This article is for our photographer clients who use Lightroom Classic as their primary editing application and wish to get the best possible quality prints of their photos.
Many shops have requirements that would cause you to have to downgrade the quality of your work before you even send it for printing - that's not how we prefer to work. Here is how to get the highest quality exports from Lightroom Classic.
In this example, we will be using this lovely pastel photo of the beach here in Bay St. Louis by local landscape photographer Douglas Bowen
For experts - skip over the detailed instructions below with the quick version
Send us either a DNG with embedded original RAW file or a 16-bit ProPhoto RGB TIFF file with ZIP compression
For non-experts - here is how to do that...
To export this photo, inside of Lightroom Classic, we will go to File -> Export
Export Location and File Naming you can set however you like. Here is how I have mine set up, so that I can keep my exported files close to the originals - but really put your files wherever you will be able to find them on your computer. That is totally personal preference. I also like to include my name and date in the exported filenames. Not really necessary, but it can make it easier when sharing the files with a print shop so they can quickly find your files.
If you want to name your files the same pattern, choose Edit... next to the Rename To: box
In the text entry box near the top, first clear it out then type your name followed by a space, a hyphen, and another space
Next, in the Sequence and Date section, set the Date to Date (YYYYMMDD) and press the [Insert] button
Next, in the text box near the top, add another space, hyphen, space and then in the Image Name section click the [Insert] button next to Original Filename, you should have something that looks like this:
If it all looks good, click [Done] otherwise play around with the text in the textbox and use the dropdowns and [Insert] buttons to get it to your personal liking.
Next there are two options - if you are not doing further editing (ie in Photoshop or another program) and would like to give us the most possible flexibility with your files to ensure we have everything we need in case we need to make edits or our end (such as denoising or sharpening), you can choose to send us a DNG (Digital Negative) with all of your processing steps and the original raw file embedded like this:
If you will be doing further editing in another program (ie Photoshop) or want to be a bit more conservative with what you send to us, you can export using these settings which still give us all the information needed to print your image with correct colors and resolution, without giving us as much ability to make edits:
that is, TIFF image format with ZIP compression, ProPhoto RGB color space and 16 bits/component bit depth.
Under Image Sizing, set it like this, with Resize to Fit turned off and Resolution set to 300 pixels per inch
Make sure Output Sharpening is turned off, don't remove Metadata (unless you want to, but it helps ensure your copyright info stays embedded in the file), you can add a watermark if you want that's your choice as a photographer and After Export should Do Nothing.
Now, save this as a preset by clicking the [Add] button in the lower-left
Name the preset anything you like, BSLprints Export is a good option, and set the Folder to User Presets
Now click [Done]
Now you can right-click on any image (or Control + click if you are on a Mac with only one mouse button) and go to Export->BSLprints Export and that will get you a file ready to upload to BSLprints for printing
Now simply visit http://bslprints.com/upload and upload the exported file to your BSLprints account. Note that as of early 2024, you probably wont see actual preview thumbnails in your BSLprints client gallery for DNG files or large TIFF files, that is normal and is something we are working on fixing in the future.
And here is image printed, with all of the original resolution and color intact, at 16" x 24" on our Palo Duro Soft Gloss paper from Red River Paper - based on old 1930s, 1940s darkroom paper, this 100% cotton paper has a beautiful underlying texture and just the perfect amount of sheen to really show off the soft reflection of the water.
Thanks for reading all the way through!! Comment "All Are Welcome Here" (one of the unofficial mottos of Bay St Louis, Mississippi) below for a chance to win a print of this work <3