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Too Blurry And Grainy?

Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/09/2013 - 8:49 AM

Yesterday I got an order for a 48 inch x 36 inch acrylic print for my work "Fresh Mints and Cool Blues".

Art Prints

To my great surprise today I got a notification that FAA is unable to make a high quality print of it because it is too blurry and grainy. I was instructed to:
"reshoot the image using a high-resolution camera (12 megapixels) and tripod in outdoor lighting. Please note - camera phones, iphones, ipads, and similar devices are NOT suitable for producing high-quality prints. You need use a true digital camera with zoom and focus controls."
Additionally I shall remove the text signature on the bottom.

I'm a digital artist. To say it precisely I make fractals. For that there's no need to use cameras and tripods. I always work wirth the original rendered files. The questioned file isn't blurry or grainy. What is find fault as "grainy" is part of the original rendered fractal, small dots that form a gradient, or pattern. I've just reworked it although that would not have been necessary (!) and applied a filter. But it is no longer my original as I considered it to be!

I've uploaded a small detail-cut from the original 6000 x 4500 px files for comparison.

This is the original file:
Photography Prints

This is the filtered version where I softened the the "grain" and applied a painting filter:
Art Prints

2. The digital signature is and has always been part of my artworks. I'm a member of FAA since 2007 and sold a LOT OF LARGE PRINTS since then...never and at no time without my digital signature. I would not even remove them if the customer wanted it that way! These are the sales only of the last year: (all printed and sold without any problems!)

I would love to hear your opinions on this!


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Barbara Moignard on 01/09/2013 - 8:57 AM

I am amazed!

I certainly hope you have not removed your signature.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/09/2013 - 8:59 AM

...never, ever :-)))


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/09/2013 - 9:15 AM

They said they are removing the signature?

That doesnt sound right...are you positive the email came from FAA?


Posted by: Debi Dmytryshyn on 01/09/2013 - 9:19 AM

Hi Karin,

I love what you've done with the colour and design. I prefer your original - the design is sharper and the colours "pop" more. As you know ;))

Before re-loading a "softened" version, did you reply to FAA to explain that it is a digital image and "its supposed to look like that" ? It wouldn't hurt to follow-up first before changing the image. Someone has the job to make sure of the quality before sending the order through. It would be an annoying irony if the edited image was submitted for print and the customer returned the print because "it was too blurry". If they have a lot of orders coming in maybe they just looked to quickly at the image, without realizing it wasn't a painting. Its amazing what you've done and it certainly doesn't look computer-generated at first glance.

Just my opinion. I'm certainly no art expert. But I do know that customer service mix-ups do happen in the workplace. And your original is awesome :)



Posted by: MM Anderson on 01/09/2013 - 9:27 AM

I'll admit that I like the new version better, but not because I feel like the first is not as good. I just like the smoothness with this particular image better than the grainier version. I've added digital noise to all of my computer illustrations because it helps with the gradients and also because I like the look. I hope that if I ever sell any large versions that I won't get this message too. Absolutely you should complain about them removing your signature if they do it.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/09/2013 - 9:38 AM

Only to clarify: FAA didn't say that they will romove the signature!...they asked ME to remove it!

...and yes Angelina, the e-mail is directly from FAA. I don't spent a lot of time in this forum but I noticed yesterday in another thread that another members work has also been rejected because the signature were an issue!


Posted by: David Lane on 01/09/2013 - 9:52 AM

Karen I have had this happen to me. Not the signature part but the texture/grain issue. I have asked them to print anyway and that I would pay should the customer return it. They also contacted the buyer and told the their issue and the buyer purchased ANYWAY AND was happy. I have also had buyer cancel because of this despite my promise to pay.


Posted by: Kerri Mortenson on 01/09/2013 - 10:01 AM

As a customer, I would not want a re-worked fractal design that I ordered. The new version looks a bit different and is not the same piece. I can see re-photographing artwork that is on canvas to make a sharper, clearer image, but this is a wonderful piece by itself. Nope, you are a top seller at this place and all your pieces have sold with your signature- there shouldn't be any problem with it there now.


