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Your Print Quality - Sale Issue? Help Is Here

Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/22/2011 - 12:21 PM

Have you been told your image is not good enough for a sale?
Are you worried it may not be?
Do you need help editing an image?

Keep Reading

Are you worried it may not be?

I have been recently going to peoples artwork when they post in the forum, especially those that are discussing marketing and no sales.

I have been disappointed with many of them on the quality of the uploads (NOT the art itself which is pretty awesome)

PLEASE everyone, look at your own full res previews on your image page. Is it crystal clear? If a painting, can you see the depth of the paint, the canvas etc? Is the full res preview as clear as the painting itself?

If a drawing, is it discoloured on here?

Have you got pixels showing (little blocks and uneven lines caused by enlarging images)

Is the work slightly blurry?

Can we see edges of the work? Frames?

If the answer to any of these is the wrong one, or even slightly the wrong one, please read up on how to photograph your work, or read the manual on your scanner to get the very best image you can.


The image on the left is perfect. The image on the right was refused for print

Some tips for originals can be found here FAA TUTORIALS

If you do not fix them, if you get a sale, which is not likely with blurry pixellated images, then FAA will be contacting you to re upload before they will print and that can take time and lose you the sale!


Letís Talk Photography
How to Photograph Your Art
Photographing paintings
Tips & Tricks for advanced painting photography
How to photograph your Artwork at Home
How I Photograph Art...

Have you been told your image is not good enough for a sale?

Replacing 'blurry' Image For Potential Sale


Do you need help editing an image?

Both these members do editing with good results. $10 per image. No payment if the image is still not print worthy. Prices dependent on what needs doing

Rich Franco
Angelina Vick


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Angelina Vick on 05/22/2011 - 1:15 PM

Here, here!

There are tons of artists with wonderful work...but blurry shots that show outside edges of the painting, frames...lopsided.

If I were looking for art to bu...any one of those things would make me keep looking instead of stopping to buy.


Posted by: Jane McIlroy on 05/23/2011 - 1:22 AM

To tell the truth, if I were looking for art to buy and saw problems like those, I'd definitely keep looking, but on a different site. By the same token, any buyer whose transaction is delayed or cancelled because the site discovered at the last minute that the image wasn't suitable for printing, isn't going to be a happy bunny at all.

I've argued before that all uploads should be checked by FAA for printability before being offered for sale (for the sake of the site's professional reputation, if nothing else), but the response has always been that they don't have the resources - maybe it's time for a rethink in that department?


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 05/23/2011 - 1:38 AM

I agree and fully support Beth's suggestions. I would consider it a slap in my face should I be contacted to upload a replacement. I am constantly fine tuning my gallery and deleting poor quality (and I have some) photos. Fortunately, I have yet to be asked to upload a better quality photograph for any of my sales. We all make mistakes, but best we catch and fix them before they sell. As artist's we have to remember we are editor's as well.


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/24/2011 - 1:31 PM


Posted by: Ernie Echols on 05/24/2011 - 1:38 PM

Thanks Beth i'll have to go look again at mine. Haven't been notified yet of needing a new upload but doesn't hurt to check.


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/24/2011 - 1:42 PM

I have some up that are AWFUL but they are not for sale :)


Posted by: Jani Freimann on 05/24/2011 - 1:44 PM

I'm currently in the process of removing options to print and fixing the images. This is my first time on a POD site and I didn't realize that some of my images were as blurry as they were until they were put up here. It would have been helpful for FAA to inform me at the uploading stage. I had lost my photoshop when my computer crashed a while back so I was limited on what I could do to my images. Installing the new photoshop today, in fact. A lot of work ahead for me, but I'll fix it. Some day, I'll be able to get back to painting. Sheesh! The learning curve is killing me! :-)


Posted by: Greg Coffelt on 05/24/2011 - 3:39 PM

Hello Beth.........the image quality seems to drop quite a bit when I upload them to this site for some reason.......the same photos on my Deviantart site look so much clearer and cleaner.


