Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

  1. #1
    Stagecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suva, Fiji
    Posts
    5,574
    Real Name
    Grahame

    Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    For some time now I have been considering using my macro hobby to produce canvas wall hangings for sale and now have the opportunity of a place to show a few. My intention is to use macro to show details of some of the islands native plants and flowers in an artistic way.

    As for the 'business' side there is a photographic printers here and it would be a very much try and see how it goes project, I'm not looking to make lots of money.

    There's a couple of areas that I would like to get some advice on and would be very grateful if anyone can assist with the following two questions;

    a) I understand that every ones tastes vary and these also vary with regions around the world but would you consider the below image has potential for this project. Be absolutely blunt and honest and I realise it has a few specs that I should address.

    b) I have never had a print put on canvas and I envisage these being around 800 mm width. Is there anything specific in PPing that I should be aware of apart from getting the best image IQ I can.

    Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Hi Grahame,

    I've printed / framed / sold hundreds of large-format canvas prints over the years (mostly 44 x 22"), so I might have something relevant to input for you.

    In terms of processing (especially bright colours like these), you need to either ensure that the image colours fit within the gamut of the printer (red is a good "case in point" - your camera has a red channel, and can capture highly saturated reds; in contrast, a printer doesn't have red ink - and thus may struggle to reproduce a highly saturated red) (the result can be a colour shift and blotchy areas, depending on the rendering intent used), or stick to the smaller (common) gamut of sRGB.

    Also in terms of processing, you need to get your sharpening sorted. Capture sharpening doesn't have any effect on the printed canvas, and output sharpening typically isn't needed on large canvas prints, but creative / content sharpening is essential. To be honest, the sharpening in your example above looks quite "sub-optimal" (easy enough to fix, but would be different for a full-resolution large format canvas print).

    In terms of sales and marketing, it's a VERY fickle business, and generally, the market response is "considerably less than desired", unless one really understands sales and marketing. Shots like yours are nice - and would look great on many walls, but that type of thing really competes head-on against other art that typically sells in the $19.99 -> $29.99 price bracket in these parts (probably retailing for far less than you can produce it for) (considering that even at $29.99 the retailer still wants a big markup). For sure, the quality & construction of those products is cr^p, but none-the-less, that's the market.

    You can decide to go more "up market" and try to sell work like that in the $100 to $200 bracket, but you need exposure; every man (and his dog) has a website and is trying all the usual social outlets, so you and up hanging work on the walls of cafe's and coffee shops (at their invitation, after they tell you how great your work is, and how much they sell) (in fact, just last week a lady came in and ...), but the reality is all that happens is that you end up decorating their walls for them for free. Despite what they may tell you, I've never once hears someone ask for "a flat white - jam tart - oh, and that canvas print on the wall" -- it just doesn't normally happen; people go to coffee shops to buy coffee (not art), and they go to art galleries to buy art (not coffee).

    Art galleries are the ideal place to be, but realistically, the gallery is going to want to sell them for $8000 and give you $4000, but it's highly unlikely that they'll accept anything like this (or anything I produce for that matter either); they do seem to have a penchant for trying to sell over-priced rubbish (which probably explains why 3 have closed here in the past few years). The gallery approach can be done, but you REALLY have to know your stuff, and even then, it's a tough environment for the artist to do business in (a very talented artist friend of mine works that sector, and it's hard work). (www.bellamygallery.co.nz) (<-- free plug Michelle!) (I think they're all my photos of her work on her gallery) (I print framed prints for her too).

    My advice is to experiment a little if that's what it takes to satisfy your curiosity, but ultimately, you'll probably get the most satisfaction (by far) from just hanging the best of your achievements around your own home.

    A little sad, but true

    PS: When you crop an image like this, crop a little looser, as you wrap a portion of the image around the sides of the frame.

  3. #3
    pnodrog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Waipu, Northand, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,347
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    I am glad Colin included his PS.