Posted by: Wendy J St Christopher on 01/09/2013 - 10:14 AM

Seems to be a recent FAA trend.

The member who had this same problem yesterday stated, if I remember correctly, that the same image (same file!) has been sold and printed by FAA eight times, prior.

I can't begin to imagine why a file that has been perfectly usable eight times is suddenly unacceptable. Change in print hardware or technique? Change in printer operator?

Yesterday, I uploaded two deliberately grainy/hazy images to my FAA portfolio -- this is not something I want to worry about, even though I don't use a signature.

Hopefully, FAA admin will weigh in on this topic. :-(


Posted by: Greg Jackson on 01/09/2013 - 11:24 AM

I haven't sold anything as of yet, but some of my images have intentional grain in them for background effect, heavy fog, etc. I would hope, if desired by a buyer, that the image(s) would not be rejected due to an intentional artistic effect applied by me.


Posted by: Christine Till on 01/09/2013 - 11:30 AM

The color noise in the original would be too much for my taste, so I would either not buy a print or return it.
But that's just my 2 c

The signature: Probably FAA has a new employee who thought your signature is a watermark, which, of course, would have to be removed.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/09/2013 - 11:40 AM


I don't understand either! Are they saying your file from the computer isn't sharp enough??? Can you upload a larger file? Could you upload a much larger file, directly to the printer in North Carolina?

And the fact that's it's going to be under an Acrylic sheet is even more confusing to me, which should actually make the print look even better!



Posted by: Jeff Kolker on 01/09/2013 - 11:40 AM

I think it's fine after looking at the original.

The only thing I can think of is that if you go to the original file, and zoom on the black sections, these sections are not completely black, but look to have specs of color. I'm sure this is the way it is supposed to be, but if it were a photograph, it may look like "noise". Perhaps it is being misconstrued by someone at FAA as such? I don't know. Seems a bit strange since your original file is certainly large enough and it is sold 8 times already without a problem.

You would think with digital art, as long as the size is sufficient, it is what it is... and it looks how you intended.


Posted by: Andee Photography on 01/09/2013 - 11:40 AM

I have been adding in the description area of the image of mine, that there is an edgy grain that is intended and part of the art.

The buyer then has been warned and this should be good enough. That is the way the art is and should print that way. I do not

sell enough to have had this come up yet but if the grain is part of the art. How can they refuse to print it when that is part of it?


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/09/2013 - 1:23 PM

Thanks to you all for your thoughts on this.

Interesting @ David, that you experienced the same. As I know you since a very long time as an outstanding digital artist with a very consistent body of works it makes me concerned that you lost buyers because of this argument. What bothered me most was the recommendation to use a camera and a tripod!!!

Yes, @ Wendy I exactly meant this!...and after I got today the same kind of rejection I thought it should at least being questioned.

If someone decides to order a print @ Christine, is always a matter of personal taste...nobody is urged to ;) But despite of that the original image was undoubtedly printable.

@ Rich, here in short what it is about: My first image was rejected on the ground of being too grainy and too blurry. I say it was not ;)
But meanwhile I've uploaded a slightly corrected version...

@ Jeff...thank you! I have nothing add :-)
only one thing perhaps, these image is going to be printed the first time. The image of the OTHER member which has also been rejected had already been sold 8 times!


Posted by: Zeana Romanovna on 01/09/2013 - 1:38 PM

Karin, have you tried Topaz "denoise"? I find that is an excellent tool for fractals.


Posted by: Glenn McCarthy Art and Photography on 01/09/2013 - 1:38 PM

Remove the signature? Never

I personally prefer the newer rendition....


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/09/2013 - 1:44 PM

The older version is really noisy. I can see why it was flagged for print.