Posted by: Rein Karp on 05/24/2011 - 5:58 PM

Beth and Sean have said that images should be sharp, not blury , for FAA to print them.
While this is generaly true, it is presumtious.
Who decides?

I have developed a ( unique) soft focus technique, of printing , for some of my photographs,
and feel that is instrumental in the "appeal" of these images.

I have received many compliments on the technique, and would NOT be happy, or in agreement,
with being told they are not print worthy. I have sold some privately.

(see my "High Country","A lonely river","Rocks in Lake", and " Winter Forest"). ect.

This is how I wish to sell them, and (presumably) how customers wish to buy..


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/24/2011 - 6:02 PM

Rein that is a pretty obvious statement really. IF you r images are meant to have soft focus then that will show and is not what we are talking about.
For instance if someone puts up a photo of a canvas painting then you should see the paint and the canvas texture. Quite often the image is not sharp or clear enough to see that.

A photo that is meant to be of of focus or slightly blurred is not what we are talking about here


Posted by: Rein Karp on 05/24/2011 - 6:26 PM

Who decides? what are (their) criteria ( and qualifications)


Posted by: Patricia Cleasby on 05/24/2011 - 6:34 PM

I notice that most of my pics can't be blown up to large sizes. Is that an indication that my pictures are blurry? Also, my file sizes tend to be over 2mg, and I've been assuming the larger the file, the better the print. Is that accurate?


Posted by: Rein Karp on 05/24/2011 - 6:48 PM

Beth, you and Sean declared "blury prints will not be printed"

In the corporate world, such " blanket" statements are not subject to judgement.

we can only HOPE that FAA staff has the latitude.


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/24/2011 - 6:49 PM

No that is not always accurate. You can have a really bad quality large image.

If the full res doesnt work it normally means the image is small pixel-wise. Could be a good quality image though.

Rein the fact that they are the printers and have been in the business for years. Anyone can see normally by looking at a picture.

Ok here you are, let's try an example....

Photography Prints

Take a look at this picture (which is amazingly good ;) LOL)

It is ok to look at normal size on the page and looks like it could be alright as a prints, sort of although you can tell the colouring is off... should be white, so that is a no-no for printing. It would not give an accurate print really but, colour is choice HOWEVER, if you click the full preview you can see clearly that it is not ok for printing, besides the bad colouring......

If your images look like that then they are not printable. This is completely different from this

Sell Art Online

Where the blurring and softness is meant.


Posted by: Sean McDunn on 05/24/2011 - 7:17 PM


Don't worry - we definitely know the difference between an image that is intentionally blurry and one that is blurry due to a photography problem (i.e. out of focus, no tripod, etc.)



Posted by: Patricia Cleasby on 05/24/2011 - 7:22 PM

I can also attest that FAA will work with you to get a decent print.
But the last thing you want is to have to pull things out and reshoot them in a rush, to get a good image over to them.
I would like to know that once something is in my gallery, I never have to worry about it again, ever. Alas, two years and I'm still working on it, lol.


Posted by: Rein Karp on 05/24/2011 - 8:08 PM

I am more comfortable , hearing this from Sean.


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/24/2011 - 8:18 PM

Yes I knew you would be :)


Posted by: Kip DeVore on 05/25/2011 - 12:33 AM

Alas, two years and I'm still working on it, lol.

I hear you, Patricia. Same here.

Jani F. Some day, I'll be able to get back to painting.



Posted by: Jan Keen on 05/25/2011 - 6:53 AM

If only I could afford a 50 megapixal Camera!


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/25/2011 - 7:19 AM

The images I took that are print ready and have been sold with no fuss, were on a 5mp camera. I take mine outside in late afternoon


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 06/11/2011 - 4:59 PM

Just in case nobody has seen this I am bumping it up again.

Please check your full res previews, or even better, check your images at 100% on your computer. If any marks, bnlurriness, sharp spots, pixellation is there.. if you cannot see the canvas under a canvas painting, or the texture of the paint strokes, then it probably is not print ready.