    It is surprising how much you need to allow for the wrap around portion of the canvas especial on smaller sizes. I have had a few canvas prints done for me and add the title and my name etc down the edge on the wrap around part. It is less intrusive than plastering it across the front and I think it looks better.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,340
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    I know someone here in Canada who prints in the size Colin states, when he started out he said that his cost was $50.00, sold to retailor at $200.00, who then in turn sells it for $400.00. You have to find images that appeal to the customer, now he shoots in what we call cottage country in Ontario and most of the images are taken at sunrise, these appeal to a lot of people for the rugged beauty and as most of us are usually asleep we never see these scenes in real life.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  5. #5
    Stagecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suva, Fiji
    Posts
    5,574
    Real Name
    Grahame

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Hi Colin,

    Thank you very much for the very informative advice.

    Firstly, the business side. I moved across to Fiji permanently some three years ago after retiring and have lots of time to do what I want without any need to do this in the true sense of a business. It's just a way expanding my hobby and to see what happens. Fiji is still pretty backward but I am starting to notice such things as more modern furniture being bought in, more modern houses being built and some money around in the expat and business community, it's this I am thinking of aiming at.

    We have no art galleries here but do have the occasional small exhibitions of local paintings generally on canvas. My idea for exhibiting to start with would be to hang just a few and to show some prints of ones that could be produced on canvas just to test the waters.

    Secondly, I'm pleased you have mentioned my sharpening and I will address this and also take note of the differing needs for larger images, something I had not considered. I did capture sharpen and output sharpen this image at 40% 4 pixels and 100% 0.3 pixels respectively.

    The cropping I'll work out after deciding the canvas size I'm going to experiment with but it's easy to overlook when you are so used to trying to fill the frame.
    Last edited by Stagecoach; 8th August 2013 at 06:33 PM. Reason: I had my sharpening figures mixed up, corrected to 40% 4 pixels and 100% 0.3

  6. #6
    Stagecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suva, Fiji
    Posts
    5,574
    Real Name
    Grahame

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Paul,

    Good idea of the name and title along the edge, I would not have considered putting them on the front.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    6,571
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Colin pretty well covered the technical aspects of printing on canvas. What he did not mention is that it is a very forgiving medium in that you don't need (nor in some cases want) really sharp images to look good. Also another take on the marketing aspect of things given your goals is that you have a somewhat cornered market. In your situation you could easily become THE local photographer with images hanging in local businesses etc. That would surely be good advertising to then sell a few prints to well healed tourists passing through...

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    I am glad Colin included his PS.

    It is surprising how much you need to allow for the wrap around portion of the canvas especial on smaller sizes. I have had a few canvas prints done for me and add the title and my name etc down the edge on the wrap around part. It is less intrusive than plastering it across the front and I think it looks better.
    My frames are quite a modest thickness at 19mm, which I think looks just fine on a big print. Some people however like the thicker 50mm frames, which they then try to use for smaller images -- and they end up losing both a large portion of their image and getting something with the aspect ratios of a shoe box to hang on the wall.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    6,571
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    My frames are quite a modest thickness at 19mm, which I think looks just fine on a big print. Some people however like the thicker 50mm frames, which they then try to use for smaller images -- and they end up losing both a large portion of their image and getting something with the aspect ratios of a shoe box to hang on the wall.
    I've never figured that one out. I've seen people hang what effectively looks like a cube on the wall for small square format images. Different strokes I guess....

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    I know someone here in Canada who prints in the size Colin states, when he started out he said that his cost was $50.00, sold to retailor at $200.00, who then in turn sells it for $400.00. You have to find images that appeal to the customer, now he shoots in what we call cottage country in Ontario and most of the images are taken at sunrise, these appeal to a lot of people for the rugged beauty and as most of us are usually asleep we never see these scenes in real life.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    There are many different techniques for producing canvases that run the full gamut of utter cr^p quality through to the highest standards. The cheapest ones use a canvas that resembles parachute nylon - print onto it with solvent-based inks (that typically have a less dynamic gamut) - they don't over-spray them (they argue that they don't need to because solvent-based inks don't need a UV protectant - which is true - but they DO benefit from abrasion resistance that over-spraying offers) - and then they top it off my stapling at hand tension, that loses it's tension on bigger prints so that the canvas in essence "flaps like a boat sail". Obviously, this approach is cheap to produce.