You could just cancel the order and remove it if you don't want to alter it.


Posted by: Dan Turner on 01/09/2013 - 1:54 PM

Karin, I personally love the grain in your first image, it makes the art pop! The second is nice, too; I hope you got it all sorted.


Posted by: Dale Ford on 01/09/2013 - 3:21 PM

Karin, I had the same thing happen to me last week. Like yours, my image was digital art. It was intended to have a soft, impressionistic look which, apparently, came across as "blurry" to whomever makes these judgments. I sharpened it at the expense of some of the softness, and the sale went through. This is the image with which I replaced the original:

Sell Art Online

From what I'm reading, there seems to be a recent trend at FAA of holding non-photographic images to photographic standards. This concerns me as it threatens both the artist's creative vision and the integrity of the art itself.


Posted by: Lynn Palmer on 01/09/2013 - 7:44 PM

@Dale Yours is a beautiful image with an impressionistic effect applied. I think someone at FAA needs to learn the difference between noise and "pointillism", a valid artistic style or effect.


Posted by: Lynn Palmer on 01/09/2013 - 7:46 PM

@Karin Is it possible your signature was too large for the size of the print, or possibly was too close to the edge and would be partially covered by a mat or wrapped around the edge of the canvas?


Posted by: Beverly Livingstone on 01/09/2013 - 8:03 PM

the first one looks the best I like both, just to let you know I had the same message for two sales going to the same place I would put them here but don't know how the print of Mr White did go through after uploading a new one the canvas print of Mr Oggy ..they said it could not be printed to blury , I am not sure how they look to others on here Bev


Posted by: Wendy J St Christopher on 01/09/2013 - 8:44 PM

@ Lynn -- It would be useful if the problem were explained to the artist. If, as you suggested, there was a problem with the signature, it would be great to know that.

The prefabricated response (use a tripod and a better camera) is pointless in many situations, and indicates that these decisions are being made arbitrarily.

That's a scary idea on a fine art site that's expected to fulfill print orders on countless varieties of art, and is a bigger problem than whether or not there was noise in Karin's original file. It becomes even more concerning in a situation like yesterday's, where an acceptable print had already been achieved, many times.

Yesterday, I spent time adding grain and blur to a new image. Only time will tell if that will come back to haunt me.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/09/2013 - 10:25 PM


To me, it seems a bit odd that here, at this site, a site that is selling art and that the sales should be important to both the artist and the owner, that when issues come up, that they are handled a bit more professionally. It's good for the client and good for Sean. When a client is informed that an image that they would like to purchase, "isn't up to printing", it hurts both the artist and the owner. the question becomes, then, "which other images can't I purchase and how would I know?" And the next question is of course, why bother with buying art here, at Fine Art America, if some of the art isn't really fine?

We, as artists, should be given every and all avenues to deliver the product to the client/buyer and not just a cursory response. If a larger file that needs to be uploaded to the actual printer's FTP site, then that should be the answer, not just lose the sale. Of course, something like this would require "bodies", which we seem to be lacking,


I hope this is taken as a "positive" critique


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 01/09/2013 - 10:32 PM

Rich, the sale is not just lost....the artist has, normally, 24 hours I believe it is, to upload a new file and this normally done


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 01/09/2013 - 11:19 PM

We, as artists, should be given every and all avenues to deliver the product to the client/buyer and not just a cursory response.

We are given that opportunity prior to submitting our artwork for upload. I also feel that it is our responsibility, not only to customers but to Management, to submit only the best print worthy image available. FAA should not have to quality check our artwork.


Posted by: Rose Art on 01/09/2013 - 11:33 PM

If artists interested in taking advantage of this site for profit took seriously the opportunity, they would educate themselves on what a print worthy image really meant. Jeff is spot on. It is not fu@king rocket science. If you are serious you will figure it out. The responsibility is yours.

edit: Karin's digital work is a different animal


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/09/2013 - 11:57 PM

Okay, rejecting an image because of graininess I understand. That could affect the perception of quality even if the graininess was intentional. However, being asked to remove your signature? No stinking way. I would not do that. An artist should be allowed to sign their work. That is not a quality issue. It makes me sort of glad I took the print prices off my work. I can't imagine "unsigning" one of my paintings.


