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Thread: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

  1. #1
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Hi all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Sorry its been a few weeks since i contributed but its been a busy time.... I ve been away on a course with one or the UK's premiere wedding photogs, ive built and launched my web site, held a portraiture session in my local village which was fully booked, ive been documenting local events for a village blog and even had a couple of professional commissions for commercial stuff.

    Now ive got to deal with the processing aftermath! ive various printing issues which ill post about later, but for now ive got to send my commercial clients their images. ive sent them jpegs for now but really they should have TIFFS as they have commissioned the shoots. Im using a Nikon D800 and the file size is a whopping 200Mb! even zipped up they are 168Mb..... so 50 images is 2 DVD's worth! any suggestions on the best way of sending images to a client in a common loss less format?

    Obviously i need to keep costs down and the process needs to be simple for both myself and the client, at the moment im using DVD's which hold just over 4GB.


    Thaks all

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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Hi Mark,

    Have the images been heavily processed in Photoshop or is it just raw edits? If it is raw then you could consider DNGs which will contain the edits and have good file compression.

    If you have heavily baked images then the fact is that you have 7360 x 4912 pixels, each with 3 channels (RGB) to store and a given bit-depth. To store it efficiently will require a specialised format that records only the required bit-depth and each channel.

    So you could try Linear DNG. This supports multiple channels and so can store the same data as a processed PSD or TIFF file.

    http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articles/dng/linear.htm

    I don't know the details but it is possible that it will only use the required bit-depth for the pixels. A TIFF will have to use 16-bit even if you have 14-bits of information. So the TIFF takes 16/14 = 14% more space if no compression is used, and it is just filled with empty bits. You'll have to try it to find out but you may not save much space anyway and cause more hassle for yourself and the client.

    A better option may be to cost in a portable USB drive to your work and just provide all the TIFFs on that.

    Alex

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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Just wondering if a company like this might be useful to you, Mark.

    http://www.colorworldimaging.co.uk/e...ntion2013.aspx

    They do everything including printing, mailing the prints to customers and collecting the money.

    I looked at this idea when my local regatta was considering doing something similar; but eventually, we didn't proceed with the project.

    The cost of this service was quite modest and it takes away all the finishing work so you can just concentrate on the photographic side of commercial work.

    ps. For sending actual large files, you could consider an on line storage company like Mediafire or one of several similar companies. But I find uploading large files can be just as tedious as burning DVDs.

  4. #4
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Have the images been heavily processed in Photoshop or is it just raw edits? If it is raw then you could consider DNGs which will contain the edits and have good file compression.
    Hi Alex thanks for your reply. Most of the images have just had basic raw edits in lightroom 4, exposure and cropping ect i did start to try and export the images as DNG as it is my native format rather than NEF but when i started the export it raised a compatibility message of which camera raw to use the default seems to be 5.4 but my current version is 7.3 so which do i use and will my client be able to read them? the file size is a useable 43Mb

    So you could try Linear DNG. This supports multiple channels and so can store the same data as a processed PSD or TIFF file.
    ill look into that, thanks

    A better option may be to cost in a portable USB drive to your work and just provide all the TIFFs on that.
    Yes i have realised that might be the solution or maybe an SD card im sure ive read about DVD's holding more info in a dual layer but im not familiar with the reading /writing issues.

    Ive also read about down sizing images but am again unsure of the impact in this can this be done and still have allow later lossless edits? I could also shoot in DX mode for a smaller original file size but then i have issuse with field of view for interior shots and creative use of depth of field. so much to learn!........

    Just wondering if a company like this might be useful to you, Mark.

    http://www.colorworldimaging.co.uk/e...ntion2013.aspx

    They do everything including printing, mailing the prints to customers and collecting the money.
    Thanks Geoff ill have a look at them for the long term at the moment im interested in learning how to do everything myself as i feel its a good thing to have a sound working knowledge in the actual process before contracting part of my service out. Its very early days. but im enjoying the challenge!

  5. #5
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Commercial or professional clients will probably advise you of the size and format they need the files to be. For customers that do not have specific requirements I would tend to supply them with a disk of jpeg files limited to 3mb per image exported via lightroom as sRGB and tell them that Hi Res files are available if needed.