    In contrast, I print mine onto a thick art canvas (around $350 per 12 meters, of which only about 11 meters is usable), with pigment inks - overspray it with several thick coatings of liquid laminate (around $225 for 4 litres) - I hand make the frames (glued AND screwed in the corners) and mechanically stretch the canvas over the frame in a rig I've made so that the canvas is LITERALLY tight as a drum. I do staple the canvas to the back of the frame (double or even tripple rows), and then cover the staples with framing tape. Obviously, this approach isn't as cheap to produce.

    I think my 22 x 44" canvases cost me around $100 + tax to make, but that's not counting the time/labour cost. I've seen a lot of mass produced canvas prints from retailers, and frankly the quality is just rubbish -- some have started too fade within 6 months of being on display in their store.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Hi Colin,

    Thank you very much for the very informative advice.

    Firstly, the business side. I moved across to Fiji permanently some three years ago after retiring and have lots of time to do what I want without any need to do this in the true sense of a business. It's just a way expanding my hobby and to see what happens. Fiji is still pretty backward but I am starting to notice such things as more modern furniture being bought in, more modern houses being built and some money around in the expat and business community, it's this I am thinking of aiming at.

    We have no art galleries here but do have the occasional small exhibitions of local paintings generally on canvas. My idea for exhibiting to start with would be to hang just a few and to show some prints of ones that could be produced on canvas just to test the waters.

    Secondly, I'm pleased you have mentioned my sharpening and I will address this and also take note of the differing needs for larger images, something I had not considered. I did capture sharpen and output sharpen this image at 40% 4 pixels and 100% 0.3 pixels respectively.

    The cropping I'll work out after deciding the canvas size I'm going to experiment with but it's easy to overlook when you are so used to trying to fill the frame.
    You're welcome Grahame,

    If you have the time and don't need to make too big of an investment, then go for it. Even if it doesn't make you any money, it's still a very satisfying, rewarding, and educational experience.

    Just be aware though that there's always a cost associated with doing this - if not a financial one then certainly other costs; and from my own experience it's likely that after a few years you may well reach a point where you feel that the time commitment for the return you receive (both financial and other) makes it less of an attractive thing to continue with.

    With regards to sharpening - generally - something like 0.3 @ 300% makes the image nicer to work on at 100% magnifications. Content and creative sharpening varies depending on image frequency and other factors, but around 40% at 4 pixels on a full-resolution image would be a figure I've used a lot in the past - it does depend on a number of things though. Output sharpening is typically only needed after down-sampling for internet display and for smaller prints (where the eye can't resolve the increased contrast around edges) (typically 0.3px @ around 50 to 100% on the down-sampled image) - usually has no appreciable effect on large images.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    Colin pretty well covered the technical aspects of printing on canvas. What he did not mention is that it is a very forgiving medium in that you don't need (nor in some cases want) really sharp images to look good.
    It comes down to a number of factors. Canvas texture has the effect of significantly unsharpening detail, but trying to compensate by increasing sharpening generally isn't needed because canvas prints are generally large (thus people view then from a greater distance), or they're small (to which people don't seem to expect a lot of small detail anyway).

    Also another take on the marketing aspect of things given your goals is that you have a somewhat cornered market. In your situation you could easily become THE local photographer with images hanging in local businesses etc. That would surely be good advertising to then sell a few prints to well healed tourists passing through...
    My observations have been that it's really no different to any other business dynamic in that if it really was easy money then someone else would already be doing it -- so in reality it usually turns out to be something that requires effective marketing -- and that in-turn requires time, effort, and financial investment to get a return. For sure, it's possible to make a few dollars with the "local market" approach, but I think that after a while, many reach a point where one day they realise just what the true cost of providing those products are, and start questioning their motivation to continue.

    I'm not suggesting that folks shouldn't give it a go anyway - heck, it's fun and educational -- I'm just trying to give a bit of a "crystal ball" that they can use to gaze a little further into the future.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    I've never figured that one out. I've seen people hang what effectively looks like a cube on the wall for small square format images. Different strokes I guess....
    On my bigger prints (66 x 22") I've started using an L-shaped aluminium strip top and bottom (to stop the frame bending under the tension I put the canvas under), which has the effect of making the whole canvas sit an inch or so out from the wall as a panel -- looks quite nice without being "over the top" (or sloping).

