Monday, 23 June 2014

Canvas Design — My Kind of Trophy Shot

Do you remember this picture and my promise to explain what the hell we were up to in it?

They are of course canvas prints. Mine's hung over my desk for a month now. The fresh-off-the-printer inks have toned down just so and are now exactly as they should be and very, very close to those of the original picture. The stretcher hasn't warped or skewed so much as a millimetre. No tears or holes have appeared. I have to say that I like it very much!

Considering that the file sent for my print was a very small low resolution copy of an large original picture lost in a disastrous computer crash some time ago, it has come out rather well. Jaggy straight edges and a distinct lack of sharpness are bound to be very visible in a jpeg file that's blown up from very small to quite large — in this case nine times larger than the original — but the canvas weave does a good job of compensating for that. Actually, the combination of weave and compression artefacts is quite nice, lending a painterly softness that suits the subject matter. Smooth paper would not have been so forgiving.

Approximately actual size on my screen and the fish the size of a small chublet — surprised it came out so well blown up large enough to make the fish almost full size in the 24x20 inch print.  

Martin's hangs on his wall too, but downstairs in the dining room. His better half really likes it, probably because his smile is priceless. The file was full resolution so no problems there then. It's just as sharp as you'd expect it to be.

I chose mine out of thousands of alternative pictures because I like the unintentional visual pun of a chub who's apparently eaten my rod or been impaled upon it. I also like the background and the colour values which are just exactly those of a bright day by the River Itchen where it was caught. It was a no brainer really.

I chose Martin's from my own stock of images of him, without his knowledge, then presented it as a gift the day we went to the lake where the picture was taken. He was pleasantly surprised!

A trophy is not a trophy without explanatory text — where the fish was caught, its size, date of capture, etc — so that was incorporated in Photoshop along the bottom edge. I was thinking of adding our monikers too, just as a captor's name would have been included for a cased stuffed fish, but thought that overkill, especially in my case because it was just a mid four-pounder and not a specimen fish.

For anyone thinking of doing the same with a low res picture, I made the tiny 72 dpi file up to 300 dpi so that text placed on top would be pin sharp. Otherwise it would look truly ghastly with horrible jaggy edges spoiling the whole thing. With pictures there's quite some leeway but no one can abide a fuzzy typeface.

Conrad McKee of Canvas Design, who offered to make these prints for me has done a really great job of them you know, and they do sit well on the wall. Therefore, I recommend them to you wholeheartedly.

This is your discount code saving you 15% on the deal — idler15

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