It is the artists responsibility to make sure their own images are print ready.


Posted by: Karin Kuhlmann on 06/11/2011 - 5:42 PM

I can only second what Beth says...bump!


Posted by: JC Findley on 06/11/2011 - 6:40 PM

Question; When you hit the full res preview button at what DPI or PPI are you previewing the image on the computer screen*

The reason I ask is that some images that might show some issues at 72 or 100 PPI on a high res view will print wonderfully at prints done at 150 or 200 DPI. I know a couple of my images will not print at 40"x30" but look absolutely spectacular at 20"x30". I have some others that may show artifacts from both the camera and editing at "full res" but will print wonderfully at half that.

I look at each image before I upload and do my own tests as to how large they will print well. Of course the problem is clients will base judgement on how clear the image is based on the green box when that may or may not be true at the sizes offered for sale. That's OK as most of my images are fine even high res but hand held macros and snake shots generally will not work at a full res printing.

Am I OK with that thought process......


*Question mark key doesn't work.

Example uploaded today.

Sell Art Online


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 06/11/2011 - 6:58 PM

As far as I know, and I am sure Sean will put me right during the week, you see whatever you uploaded. You see your own image at whatever you uploaded it at.

However when I look at yours it looks awfully sharpened.

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Posted by: Kim Bird on 02/01/2014 - 5:08 AM

Can someone please tell me if this would print?
Art Prints

or this?

Sell Art Online

Thank you.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 02/01/2014 - 12:27 PM


Both look good to me, but maybe somebody else can jump in. The green box on the flower,Mum, doesn't seem to be turned on.

Also, I would raise my prices, if I were you,really nice stuff.............



Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/01/2014 - 12:30 PM

the second one has no loupe, but i see the crop on the top, so i would say no. the first one looks fine.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Mike Savad on 02/01/2014 - 12:32 PM

@shane - typically if i can send a cleaner image, and tell them you did - it's usually ok. sometimes they send mail back and it never gets to us for different reasons. sometimes they can wait but it depends on the customer. if you tried and it failed, then too bad. it depends on which image you have - if it didn't print now it won't in the future, so at least fix it now.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Kim Bird on 02/05/2014 - 6:45 AM

Thanks Mike and Rich. There is no crop on the image but I added the full view thing.


Posted by: Joanna Cieslinska on 02/06/2014 - 3:59 AM


Posted by: Rich Franco on 02/06/2014 - 10:31 AM


I'm just guessing, but I think they are fine,for the sizes you specify. My only comment, is the first one,where you can see the "fabric" showing,where the white paint should be,was that intentional? Bothers me, but maybe not others. Green birch trees, slightly soft, but probably good for the largest size you have listed,

Hope others will join in and add,



Posted by: Joanna Cieslinska on 02/10/2014 - 3:31 AM

Thank you Rich for your comment :)
The "fabric" was intentional - it's the very diluted paint - so you can see the background color.
Thank you once again.



Posted by: Paulinskill River Photography on 03/04/2014 - 8:18 PM

Wow, this has been an amazing journey through this thread. I have read every single post. I intend to shoot in raw from now on, but am still dealing with my original work and I would just like to boil two things down. First-When I open an image in Photoshop and my resolution defaults at 72, If I raise that to 100 dpi for FAA or 180 for Nations Lab or 300 like I've seen people (not here) say is a requirement for some printers, am I correct that doing that is not the same thing as enlarging the image, and that it has no bearing on the image quality as far as sharpness, pixilation etc? I can do that without worry? As long as my image looks good at 100% I'm o.k.?

Second, a Photoshop question- am I correct that the Actual Pixels view = 100% view?

Hope I'm right on both Thank You Thank You Thank You to all who have contributed to this great thread!!!



Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 03/04/2014 - 8:19 PM

You do not need to enlarge to 100. All my work has been printed at 72

100% view is what you need to look at, yes. I go for 120-150% and, if THAT is good then we are set


Posted by: Paulinskill River Photography on 03/04/2014 - 8:44 PM

Okee dokee! Thank you!


Posted by: Cristolin O on 03/28/2014 - 5:08 AM

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread - very informative. As someone who scans in almost everything, I was thinking my images are all OK for printing, but now I'm not so sure. I scan at the highest resolution that will not exceed the upload limit, so I hope they are OK since I can't increase resolution and still upload.

If Abbie or others would be kind enough to check a few images for printability, I would greatly appreciate it. I have two different scanners (one was free, the other I paid about $200 for) so I have included images taken with each of them below, and in different media.

I'm also thinking that I should limit the sizes available, just to be safe. Right now I just let the system decide and go ahead and price even the largest sizes, but perhaps the largest sizes are pushing it.

Thanks in advance for any help on these questions. I'm learning so much from the folks here.


Posted by: Kevin OConnell on 03/28/2014 - 5:30 AM

For me, I'm still not okay with uploading large files to online sites, even FAA. Also I have never printed from a jpeg because of quality and all the labs I use expect a Tiff. I know they are larger files but when someone buys the image a tiff is by far the best print.


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 03/28/2014 - 6:42 AM

I will be back on here in am hour or two and take a look at your images Cristolin


Posted by: Edward Fielding on 03/28/2014 - 7:42 AM

I just got three 16 x 16 prints on Rag paper of some of my prints I'll be offering as limited edition signed prints. The quality of the printing was fantastic. The work looks so much better "live' than on the site. Only issue the 100% rag paper is very thick and takes a while to unroll after being packed in a tube.

My suggestion to any artist offering their work online - order a print to check the quality. After all if you are asking other people to purchase your work, wouldn't you want to make sure its good?


Posted by: Mike Savad on 03/28/2014 - 8:07 AM

$200 seems high for scan, but i see no issues with any of them.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 03/28/2014 - 8:38 AM

The images look great!


Posted by: Cristolin O on 03/28/2014 - 12:46 PM

Abbie and Mike - Thanks very much for your time and for checking. And so fast! Glad it was good news on printability.

Mike - You are absolutely correct about the price. There are definitely cheaper scanners out there, and $200 was more than I wanted to spend, being a real cheapskate. But this was one of only two models that I could find that would scan up to 11 x 17 without having to use stitching software, and one of only a handful that will print up to 13 x 19.

Since most of my paintings and drawings are in the 11 x 14 range I wanted to be able to place them on a scanning bed without having to worry about parts of the original being crunched/bent/creased to get it to lie flat over the edges of a standard scanner (such as happens when using my free scanner that still apparently does a fine job for smaller items). And even if I could manage to not damage the original, there is still the stitching step which I wanted to avoid.

If someone has a similar situation and can spring for the larger bed scanner, it seems like it could simplify their uploading compared to photographing the work. I place it on the bed, choose a resolution that will not exceed the file size limit, use auto exposure, and press scan. I then upload that file directly, no other adjustments needed. There was a bit of a learning curve on the scanner software, but not too bad. Mostly because there are tons of options that I tried out but have no need to use. I never did master the learning curve on getting the lighting right for photographing my work, and the scanner, though twice as large as my free scanner, takes up less space than a good lighting system would.

The expense of the larger scanner/printer is definitely not for everyone, but the frustration it saves me is worth it (and my husband is now totally attached to it because it also photocopies his 11 x 17 sheet music).

Thanks again Abbie and Mike for your help.


Posted by: Adam Jewell on 03/30/2014 - 9:21 PM

After some print issues, anyone care to say if this would print at full size? This hasn't sold but I'm just curious.

Sell Art Online

The intent was to have the inside of the crater be sharp with the mountains softer. It's already been sharpened a touch but wondering if it would get flagged as not printable?

I'm mostly asking because there was a will not print email for a different image with a pretty sharp focus in the center that got softer toward the edges. The bottom edge of the photo was about 4 feet from the camera while the top edge was probably anywhere up to a mile.