Posted by: Rose Santuci-Sofranko on 01/10/2013 - 3:45 AM

Wow...that's odd....Fractals are "crystal clear" and the details are amazing...that's one thing I love about the ones I worry about "blurry or grainy".... I'm floored....


Posted by: Michael Hoard on 01/10/2013 - 3:48 AM

Thanks for the great information. This is excellent to know about ...Beautiful and congrats to you...Michael Hoard


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/10/2013 - 5:51 AM

Thanks to you all for your thoughtful input on this.

To say it in advance: I was not asking for ways of how to "best improve" my image, its already done. Although I'm very thankful for the hint on Topaz ;)

As Rose S. already said: Fractals are always "crystal clear" and their renderings are always absolutely sharp. But like every sophisticated photographer who experiments with lenses and low or high key effects in his darkroom the fractal artist can also add effects to the image. To work and play with this effects is a great deal of the creative process. And at least it should be solely the artist who decides about the outcome of the finished artwork...of course under the condition that the quality of the artwork is flawless.

Grain can be disturbing especially when it goes hand in hand with noise, blurriness or blockiness or when there are visible artifacts.
But grain can also be a means of creation. Lynn already mentioned the "Pointillism Style". My image was NOT blurry, noisy, or had any kind of artifacts. I only choose to show the countless tiny points (bits) that build up a color field. If you regard it as "noise" or not is your personal taste :-)

As a sidenote: I would carefully distinguish between "noise" and "grain"!

Concerning the signature: It is whether too big nor too close to the edge.


Posted by: Paul Cowan on 01/10/2013 - 7:41 AM

I think the printer has simply misunderstood the file. If it were pointed out to them that the grain was a deliberate effect, not an artifact created by poor photography then they should be willing to print it as it is. If the signature is too big then it suggests that a very large print has been ordered in which case it could look odd. They could specify the signature size that is suitable.


Posted by: David Lane on 01/10/2013 - 7:50 AM

so what was the out come. did you do what they wanted?


Posted by: Zeana Romanovna on 01/10/2013 - 7:50 AM

Karin, if you play around with Topaz denoise I think you may find that .png rendered files clean up well under the "RAW-Remove Banding" - well, I use that and often go to edit->fade, and get the clean I want, but not over much by using photoshops fade command.


Posted by: Kendall Kessler on 01/10/2013 - 8:30 AM

I don't understand how art that is done on a computer would not be good enough for a print. I have not any print issues with my small paintings that I scanned directly into the computer. I have had to re-shoot larger works.


Posted by: Kendall Kessler on 01/10/2013 - 8:31 AM

Of course I meant I have not HAD any print issues. Typing too fast today.


Posted by: Dale Ford on 01/10/2013 - 10:50 AM

" I also feel that it is our responsibility, not only to customers but to Management, to submit only the best print worthy image available. FAA should not have to quality check our artwork."

@Jeffrey With all respect, Jeff, I think you may have missed Karin's point. This isn't about poor photography or substandard work, rather, it's about non-photographic digital art being held to photographic standards. Such an approach does an injustice to both the art and the artist's creative vision.


Posted by: Christine Till on 01/10/2013 - 11:00 AM

At least now you know that FAA's print-quality control doesn't accept that much noise or artificial grain (or how ever you like to call it), Karin.
Congratulations on your sale :-)


Posted by: Dale Ford on 01/10/2013 - 11:18 AM

PS Also, from what Karin said, the standard is not applied consistently. As she noted, another artist had an image rejected which had previously been printed 8 times!!! What is that about?