  14. #14
    Stagecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suva, Fiji
    Posts
    5,574
    Real Name
    Grahame

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Colin,

    Thanks again for your continued great advice.

    Just a few minutes prior to reading your post No 11 I had undertaken a full re-edit of this image after re-reading your previous article on sharpening which I keep on file as reference. I used basically the three stages with the same settings and there does appear to be a slight improvement on the 1200 pixel width image from the one I posted. Unfortunately, my other edits and crop do not allow for exact comparison.

    The image was taken with all precautions to get best IQ, (unless we want to get into the realms of f11 would have given better that f22), so I am going to have another go at various amounts of sharpening but with all other edits identical.

    Thanks again

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Colin,

    Thanks again for your continued great advice.

    Just a few minutes prior to reading your post No 11 I had undertaken a full re-edit of this image after re-reading your previous article on sharpening which I keep on file as reference. I used basically the three stages with the same settings and there does appear to be a slight improvement on the 1200 pixel width image from the one I posted. Unfortunately, my other edits and crop do not allow for exact comparison.

    The image was taken with all precautions to get best IQ, (unless we want to get into the realms of f11 would have given better that f22), so I am going to have another go at various amounts of sharpening but with all other edits identical.

    Thanks again
    You're welcome.

    If it were me - for the example you posted - when looking at it at 100% here, personally, I'd throw on an USM of 0.3 @ 150%, and then roll it back everywhere except the center, so that the eye is drawn to areas of ever increasing sharpness towards the center of the plant.

    Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,340
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Colin: my post as per cost to produce a canvas was to show if it cost you "X" then you sell to retailer at "Y" who would sell at "Z" was an example only. Those prices were from when he first started out a few years ago, and do not reflect on todays costs. One thing that maybe of some difference it that is sounds like your images are stretched tighter than his I have a 30 x 45 of his that has lost somewhat of that tightness over the last couple of years.
    Again sorry for the misunderstanding of costs it was more to show markups.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  17. #17
    Stagecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suva, Fiji
    Posts
    5,574
    Real Name
    Grahame

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Colin,

    I can certainly see the difference your 'tweak' has made and prefer it.

    I have decided to go back to the tutorials over the weekend and learn more about sharpening so that rather than just using the excellent procedure that you provided as a guide which has given me what I consider acceptable results I need to understand more about the exact purpose of amount, radius and threshold adjustments. The information is all easily available to me, just a matter of concentrating and remembering it

    One last question if I may, you mention 'roll it back everywhere except the centre' which I can understand the purpose of but what is used for doing this ? I'm only an Elements user and it is not something I have come across yet.

    Grahame

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Colin: my post as per cost to produce a canvas was to show if it cost you "X" then you sell to retailer at "Y" who would sell at "Z" was an example only. Those prices were from when he first started out a few years ago, and do not reflect on todays costs. One thing that maybe of some difference it that is sounds like your images are stretched tighter than his I have a 30 x 45 of his that has lost somewhat of that tightness over the last couple of years.
    Again sorry for the misunderstanding of costs it was more to show markups.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Hi Allan,

    My apologies - I wasn't trying to disagree with you at any stage - only to lead people through my product as as example of what costs are involved to produce a quality product (which is the ONLY type I ever want to produce).

    Unfortunately, that in itself produces a "rod for my own back" in that the "bargain-seeking" public see only the $$$, despite my best efforts to articulate the quality to them. My artist friend sells a similar sized painting to my typical canvas size of 44 x 22" for around $8000 (with the perception among the public general being that she's a REAL artist, unlike us photographers) (grate grate), and yet when I put my work for sale on our national auction site for $399, I've had comments like "nice image, but a bit expensive isn't it mate". Ultimately, I'm competing in the same category as things like this ...

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/art/photogr...-624247585.htm

    If I were to subtract my manufacturing costs from the price this chap is asking, I wouldn't roll over in bed for the difference. It's really the dog-eat-dog end of the market, and I've come to realise that it's just not worth the time and effort competing in it with a quality product -- the return on investment is far too low.

