I am planning on printing this photo as a cavas, but i'm worried that the photo does not have enough contrast to look good when printed on canvas. Any coments on if you think it will suit canvas or not would be appreciated, as well as tips for editing for canvas printing. The canvas i'm planning on going for would be 30x10", and the photo is 4320x1440, so i think the quality should be fine (if i'm wrong please correct me on this!).

enter image description here

Thank you!

  • 3
    Not enough contrast, too hazy, but that's my opinion. This isn't a good question for this site - you're asking for opinions. There's already quite a few answers on here for how to prep for printing.
    – Jasmine
    Dec 18, 2014 at 21:14
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    My advice would be to import in a lightroom type of app. Bring the slider down for highlights and black and push the slider up for shadows and white. Make sure you do not exceed either end on the histogram otherwise the printer may not spray ink on overblown highlights. Push the clarity slider up. All of this should provide depth to the image. This should start you off to getting some contrast and may at the same time help you find your individual picture style and desired look. Dec 18, 2014 at 22:15
  • Jasmine, apologies i haven't used this site before so wasn't aware this was an inappropriate question, the site seemed fairly open for all types of photography and printing discussons.
    – Ailsa
    Dec 18, 2014 at 22:44
  • @Ailsa, most of the people don't look at your photo in a color managed environment, so whether they think it is good or bad, it is irrelevant. Moreover, unless you use a color managed flow, from the beginning until the end, you will not have the same colors, contrast, etc. So your first task would be to establish that environment.
    – TFuto
    Dec 19, 2014 at 13:32
  • @TFuto, this might be me being ignorant but i'm not sure what you mean by a colour managed environment? Is that to do with the printing process? The reason i'd asked for people's opinion is because from what i'd read on this site i had the impression that i might be able to get a response from someone who knew more about the printing process for a canvas than i do.
    – Ailsa
    Dec 19, 2014 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


It seems like there is certainly enough color there to be able to produce something that would look decent printed on canvas (with some touch up), however I'd be a bit worried about the size you are considering. At only 1440 pixels tall, you are looking at less than 150 DPI, which is a pretty minimal quality level to use for something that is likely to be viewed at arms length. It would probably hold up ok from across a room, but it isn't going to hold up so well on close inspection. This isn't a "DON'T DO IT", but just be aware that it may not come out as clearly as you might hope.

The biggest key color wise is to use a color managed environment. A color managed environment means using calibrated screens and printers so that you can have precise and accurate control of color. Color calibration ensures that you have the most consistent color from one medium to another, though there are still changes due to differences in gamut (range of color) between different mediums. With a calibrated and managed environment you can apply adjustments based on the ICC profile of the printer and media that you will use in order to preview what the colors will look like. This should allow you to achieve the look you want color wise, even if it may not hold together so well when viewed up close.

Make sure you also fiddle with the curves a bit once you have an idea of what the gamut of the canvas will be. That should allow you to get the desired level of vividness in the final print.

  • I have printed landscape canvas at 150DPI. Worked well for my purposes.
    – dpollitt
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:01
  • @dpollitt - yeah, 150 is probably doable, but this would be even a bit under that. Note that I'm not doing a blatant wave off, just pointing out it will be a bit limited by the resolution, or do you think it would be safe even below 150? I don't have any experience with lower resolution canvas, so I'd be open to feedback to the contrary if your experience seems to indicate it would be ok.
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:03
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    Agreed. It is not going to be an impressive resolution that is for sure. I've just seen people rip off Facebook photos back when the max resolution was around 720px and print to canvas, they thought they looked great. No everyone is as discerning as me or you!
    – dpollitt
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:05
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    Very true, I cried a bit when one of my clients set a photo I ranked as 1 star as their cover photo on Facebook. But hey, they were happy so it works for me (particularly since they didn't associate my name with the photo).
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:09
  • Thank you for your help. That is a useful warning about the size, as i'm using a professional printer service i will double check with the printers before going ahead. I'll also ask about colour managed environment, with any luck that will be part of the printing service. I can definately understand why you as a professinal wouldn't be happy with that resolution, hopefully my eyesight isn't as keen as yours!
    – Ailsa
    Dec 19, 2014 at 20:06

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