lot of painting and hard work, it needed decorating. If you like taking photos, it’s a great opportunity to put in the extra effort and take some shots that are worthy of enlargement and putting up on a wall. Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten 6 prints done up on canvas, and am getting a feel for what makes amazing prints and what doesn’t.

Reads on Nassau Street in Dublin have a great canvas printing service. but there are some caveats to doing it right and avoiding some extra charges.

Step 1: Take a great photo

Photos with lots of colour and brightness seem to work best, avoid too much detail, landscapes and large-aperture portraits work great. For my largest print, I went out on a mission, and took this photo in the Phoenix park;

Remember if you want to wrap the photo around the canvas you need to make sure that there’s nothing important in the 4.5 cm around the edges.

Step 2: process the photo for canvas

Printing on canvas takes thick ink, to get something amazing looking the photo needs to be bright, and vibrant. I use Lightroom, so I increased the vibrance by about 25% and upped the exposure and brightness by around 15% – it will look a bit glarey on a monitor, but it will come out right on canvas. The same can be done in the gimp, iPhoto, or photoshop.

Lightroom also has an option to “sharpen for matte” when exporting, so I chose that, and exported at 100% quality.

Step 3: burn the files to disc

Reads have a “disc handling” fee of 5 or 10 euro, which essentially covers their costs of getting the files off of the disc and doing things with them. Most customers need to have their files cropped, rotated, sorted and that kind of thing. However if you put a little effort in, you can avoid the charge entirely. First, make sure that your images are exactly the right dimensions for the size you want (keep the resolution as high as possible, but match the aspect ratio of your target size). Next, name the images in an obvious way – if you want a 30×40 canvas print, with the image wrapped around the edges, name the file “40×30-canvas-colour-wrapped-something.jpg” – this means it takes about 5 seconds to give them the files (on a USB fob will do btw) and they won’t waste any time doing anything.

The prints are ready within 24 hours, well all of mine were.

Admire the result!

New place, new job!

Posted on September 1, 2008, under general.

So a few months ago I got myself into a lifetime’s worth of debt and bought a place, in Dublin. I haven’t gotten around to taking some good photos of it yet – especially as the decorating part isn’t finished yet. In the meantime, here’s a photo of the view from the Liffey bank walk it overlooks – it’s about a 3 minute walk down to where I took it.


Click on the photo for more. From my windows I can see the Dublin Mountains, Howth Head, the trees of Phoenix park, putting greens, and the Liffey itself. It’s like being in the countryside, yet it’s only about 10 minutes from Trinity College. It rocks!. I can strongly recommend Chapelizod if you’re looking for anywhere to stay in Dublin.

But as if this wasn’t enough, I have a new job, working for Amazon.com – based in Dublin.

So far so good; today was my first day and yet I have already been sorted out with a free t-shirt, attended the annual summer party (it was good too), set up with a pc , laptop, screens, phones and I’m getting an idea of the absolutely ginormous size of everything that is Amazon. There are some very interesting projects and challenges to be tackled, I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!