Posted by: Christine Till on 01/10/2013 - 11:28 AM

As everywhere in the world, Dale, images are not evaluated by a computer but by a human being, so it's all a matter of perspective.


Posted by: Dale Ford on 01/10/2013 - 11:34 AM

You're absolutely right, Christine, and it's the current "perspective" which is in question.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/10/2013 - 11:58 AM

You are absolutely right Dale!...this was the reason why I started this thread. The recommendation to use a better camera and a tripod showed me that this person hasn't even really looked at my work. And like you Dale, I'm professionally enough to make the appropriate changes and since the order hasn't been cancelled I guess that the "smoothed" version passed through...but I still LOVE the first version!


Posted by: Glenn McCarthy Art and Photography on 01/10/2013 - 12:14 PM

I put my digital signature on at 100% so that it replicates the same size I would have if done by hand. I don't think that Karin's signature was too big. Didn't notice it until I used the magnifier.


Posted by: Christine Till on 01/10/2013 - 12:23 PM

Probably it was too small, Glenn, and the FAA empoyee thought it's a watermark. Who knows?
Perhaps it's a new FAA employee who has to grow into the job first. Happened to most of us at one point in our lives.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/10/2013 - 12:24 PM

Glenn, since 2008 I've sold a lot of prints each with my signature on it! Why should it suddenly be an issue...?


Posted by: Glenn McCarthy Art and Photography on 01/10/2013 - 12:31 PM

Didn't happen to me Christine. I walked in as the President who knew everything... left as the pauper who nobody listens to. :) I would have to say that signatures on art are really part of the "see Spot run" grade.... "first grade" I'd surmise. Most pieces of art have them and anyone checking them for a professional printer should have that under their belt way ahead of time....

Add: Karin, it shouldn't be an issue.


Posted by: Bob Salo on 01/10/2013 - 1:23 PM

Karin, last week I received the same email you did- almost verbatum- except for the removal of the signature. This tells me that a person is not checking the work, a computer is. The computer doesn't know the difference between grain and intended softness. The print I sold was 9x 12 with a resolution of 6000 x 7604....I put an overall textural filter on this image to emulate a canvas effect..this image was rejected stating that I should re-shoot the image when it is obviously a digital painting with no hint of photography because there was no photography involved in this image. This tells me that a human did not make the determination to reject or allow printing. This may be a newly introduced scrutiny given to the computer's evaluation of what's printable or not but really, a print that is 9x12 @ 6000 x 7604 should go through. I too have sold over 200 prints since I came here and never had a quality issue even with prints that were in that 40 " range. Most of my work is digital painting. I usually work at a 20" to 24 " size in any given direction so if the computer allows my images to be printed at 40 " there is obviously enough detail there but as far as signature size goes, if I sign a 20 inch print at the original size, the signature is going to look extraordinarily large at a 40 " size print and that we can't control unless we work at that 40 " size and I could be wrong but how many people here work at the 40 inch size digitally. My opinion is to have a painting look right at a large size you have to work at that size because paint strokes and canvas size will look unproportionately large but as I have said I have not had one return of digital paintings at sizes beyond what I work at. By the way to solve the issue, I re-uploaded a file without the texturing effect, I haven't heard whether this is acceptable yet, I assume so, the print is still showing as a sale. I think if we allow FAA to re-evalute these legitimate concerns, a person ( printer) will give it a second look and rule accordingly. I would rather not allow a computer to make the final decision...