    So the "alternative" becomes simply "sell it for a price that gives you the margins you need" which sounds great in theory, but in practice, it's easier said than done, and ultimately comes down to time and skill as a sales & marketing person -- and not necessarily exceptional skill as a photographer, which is pretty much the reason I got out of that market -- I just don't have the time nor the energy to run a computer consultancy business - be a photographer - spend time with the family - fly my RC helicopters - AND be a sales and marketing guru to sell my work (with the subsequent time to actually make the product). I've often said that I'd happily split the profit 50/50 with someone who could sell and market my work, but no takers so far.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Colin,

    I can certainly see the difference your 'tweak' has made and prefer it.

    I have decided to go back to the tutorials over the weekend and learn more about sharpening so that rather than just using the excellent procedure that you provided as a guide which has given me what I consider acceptable results I need to understand more about the exact purpose of amount, radius and threshold adjustments. The information is all easily available to me, just a matter of concentrating and remembering it

    One last question if I may, you mention 'roll it back everywhere except the centre' which I can understand the purpose of but what is used for doing this ? I'm only an Elements user and it is not something I have come across yet.

    Grahame
    Hi Grahame,

    Sharpening is all about edge detection and contrast enhancement of those edges so that they're seen differently by our brains. Good sharpening is a lot like a magician's sleight-of-hand in that it gives the illusion of one thing, but without "giving the game away". In reality,you have 3 things in an USM to play with amount, radius, and threshold.

    In my opinion, the good news is that you can just forget about threshold -- about the only time I ever use it is to prevent unwanted sharpening of noise in high-ISO images; normally you won't need to touch it. Amount is simply how MUCH the contrast is boosted around an edge, and radius is simply how FAR the boosting extends from the edge. With capture sharpening, you need lots of it (typically 300%, but because it's only useful when viewing a full resolution image at 100% magnification), it only has a tiny radius - and thus has zero effect on the finished image unless you're going to print it 6 feet wide and then inspect it from 6 inches away (oh gawd, I'm giving people ideas again aren't I!).

    Content/creative sharpening applies to a full resolution image, but one that's VIEWED as a much smaller image than it would be if it were viewed at 100% magnification (typically only 15% or so) (or the equivalent in a print that we can't resolve any better due to the limitations of human sight). So in this situation we don't want huge increases in contrast (or it would create nasty black and white artifacting), nor do we want exceptionally large radii (is that spelt right?) or we'll get halos around things. So in reality, around 4 pixels is generally about right (which gets temporarily down-sampled to about 1 pixel for typical display on our screens), and an appropriate amount, which is often 40% for me (sometimes less, sometimes more).

    Output sharpening is typically only needed for images that are down-sampled for internet display (because the down-sampling removes information, and some of that information is sharpening you've already done) (this can be varied using algorithms like bicubic sharper which will try to preserve more of the sharpening, and bicubic smoother, which will attempt to remove it) (I just use normal bicubic so that I can re-sharpen afterwards with better control). Typically it's a low amount like 0.3px again (because again, we're viewing at 100% magnification), but unlike capture sharpening, we typically only need a small amount to compensate for the sharpening lost in the down-sampling operation, so typically, I use 50 to 100%. The other time output sharpening is needed is when printing 6 x 4" postcard sized prints; the content/creative sharpening is still there, but it can simply be too small for the eye to resolve in a print that size.

    To answer you question, in Photoshop it can be done a number of ways (layers, masking etc), but a quick and dirty way is to just use the history brush. For your image the global USM wasn't actually too bad, but it did accentuate the noise in the soft periphery of the image a bit and was easy to fix, so I did.

    Hope this helps.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,340
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: Wall Art Canvas Potential ?

    Colin: you post #18 is so true, REAL ARTIST and non-artist (photographer) anyone can take a picture see here is one on my cell phone. When some are up at a show, also get 'nice picture but a bit expensive isn't it, at which I have a hard time holding back not going into a rant.
    Guess it is the same here in Canada as there.

    Cheers:

    Allan

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •