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Custom Files

  • About Custom Files
  • Digital Camera File Pricing
  • 8-Bit File Pricing
  • 16-Bit File Pricing
  • Proof Pricing & Info
  • File Changes
  • Panorama Stitching
  • Exhibition Prints
  • Technical Support
  • FAQ
  • Order

About Custom Files

For years we’ve been making superb Custom Files as a part of our Exhibition Printing services. Now Custom Files are available as a product in and of themselves -- providing files you can use for all of your needs: Exhibition Prints, digital submissions, website, books, magazines; or your own printmaking at home.

Photographs can always be improved by carefully adjusting density, contrast, color and saturation - helping you truly communicate the essence of your photography. Our Expert Printmakers are available to create Custom Files for all of your needs, freeing you from the the burden of Photoshop, and giving you instant access to our vast experience.

Our Expert Printmakers will take your digital capture or scan and correct it for density, contrast, color, and saturation...as well as making local changes like dodging and burning. Through proofs, they can fine-tune files to match your exact artistic vision, as they have for thousands of clients in the last decade, making a fine-art custom file that will ensure it looks its best every time it is reproduced.

The final product is a layered Photoshop file that can be used for any of your needs, including prints, book and magazine reproductions, stock photo fulfillment, web files, and any other use. We provide your finished files on DVD. We also store a copy on our servers, giving our Printmakers quick access to your files to fulfill print orders, image submissions, and more.

A Custom File is also the first step in making a fine print. We can use your corrected file to make an Exhibition print; you can target it yourself for a Print Lab print; or you can print it at home on your own printer. It makes no difference to us!

Strategic Partnerships for Professional Photographers
If you have a large image collection, and ongoing digital imaging needs, we can be your Strategic Partner, providing on-call imaging experts, and delivering files to clients around the world. Why create a full-time, in-house staff, when our experts are just a phone call away?

Digital Camera File Pricing

We can make custom files from any digital camera source, including RAW.

Custom Files are created at the bit-depth of the original file. When working from RAW files, we will always create a 16-bit file. Prices below include creating a corrected file from your digital camera file, and providing finished files on DVD. Prices do not include proofing.

Single images:

JPEG or TIFF
RAW
Up to 25 megapixel
$40
$50
26-50 Megapixel
$60
$75

Stitched panoramas:
Prices below do not include stitching fees

8-Bit
16-Bit
Price
50MB
100MB
$40
100MB
200MB
$50
150MB
300MB
$60
250MB
500MB
$75

 


8-bit Files from Scans
Our top choice for corrected files from Tango Drum Scans.

In the last decade, we have made tens of thousands of 8-bit corrected files from Tango Drum scans, and rarely have a need for 16-bit corrected files. 8-bit files will meet and exceed your quality expectations again and again. The main difference between 8-bit and 16-bit corrected files is the size and the price - 16-bit files are larger and more expensive, with no discernible difference in print quality. Prices below include creating an 8-bit corrected file from your Tango Drum Scan, and providing finished files on DVD. Prices do not include scanning or proofing.

If you are ordering scans and custom files, there is no need to fill out a separate order form for each service. Our Custom File Order form (found under the order tab to your left) allows you to order scans, custom files, proofs and prints on the same form.

HINT: We can make 8-bit corrected files from 16-bit scans, allowing you to have a 16-bit raw scan for archiving purposes, while saving money on creating corrected files.

RGB
Greyscale
8-bit Price
100MB
35MB
$45
200-450MB
66-150MB
$55
600MB
200MB
$65
Over 600MB
Over 200MB
Call


Corrected Files from Scans - 16-bit

We believe that 8-bit corrected files from Tango Scans meet the needs of 99.9% of photographers, but it's up to you to choose the workflow that meets your requirements. If you want 16-bit corrected files, we are happy to provide them. You’ll find that they cost more than 8-bit files. That is because 16-bit files more than double an 8-bit file's size for the same pixel resolution. Every layer and mask adds substantially to the size of the file...size adds time...and time adds cost. Prices below are for creating 16-bit corrected files, and providing finished files on DVD. Price does not include scanning or proofing.

If you are ordering scans and custom files, there is no need to fill out a separate order form for each service. Our Custom File Order form (found under the order tab to your left) allows you to order scans, custom files, proofs and prints on the same form.

RGB
16-bit Price
Greyscale
16-bit price
200MB
$55
67MB
$55
400MB
$65
200MB
$65
600MB
$80
300MB
$80
900MB
$90
Larger
Call
1200MB
$105
Larger
Call


Proofs

Monitors and output devices can vary widely. To know what your file really looks like, you need a proof on our carefully controlled output devices. Our proofs are our standard reference for what your file should look like on a well profiled device.

If you are trying to precisely match your artistic vision, proofs are a must, since they provide visual feedback and a common reference point between you and our Printmakers. Our proofs provide a fast and economical way to see what your files really look like on the paper of your choice.

For general proofing, we recommend Matte Photo proofs made on Fuji Crystal Archive paper. If your end goal is a fine art print, you should proof on the paper you intend to use for your final prints. If you want additional changes to your images after viewing proofs, you will also need to order a round of File Changes, and a new proof, if desired. Proofs do not include imaging time or file changes.

What about soft proofing? On a high-end, color-accurate display that is properly profiled, soft-proofing (without using output profiles to “constrain” the colors of the display), can be very good, especially for standard offset reproduction and commercial photographic uses. Yet displays can vary greatly, so a hard proof is still the best reference for how your file should reproduce. Even with current state-of-the-art technology, there are still small differences between the screen and the print. That is why the most discriminating photographers use hard proofs that allow them to see the full detail and nuance of the file.

Proofs are shipped via USPS Priority Mail for a flat fee of $6 per package. Other shipping methods are available upon request.

Proof Prices:
(Proof prices are the same as our 8x10 reprint prices)

$10
$12.22
Matte Photo
Gloss Photo
SuperGloss
Fuji Pearl
Luster Photo
Silver Rag
Watercolor Smooth
Canvas Glossy
Canvas Matte


File Changes

Oftentimes, the first round of adjustments to a Custom File makes it ready for your many uses. But depending on your expectations, additional adjustments may be necessary.

If you want us to make changes to your files after viewing your proofs, you need to order a round of File Changes. File Changes are billed at our hourly rate, with a minimum charge of $10 per order.

When ordering file changes, you control the amount of time we spend on each image. We recommend specifying 5 minutes per image for global changes, and 10 minutes per image for local changes that require masking. Most minor adjustments can be preformed in this 5-10 minute timeframe. If you are unsure of how much time to specify for each image, you can consult your printmaker to see how long they think the changes will take.

For each round of File Changes, we’ll track actual time spent. If the changes take less time than you’ve specified, we’ll bill you only for the time spent and pass the savings on to you. If we see that the File Changes are going to take longer, we’ll stop to consult you before continuing.

Our hourly rate is $120 per hour.

Example of a typical File Change order:
A customer placed an order for Custom Files for 30 images. After seeing proofs, he decided to make small changes to color and density. He specified 5 minutes per image, or 150 minutes total ($300). We were able to complete the adjustments in 60 minutes, so it ended up costing just $4 per file to adjust ($120 total).


Panorama Stitching

With a digital camera and Photoshop it’s easy to stitch a series of photographs into a high-resolution panorama that exceeds the resolution and detail of dedicated 6x12 and 6x17 cameras. This puts the possibilities and fun of the panorama format into the hands of everyone.

Let our expert printmakers stitch your photos into a high-quality panorama. We can provide you with the stitched file to work on yourself, or use it as the starting point for a Custom File.

Panoramas can be made from film (requires scanning) and digital camera files, including RAW files.

Digital Camera Files
Up to 15 files stitched together

8-Bit
16-Bit
Price
50MB
100MB
$40
100MB
200MB
$50
150MB
300MB
$60
250MB
500MB
$75

Panoramas are created at the bit-depth of the original file. When working from RAW files, we will always create a 16-bit file.

Film
Add the price of a scan to the file stitching price listed above.

Pano Example


Exhibition Prints

Custom Files are used to make our famous Exhibition Prints and Exhibition Reprints. Visit our Exhibition Print page to learn more.

Technical Support

When we ship a copy of your Custom Files to you on DVD, we assume that you know how to use them. They are provided as-is. The files are optimized for viewing on properly calibrated monitors, and should be printed on profiled output devices.

We're happy to answer basic questions about your files, but if you don’t know the difference between a TIFF, JPEG, or PSD; how to flatten and target a file; or how to send a file to your client, you’ll need our Technical Support services.

We offer training and support services via phone, teleconference, and on-site for $120 per hour. We have extensive expertise in many areas of digital imaging and provide training and consultation on most aspects of digital imaging and file preparation.

Are you looking at your layered file and are curious about why we used a certain tool, or how we did something? Do you want to learn how to work on your own files? Custom files are meant to deliver useable files, not a Photoshop workshop. If you are looking for the workshop, it falls under training and support.

If you prefer to have us do all of the work for you, preparing your files for whatever needs you have, then you can simply store a copy on our servers, and we'll do the work for you (whether it's ordering reprints, or digital submissions) on an a la carte basis.

FAQ

Why did you start making Custom Files?
The needs of our customers are changing. We’ve always made great files, and by offering them directly to our customers, we give the photographer control over the distribution of their images, which lets them better meet the needs of their customers. It also lets us use our most valuable resource – our staff – in a new way to meet the needs of new customers.

How is a Custom File different than the Custom Exhibition prints I've been ordering?
Every Custom Exhibition print starts with a file. We use the same methods that have been used in the tradition of fine art printing for countless decades. All of this custom attention to your image is what makes our prints shine. The file we would use to make an Exhibition Print is the same file you get when you order a Custom File. The only thing missing is the print, which you can still order along with your Custom Corrected File. It's a la carte. You order what you need—no more, no less.

Can I print a Custom File on my home printer, or with another lab?
Yes. Our files can be used for any need that requires a digital file.

This brings up another important question: Will it look the same as our proofs?
Maybe.

We maintain a very carefully controlled ICC workflow, and all of our devices are carefully profiled to provide very accurate color. Therefore, our files will look great on any well profiled device. Since not all devices are well profiled, and every lab or printer profiles their devices differently (and we have no control over that), it’s always up to you to test and make sure that the device you are printing on reproduces your files with the accuracy you need. In practice, it works very well, but professionals don’t assume anything.

We’ve sent our files to presses in Hong Kong that matched the prints perfectly because they ran a tight workflow...and we’ve sent them to other places with horrible results. It had nothing to do with the files -- it had everything to do with the lab or press printing them. If you made your own files, you would run into the exact same problems.

To ensure results that are the closest match to the interpretation of the Custom Printmaker that created your file, take the following precautions:

1. View the files on a calibrated monitor.

2. Work only with printers that are fully color managed, and that have profiles for every paper and printer combination they use.

3. When posting your images to the web, make a copy of your file and convert it to sRGB. While sRGB is not the best profile for printed work printing, it is the standard profile for web display.

What is a "layered Photoshop file"?
To make non-destructive changes to files that can be easily and quickly edited, we use Photoshop’s Adjustment Layers to make all adjustments. We save the file in a format that preserves these layers, and this is the file we give you when you order a Custom File.

What is the purpose of a proof?
A WCI proof is the common reference point we use to judge what your file really looks like. Looking at a proof can also tell you if you need to make additional adjustments to the file to make it meet your expectations. If you are using Custom Files to make fine art prints, proofs are essential since the printed proof is always a more accurate reflection of your final print.

I don't like computers. I don't want to deal with my files, I just want to have great looking images. What do I do?
West Coast Imaging is still your one-stop-shopping solution for your photography. While it is now your responsibility to keep useable copies of your Custom Files, you can sign up for WCI server storage for as little as $10 a year. We'll keep a copy of your files here, which lets us make prints and fulfill file requests on-demand.

All I want is a Custom Exhibition Print. How do I order that?
Our services are a la carte. Purchase the items you want in the order below, buying only what you want:

1. Scans (if working from film)

2. Custom Files

3. Proofs (optional)

4. Prints

When you order prints you'll receive your files and your prints together.

What if I want to order reprints after my first print?
Just let us know the image, the size and the paper and we'll take care of the rest. You can fill out our secure online order form in a snap!

What if I don't like my file and want to make a change?
No problem! Our custom services are just that—custom. Talk to a Custom Printmaker and we'll make the changes you want.

Order

You can order Custom Files, Proofs and File changes online, by mail or by FAX.

Online Order Form - For Custom Files, Proofs and Reprints from Digital Camera Files

PDF Order Form- For Custom Files and Reprints from Film

Upload Images

 

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