Posted by: Bob Salo on 01/10/2013 - 1:23 PM

edit : double post


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/10/2013 - 1:40 PM

My take on this, is that somebody from "shipping" got promoted to "Quality Control" and never received any training. I don't think a computer made this decision. Somebody sitting in front of a large screen, with a set of typewritten instructions, when to pass and when to reject an image for printing,



Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/10/2013 - 2:04 PM

Hi Bob, welcome to the club ;)

your thoughts on this are very interesting. Until now I haven't even thought of the possibility that a computer could be involved into the evaluation process. On the other hand it would save a lot of manpower costs and Sean could very well have the skills to develop such a program. Christine's guess is (and mine too) that there's a new staff member which is quite unsure HOW to evaluate...but now, when I compare the different cases:

1. Kerry with her photo which has been sold and printed 8 times > got the same recommendation
2. Dale with her digital image, based on a photo but digitally reworked in impressionist style > same
3. My original rendered fractal where I only corrected the colors > same
4. Bob with a digital painting with an applied canvas filter > same

Just a question: Did you get your notification from Cortney?


Posted by: Christine Till on 01/10/2013 - 2:05 PM

I'm with Rich on this.

Glenn ... I walked in as the President who knew everything... left as the pauper who nobody listens to. :) ...
Thanks for the laugh :-)
I had it the other way around, and ... I like that much better.


Posted by: Nature's Details on 01/10/2013 - 2:05 PM

The size of the signature should not matter, nor should FAA refuse to print based on it's size. If someone wants to buy a piece of art, with a signature that takes up a quarter of the canvas, who is FAA to decide it does not "pass".

If I took a file to a print shop, they would not question a signature and how is FAA any different, except for the fact that FAA doesn't even print anything. (it is all subbed out)

Seems to me there are some serious "control" issues within FAA. (including the forums)


Posted by: Dale Ford on 01/10/2013 - 2:07 PM

Yes, Karin, my notice was from Cortney. And don't forget Bob up above who had the same experience.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/10/2013 - 2:10 PM

Sorry, Dale but I thought I was talking with Bob ;) going to edit it :-)


Posted by: Dale Ford on 01/10/2013 - 2:12 PM

My mistake, Karin. Looking back it's clear that's what you were doing. I think I've been on the computer too long :)


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 01/10/2013 - 2:56 PM

Yes, Stephen, those rules are a nuisance aren't they.

Karin, has the sale gone through do you know...I can find out for you if you want.

As for why some work being questioned and some not, it depends on the person checking it which is not always the same person.I also had the signature question but the reason was it was too close to the edge for a canvas framed.


Posted by: David Lane on 01/10/2013 - 3:31 PM

As a digital artist without the limitations of having to photo a piece or having to blow up a photo, I would expect and demand that my art be printed as I have presented it. If it's blury or grainy that's because that's what I intended. If FAA is gonna start rejecting digital artist work then maybe it time to start a search for another printer. I love FAA and have been most impressed with the quality of the end products, but I can't have some one editing my artistic intent.


Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 01/10/2013 - 4:00 PM

I agree with David that the ones printing it or the quality control shouldn't decide if an image is 'good' or not, if graininess, etc is a part of the image's and artist's aesthetic. In such cases it also should be assumed that the buyers know what they are buying. Obviously someone buying a grainy black and white image, or a soft pinhole image, or a digital image that's 'grungy', etc.. isn't going to expect nor want something else from that image. I can see how it might not always be obvious, when a painting isn't photographed at the best quality or with simply bad quality photographs, but it's not and shouldn't be that hard either to spot and know the difference between a style and a technical issue.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/10/2013 - 4:04 PM

Beth, thanks for asking. Since I haven't heard back and the sale is still up I guess it's gone through...honestly, I really expect nothing else ;)


Posted by: Bob Salo on 01/10/2013 - 4:49 PM

@ Rich:
My take on this, is that somebody from "shipping" got promoted to "Quality Control" and never received any training. I don't think a computer made this decision. Somebody sitting in front of a large screen, with a set of typewritten instructions, when to pass and when to reject an image for printing,

Hi Rich.....I find it difficult to comprehend how a person whether they were a prior shipper or held any other position in the company would not be able to see the difference between a digital painting, a digital work of art such as a fractal and a photograph unless they were just learning in which case we should cut some slack. I also find it hard to believe that FAA would place someone without any training at all to make decisions on critical issues such as quality control...
If it is a person that is making the decision it looks like, for the sake of convenience, the email that we are receiving is a blanket statement to alert us to a perceived quality issue determined by someone . This whole thing doesn't upset me. I would rather have tight scrutiny of my work than have the print rejected after printing. As long as there is a quick , fair and equitable process of challenging the initial decision I'm good.

