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Your Digital Files

Almost all of the professional photographers I know have spent a lot of money on equipment, lighting, backdrops and marketing material not counting all of the time invested organizing the photo day.   The comes photo day when you have to take numerous photos one by one.  It is not easy and it is a lot of hard work.

All of your images should be taken with respect to subject in front of your camera and the products they potentially can purchase.  Midwest Sports can help you navigate some of the pitfalls of photo day whether it is proper use of fill flash, subject composition, file numbering and image identification.  These are equally important to the value of your work just like the equipment you use.

Digital Image & File Format

Image Orientation.  It is important to remember that all of our digital products like memory mates, buttons, acrylic statuettes, team and group photos and prints are configured to accept images in a horizontal or vertical format.  Vertical format should be used for all of your individual images and horizontal format should be used exclusively for team and group images.  We do have the ability to convert an horizontal individual image to vertical in our software process but a great deal of cropping takes place on that image.  We can also adjust and manipulate template designs to receive opposite orientation for images.  Your best orientation with respect to finished products remain VERTICAL for all individuals and HORIZONTAL for all team and group images.

Camera Cropping.   In the days of film only, we composed most of our cropping by centering the camera because it was a lot of extra to correct mistakes made on film.  With the evolution of digital imaging almost the opposite is recommended.  We strongly urge you to photograph your teams and individuals “loosely” with respect to the camera view frame.  This allows us to compose the crop consistent from team to team, individual to individual.  Even if your preference for finished prints are half body only, we encourage you to take a full body image as some products like acrylic statuettes  could be ordered at a later date.

Why We Recommend Shooting Loose.  A standard digital file is captured in the approximate aspect ratio of 4x6.  Then your images are imported to our printing software and your original file is converted first to an 8x10 aspect ratio.  From this 8x10 file format all other print sizes and product are produced.  It is important to remember products that include graphic interface borders and logos we use a standard 5x7 aspect ratio paste into window.  This gives us the ability to provide you with consistent print structure for all of your products.

Camera Image View

            Camera View #1                              Camera View #2

                 Camera View  #1                                                Camera View  #2

Above images are two examples of images taken in a camera.  Camera View  #1 are well taken in respect with subject area centered in the frame and enough room around the subject to allow our system to crop and center this image for production.  Camera View #2 are images as seen thru the viewfinder of the camera as well but not enough room is left around the subject area.  These images risk losing some of the subject matter such as feet and toes in order to maintain the head and body structures in the photo. Camera View #1 are approximate proportions you should see and image with your camera and done within our recommendations.

Our Job Is To Give You The Best Composed And Cropped Photo.   Our order entry technicians will always crop every image to insure consistency throughout your job.  If you are using our Order Entry Software you have complete control over all of the cropping and centering aspects of every image.  So whether you are using our software or relying on our pre-production process our goal is to provide you with consistently cropped and centered images that meet your expectations.

Template Designs & Cropping.  One of the truly unique aspects of our order entry software is the ability to display both the 8x10 and 5x7 crop simultaneously .  We have also programmed every template design to incorporate strictly a 5x7 paste into window for both individual and groups.  This allows you to process ordered with confidence that what you see in your crop window is exactly what you will se on every template design.

Preparing Your Images To Send.  If you are sending your orders to Midwest Sports and not using our order entry software system then we highly recommend you send your files just as they are captured in your camera.  There is no need to renumber your images,  independently crop each image, rename file or rotate images as all of this can be done on our software platform.  If you want to do some color correcting work or retouching images it can be done prior to sending us the order.  Before you engage in color correcting or retouching I highly recommend speaking with our Technical Support Team for guidelines and suggestions.

If you are using our MWS Order Entry Software then there is no reason to alter the original files from your camera card.  Everything from cropping to rotation is easily accomplished in time saving fashion thru our software platform.

File Numbering.  Keeping track of all the image numbers and properly recording that image number on the correct order form is imperative for us to process your job as quickly and accurately as possible.  It is equally important to you as well when you are using our order entry software platform.  We highly recommend that every camera file numbering option set to “Auto reset” instead of “Continuous Mode” which is found in your menu file numbering section of your camera.  That way when you format your camera card prior to taking the first image, your card will start over and your first image will be named ex.  DSC_0001.jpg and not a random number selected by your camera.  

It is much easier to start your job at image number one and then label each corresponding order form at number one and then count forward from there.  So if you take two images for every individual and team then your first image will be 1-2 and the order form belonging to that image is also labeled 1-2.  Obviously the next image is 3-4, then 5-6 and so forth.  We also recommend do not delete images from the camera during the job as this could throw your numbering off inadvertently.

Image Format & Size.  There has been so much talk about what it the correct image format and size that I will leave that discussion for another day.  What we do recommend however is producing a file image that is at least 3.5m in size or larger.  Images that produce the best results in our printing process are between 3.5M and 10M in size.

Midwest Sports also recommends that the image you send to us is in JPEG format however our software can accept TIFF formats as well.  JPEG formats are recommended as our software and printing process utilizes the JPEG format and all cropping and color correcting done with respect to each image is thru computer line code and not manipulation of the original JPEG file.  This is done to maintain the integrity of the original image and still produce the file we need for printing.


© Midwest Sports Professional Photographic Lab, Inc. 2015