One of the things that you end up doing, if you are having stuff printed by someone else, and you are going to be uploading it to them, is to take your nice big juicy 16 bit file, whether it’s a Photoshop or a Tiff and after you’ve done all your tinkering, go to 8 bit and save it, let’s say with level 10 as a jpg.
Now it’s true, I’ve seen the results of this method many times as I’ve done huge prints at West Coast Imaging, and uploaded them jpgs, and I’ve seen the results of work that I’ve done when I was testing this with Fotomoto – and frankly – it all looked fine to me.
One thing lead to another and I can’t really talk about it yet, with FM, but the upshot is that they are going to do prints for me on all the fine art papers they offer, and some they are considering, and send them to me. So I figured that before I gave them a file for this, I’d do one from the original tiff and then do a print from the jpg version (workflow as described above) and place them side by side (it’s a black and white shot with a very good dynamic range) and just see if I could discern any difference.
I wrote which was which on the back of the Epson Exhibition paper, closed my eyes, and tried to shuffle them around so I wouldn’t know which was which. Sort of a three-card monte thing. And then put them back under the light and looked at them, and they looked exactly the same. And that was with my nose almost pressed against each print.
Now, I haven’t done this sort of test with color, which I imagine may need more bits to play with… though I’m sure some of you have.
At any rate – I was just curious about this and whether anyone out there in blog world had a different experience.
I understand that the jpg is a lossy file and that if you keep saving it you’ll eventually get artifacts. But if saved at level ten, or say 85% and then not touched again – well as I say, I couldn’t see any difference.
So now I’m waiting (with fingers crossed) that a fine art print paper will arrive from Fotomoto that I can offer.
I think tomorrow I’ll try the same thing with color prints.