Who sent the email is irrelevant in my opinion because they may not be the quality control decision maker in this case just someone who is responsible for communications & customer service in the company..


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/10/2013 - 6:51 PM


You need to put yourself in the business owners mind set. He's paying somebody $12/hr to find obvious printing issues, before they actually get printed and create a cost, paper,ink,etc. to him. I would think FAA is the only POD sending work through this printer and there could be hundreds a day getting printed, both large and small. It's cheaper for the owner of the print shop, to flag questionable images and send them back to the sender to handle.

That's my take on this and would be surprised that there's a warm body at FAA doing Quality Control, as a first step,



Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 01/10/2013 - 7:44 PM

I like the second version better. The first one does look grainy and I would not have been happy with it. So, in this case I have to go with what FAA decided. When it comes to fractals, I would want the final image to be as clean and clear as a vector-type graphic and not graining.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/10/2013 - 7:57 PM

Thanks for adding your personal opinion on this, Megan.

I know for sure that my buyer looked at this image several times during the last days. I hope he sees it the same way ;)


Posted by: Bob Salo on 01/10/2013 - 9:14 PM

Hi Rich
You make valid points and I understand the business mindset having owned several businesses that required the control of costs but it's easy for us to speculate here on discussion forums how the FAA business model operates and what sub contract arrangements are in place. Only the owner of the site knows . As far as the warm bodied person at FAA is concerned, this warm body could be just making an initial assessment rather than a full printing-machine worthy quality control inspection, in other words (a double check system) catching a possible problem before it gets sent to the printer. I know and I think everyone here knows the quality of work that Karin consistently puts out. She is a top seller.. I would venture a guess that that printer has seen lots of her work go through the shop. It still doesn't prove that the image in question is assesed initially at the printer level and if so there should be more than qualified people there that can recognize a digital painting from a fractal or from a painting captured from a low rez or high rez camera. I'm not saying you are wrong in your opinion but it's been my experience that the best person to say yes or no to a file in question is the person running the printer and again if this person can't recognize what I have said above then we have a quality control problem. Which we don't. I don't think we should be speculating on something we don't know anything about. This could be just one of those passing things. The course of action is to send your concerns to support and ask them to have another look at it . It's been my experience that there will be a re-evaluation, a prompt decision and an appropriate action taken. Why...because no one involved wants to lose a sale.......

Maybe the problem is the wording in the email which is universally sent to those taking picture,taking pictures of their art, producing fractals, digital art and digitally painting. ...It asks for the artist to re-shoot the image with a 12 mega pixel camera or higher which doesn't pertain to computer based art. This generic wording is incorrect and misleading and should be re-worded to address the digitally produced artwork. and in all cases state precisely what the problem is in accordance to the method of artwork production and each artist then should take the opportunity to relate back to FAA the intended effect the artist has incorporated into the art.

I initially remarked that I thought that this whole issue was a computer based assessment because of the email I looked and felt like a
a form letter that is sent to everyone regardless of medium.............and also isn't it a computer that works out the sizes that are available for printing from our uploaded files to FAA ?.... so it must be looking at resolution quality to some degree, sharpness etc. . . .to me not a far fetched idea that it may be configured to give a rudimentary initial assessment of the file quality due to sharpness, pixel size, etc. without understanding the aesthetic or creative value.