I used to sharpen everything more but then it seemed like they looked sort of fake/over-processed so I stopped but now maybe they are not sharp enough so would like to try to find the sweet spot.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 03/30/2014 - 9:27 PM

there's some aberration in the sky and mountain edges you might want to fix, but otherwise i see no real issues. there's also a touch of noise in the sky. i don't think it would stop printing, but i would fix it anyway, because they seem to change their rules on a whim.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Bradford Martin on 03/30/2014 - 9:32 PM

It looks acceptably sharp to me. I doubt there would be a problem.


Posted by: Connie Fox on 03/31/2014 - 12:51 AM

Abbie, in your very first post, you listed this as one problem: "Have you got pixels showing (little blocks and uneven lines caused by enlarging images)?"

I keep hearing that enlarging images is the reason for pixelization, but I find that it also happens at the point of one single step that the image just can't handle. I've had problems with one of my San Francisco images in which the original was thick with fog. Later it became one of my top images, but it was lost when images disappeared on FAA. Sadly the proper image was not replaced.

Now I write down every single step in my editing process, and I check after each one to see whether or not it has introduced a problem. Saturating an image caused pixelization in one case, but I had merely added a saturation of 10. Nothing unreasonable.

Also, I have NEVER uprezzed (increased the size of) an image. So rather an assume that someone has done that, I suggest we also consider that the image has been overprocessed in some way, and probably inadvertently. Certain images are too fragile to handle many changes. This particular thick-fog image fell into that category.

While serving on a photography jury last week, I encountered the same thing in someone's image shot on a dreary day in Europe. Nice image, but I think the processing was just too much for the conditions of the day and I spotted an area of pixelization.


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 03/31/2014 - 6:29 AM

yes indeed. I just keep stressing again and again the enlarging issue as we get SO many people do it. They keep thinking they HAVE to offer the larger sizes so up goes the sizes on the images. Problems with the actual editing comes down the list of things that are wrong. It is nearly always the enlarging people do

You are quite right though that it can also be that

What was the name of the image you did not get back?


Posted by: Bradford Martin on 03/31/2014 - 10:25 AM

Connie, I think the type of file degradation you are talking about is called artifacts, particularly noise. It is not the same as the blockiness and step patterns caused by enlarging. Shooting in fog can bring out noise. So does increasing saturation. And 10% is not a little. That's why for me it is the upper limit. Others may use more, I know. Careful and selective noise reduction may help noisy fog images.
I hope you have you original. One thing I do is save a Jpeg copy in a separate folder of every image I upload to FAA. Then I upload from there. If there is a Tiff I save that too. And of course I keep the originals in the original folder made when I transferred them from the camera.


Posted by: Cynthia Adams on 03/31/2014 - 11:33 AM

I'm in an awkward position as someone placed an order but the print quality is dubious again.
I was told to rephotograph but can't because the original has a small tear I have just spotted,so I have attempted to slightly alter the image and hope it works..other than that I will have to forgo the sale which is sad but I'm past caring anymore.
Every piece of art will be stuck on and sold for a tenner,because I am up to my back teeth with websites now.
I give up !!


Posted by: Mike Savad on 03/31/2014 - 2:14 PM

@cythia - here's the issue. i looked at many of your images. and while the thumb looks sharp, they all looked like they were doubled in size. which means this will happen again and again unless you start fixing them now. and if you don't have the original, you can run it through a painter program.

if you still have the original painting, you can scan it in, or photograph it, then pay i think angela vick does editing for a small fee and maybe she can repair the damage so it could go through. i saw the post about losing it, but you still may able to save that sale and others. i suggest to scan all the work in, or this will just repeat over and over.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Cynthia Adams on 03/31/2014 - 4:09 PM

Thanks Mike..the painting is now in the bin but I will definately try to follow your lead when I am a little happier and not so weary.
Bless your heart & thanks again


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