    A local real estate photographer just supplies an access password to the photographs on his web site and it has some supporting software that enables the client to download the photographs in a choice of several different sizes.

    USB drives are probably the most universal media to use for most clients and very few will need the full resolution for all the photographs.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 5th January 2013 at 11:29 PM.

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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Something else to look at perhaps:
    - what bit depth are your tiffs?
    - are they layered tiffs?

    Unless your clients are going to edit the images themselves (other than cropping), they don't need
    16 bit/channel, nor multilayer (and do you want them to edit your images?).
    And of course you could export to PNG (lossless, 8 or 16 bits, more compact than TIFF), or even
    jpeg (lossless cropping possible under some conditions).

  7. #7
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Undoubtedly, discover more about your client's need from you regards the files. I would consider a cloud service that that the client can pick up from, such as Dropbox or your own website.

    'Send this file' is a service that I use for the larger files, that works, although it as well to warn the client that the download at their end may be slow if they haven't a fast connection to their computer.

    You may even want to upgrade your own computer...this year has been my computer upgrade year, rather than any new lenses or other expensive photographic kit.

    Programming such expenses into the business is good sense, particularly when you take say, the cost of say a top of the range Mac Book Pro and CS6, which I consider are just as essential for producing great images for clients as the camera, especially if you are using a D800 etc. My second shooter has just got one and despite me having a D3, the results from the D800 are phenomenal.

    DVDs are old hat in many respects.

  8. #8
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Thank you all for your kind responses i think i will go down the route of a pass worded website that allows access to the RAW images for commercial clients but if im to to this then ill need a different host to the one im using and may need to host it my self, it will depend on how much of this sort of work i do and whether or not the client needs tiffs. I think that at the moment im possibly worrying about nothing! the client is more than happy with his JPEGS so ill monitor the situation and see how i go.

  9. #9
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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    Hi Mark,

    I'm a bit late to the thread but hope this helps.

    I use Zenfolio to host all my client images (mostly commercial jobs), this allows me to select a number of different sizes that the clients can download, including the 'original' image which is the image file that you uploaded. All selectable download sizes are delivered as JPEG with the exception of the 'original', which in my case is a TIFF with a long edge of 3600 pixels, 8 bits per channel and no layers. They can also order prints directly from a number of providers using a price list set by me for each client.

    So far this has worked for all of my photographic clients as they can download a small or medium JPEG if they are using it for the web, a large JPEG for desktop printing or the TIFF for sending to commercial print.

    I chose 3600 pixels on the long edge as the default for TIFF files as most of my clients are commercial and will be using the images in 4 colour process printed material. This provides enough detail (2 x lpi) for high quality colour reproduction at 12" (long edge) with a halftone screen of 150lpi when printed on an imagesetter/platesetter with an output resolution of 4800dpi. Though most printers these days will be using a digital press so won't be so concerned about the resolution overhead when using a traditional halftone screen, and a surprising number won't even know what a halftone screen is.

    For those few customers who require it I will provide a set of TIFFs on DVD, for an additional cost.

    Depending on the short edge the file sizes are in the region of 70-90MB for 8 bit TIFFs with a long edge of 3600 pixels.

    I also have some clients (primarily restoration and reconstruction jobs) that require files that are based on high resolution scans. For these clients the Zenfolio site provides a very effective way of delivering JPEG proofs but the 'originals' are supplied on DVD or Blu-ray as they can be up to ~1GB per file, obviously Blu-ray is preferable in these circumstances as you can only get half a dozen or so ~1GB files on a dual layer DVD.

    When it comes to photographic output I (almost) never supply original Photoshop files or RAW, the reason being that I do not (by default) give rights to manipulate the images or create derivative works, so they don't need the source files.

    Cheers,
    A

  10. #10
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Been away for a while starting my photog business need help with file sizes.

    I'm a bit late to the thread but hope this helps.
    HA! not as late i am in thanking you for the information Ady, zenfolio seems to one of the hosts that are being well marketed by the industry and are very prominent in the mags that i read but i have read some bad comments even on their own fourums. at the moment im using blue domain and im disappointed with the results and usability of the service. this will be the stuff of yet another thread!

    thanks

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