(Just my two cents / Strictly Speculative On My Part Of Course / :)


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/10/2013 - 9:57 PM


You and I are "dinosaurs" in the sense that we expect that there is actuall a printer, some old codger( I was an old codger before old codger were in!)( I was a printer before I was a photographer)(no more of these!), but in today's business, there may be many printers at this place in North Carolina, making many prints each day and I would bet all teh money that Mike Savad made last week, that these printers never,ever talk or communicate to the artist. Tha't not how this POD business is run. The days of you coming in and sitting down with me and discussing what you think the final image should be, doesn't exist, not on this level. I was a "master" printer here in Orlando, doing only Cibachromes for professional and others, Ad Agencies,etc. and back then, it worked that way. In this facility, it's quantitiy, everyday. Quality is important, but the numbers will come first. I've never ordered a print from here, since I have access to a large 44" Epson here in Orlando, but I know about High Point,N.C. and who they service and why.

That's that end, at our front end, we should have a warm body, working for us, and trying hard to get OUR sales through. I had a large 4' x 6' image sold a few months ago, with less than a "perfect" file uploaded and they,FAA,Dawn? really helped me and over the weekend, I finally uploaded a good file and it was sold. But I sense that that "service" may have since changed, due to some of the comments left here tonight.

I've seen one "printer" that does this kinda stuff and it's all about numbers and production.

Bob, not correcting, just gettin you to agree with me!!! LOL


Codger still!


Posted by: Bob Salo on 01/10/2013 - 10:56 PM

Ha...ha...from one Codger to
Rich, I'm not suggesting that on a POD site that there should be a way to communicate with the people who do the actual printing if that's the idea you got. That would be a ridiculous notion. When I need that kind of control I have someone local that is set up to cater to designers coming in and requesting optimum control over their projects, as a graphic designer, myself included. My artwork is basically a hobby now and I am more than happy with the prints I have been getting from here and I have seen enough of them to be absolutely comfortable that I will be getting the results I desire in the future. I know what you are saying but my initial post was to let Karin know that she wasn't the only one who got this message. She takes great pride in her work and works at a high level. I try and do the same since my work is also digital in a different way so I must say it wasn't pleasant to receive that kind of message when hundreds of prints of mine have been printed without any quality issues. I wasn't concerned about my image because I made a quick assessment of FAA's perceived problem to be a textural filter I put on the entire print. I immediately uploaded a version I had saved without the effect and I believe the issue is now been solved for it still shows as a sale and it has been over week since I got the notice... so our discussion about how the business is today is not something I am that familiar with anymore, so this codger bows to your inside knowledge but who makes the quality decisions here at FAA is not something that you or I can know for sure .....but really I don't care how it's done as long as it's a fair assessment and I can raise my voice to challenge it and know that someone will take my concerns into account....

I don't think anything has changed here in terms of processing an order and I don't think that anyone here on this thread was making a huge statement that there is something wrong...I think no one wants to hear that their file has something wrong with it and then getting the advice to re-shoot a computer based digital file is a head scratcher to say the least as in Karin's and my case and a few others who got the same message.
FAA is everything that I want in a POD site regarding level of quality, delivery, and least in my case....

Oh...Just so I know that I fit the old do you have to be to be considered an old codger


Posted by: Rich Franco on 01/11/2013 - 11:41 AM


"how old do you have to be to be considered an old codger Rich" To any teenager, 32!



Posted by: Bob Salo on 01/11/2013 - 12:46 PM

Ha-Ha Yes of course you are right . . .I guess I made the grade . . .good answer Rich . . .cheers :)



Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 01/11/2013 - 1:07 PM

Don't know if women also could be considered as old codgers...but I think I could also fit into

I'm going to close this thread now. My sample of the previous original has already been pinned to Pinterest. For that it's time to delete it now :-)

Thanks to you all for your thoughts and contributions. A special "THANK YOU" to Dale and Bob for your active support.

Meanwhile I've got an apology and explanation from Dawn (Customer Service) and it is as we we suspected: Nothing has really changed. There are only some people on orders that are new and aren't really sure what to send out and what to print. For that it needs a little patience until they are incorporated into this task.


This discussion is closed.