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Digital Photography and Printing Passport Photos

Digital Photography and Printing Passport PhotosUsing digital photography to produce passport and visa photos involves more than just photographing subjects with a digital camera. That is just the first step, the image capture step, of a multi-step process that also includes image display and image printing using computer and printer equipment. Each of these components — can influence either positively or negatively — the final printed photo that will be submitted for the passport or visa. The following recommendations for each of these digital components will ensure high-quality photos.

Digital Camera

Digital cameras are principally characterized by their image resolution or mega-pixel capacities; from low-resolution (less than 1 mega-pixel) to high-resolution (greater than 1 mega-pixel) to advanced high-resolution (4 mega-pixels or more). The camera''s resolution is the most critical feature in producing high-quality photographs. For U.S. passport and visa photographs, a digital camera with a resolution of 1 mega-pixel will be more than adequate for capturing the image and producing the final photo that conforms to the dimensions specified on this web site.

These cameras generally have automatic features for controlling many of the photographic qualities emphasized on the preceding web pages. Care should be taken not to rely totally on these controls since each subject — facial characteristics, clothing, facial movement, etc. — can vary and may not be accommodated for by the automatic settings.


Cameras with a direct electronic camera-to-computer interface are preferable to those requiring the use of an external memory card. Data transfers will occur much faster and allow for verification of a good image being stored in the computer. If a retake is required because the subject blinked or moved, it would be more convenient than taking several shots to be sure of a good one and then downloading them via the memory card.

Computer

The computer is the central component in digital photography. It stores and displays the digital images from the digital camera and enables those images to be printed on a variety of digital printers. Because of the huge amount of data contained in high-resolution digital images, the computer should have adequate memory and storage capacities. In addition to these two key elements, the computer should have high-speed interfaces to the camera and printer, as well as a fast CPU to control the image processing functions. The recommended computer configuration for processing digital images is provided below:


CPU Speed: 1.4 GHz

Main Memory: 128 MB RAM

Hard Drive Storage: 20 GB

Interfaces: High-speed interfaces to match your camera and printer, such as Firewire or USB 2.0

Display Monitor

Most display monitors today are capable of displaying images in various screen resolutions, all of which are suitable for viewing passport and visa images. These monitors also display images in a wide variety of colors. However, an image can look quite different when viewed on various display monitors, in terms of both screen resolution and image quality. For this reason, it is important to set the monitor''s settings to the manufacturer''s default values to view the image in the most appropriate manner. For more accurate color-matching, check that the calibration of your monitor is correct. If necessary, use the monitor''s control panel to fine-tune its color adjustments; for instance, to set the monitor''s color temperature to 6500 ºK to approximate daylight. For even greater color accuracy, the stored image can be converted to and displayed in a device-independent color space by using standard image display software. This removes the color bias of the specific display monitor and will more accurately represent the way the image should actually appear.

Printer

If digital printers are used to produce passport and visa photographs in lieu of conventional photographic processes, the photographs produced must be high quality and photo-like in appearance. Certain types of digital printers such as — inkjet and dye sublimation — can be used to produce high-quality passport and visa photos. Inkjet printers deposit multi-colored ink onto photographic print paper. Dye sublimation printers use heat, applied to a multi-colored ribbon or film, to release a dye that is transferred onto photographic print paper. These two types of printers, when used with compatible print paper that produces high resolution, photo-like images, are suitable for printing passport and visa photos. They have multiple printer settings to control the format, print resolution, and print quality of the printed photo. In addition, they come with printer-specific device driver software that converts the stored image pixel data in the computer into the actual printer output to be printed onto the photographic paper. Just as with display monitors, printers have their own unique color profile that should be taken into account before the image is printed. The combination of proper printer settings and photo-quality paper determines whether high-quality photos can be obtained.

Avoiding Photo Printing Problems

Using digital photography to produce high-quality passport and visa photos is dependent on the condition and proper use of the digital camera, computer, display monitor, and digital printer. Maintaining the digital printer in good working order however, can be the single most important aspect of producing quality photos. Regardless of how much attention is paid to capturing, storing, and displaying an image, image quality will be poor if printers — including inks and ribbons — are not properly maintained. To ensure that a quality print is obtained, the image can be transferred to disk and taken to a photo lab to be printed. The equipment found in a photo lab will normally be capable of producing higher-quality photos and undergoes the frequent calibration and maintenance necessary for consistent results.

 

Photo Services

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

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Photography Information

Photography Art Prints – How are they made?

Image
Photography by Laurie Barone-Shafer
Nowadays just about anyone can take a good quality photographs with a digital camera. Or take a few hundred pictures and the chances are few will be good, and even one or two outstanding.

Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques on how to make art print poster ready photographs and print ready digital files. Don’t get overwhelmed, there is a lot of information here, but a lot of it is just intuitive. Well, a bit of patience will always help.

First thing – Photo Size

If you taking a digital photo of you family or friend the largest size you would print is usually 5 by 7 inches, maybe 8 by 10 at the most. Even small size digital photographs (2MB or less) are ‘good enough’ to create a decent print. But if you want to create prints that are 16 by 20, 20 by 24 inches or larger you need more pixels (in pixels 20 by 24 inches photo is actually about 40 times larger than 3 by 4 inches photo assuming they have the same resolution).

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Art Information

Learning to Paint with Watercolors

By Cindy Tabacchi

ImageWatercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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