I know you understand file resolution... but let me explain what file resolution is to you.
So I’m a digital artist and have been for years. I know how to use a menagerie of different programs such as Coral Painter, Adobe Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI, and I know these programs like the back of my hand. I can produce pretty much any kind of digital work, from vectors to website layouts to straight digital paintings.
I’ve also been making prints of my artwork for years for conventions and for clients, and of various different sizes (including 12 foot tall banners and a comic book), so dpi and file resolution are something I have to understand, otherwise I would not be able to do these things.
Today I went to pick up some prints I had ordered from Costco.
Now, I print through Costco all the time and I’ve been a regular customer at the print and copy center for years. They have pretty dang great service and they’re cheap, which is why I keep coming back.
However, there is one guy (about the same age as me, maybe a bit younger) working at that particular store who has been a straight up douche to me on a number of occasions. One time in particular was when he refused to give me my prints even though I had my ID and order number. Apparently, according to him, it was because the Costco membership I used to place the order was in my mother’s name. And even though we share the same last name, he still would not give them to me. I ended up having to get the manager, who then finally let me have my prints.
Anywho, today I didn’t see him working, and I was able to pick up my prints with no problems.
When I got into my car and had a peek, I noticed one of the images were printed with such a ridiculously high level of contrast you could barely make out the image at all. I know for a fact this was not what I had sent in to be printed, and that something got fucked up.
I requested something called auto-correction on all of the prints to slightly enhance contrast, and every single time I’ve had no problems with this added feature. I figured this was a fluke and that their computer did something funny.
So I went back to the print center, and lo and behold, Asshole McGee is working the desk there.
I calmly said to him “I just bought these an hour ago and that all of the prints were fine except this one image.” I pulled the print out to show him what I was talking about.
He took the print, looked at it, and then said “You know, if you send in low resolution images, this is the kind of thing that can happen.”
I was really surprised, because I knew for a fact the resolution of that particular file was way above 300dpi (and I NEVER do anything smaller than this), and this print itself was only 4x6”.
So I said, “The file resolution isn’t the problem here, it’s the contrast. It’s so high it looks like the entire image is one solid color.”
To which he replied, “Let me explain resolution to you, basically when you print something that is low resolution, the pixels get distorted and the image looks bad.”
And I’m thinking to myself, what the fuck does this guy take me for? I literally just explained to you it’s not the resolution, and even to someone who doesn’t know much about printing or digital images you can easily tell the contrast is too fucking high. But somehow I guess me pointing this out to him makes him think I don’t know what I’m talking about.
So then I looked him right in the eye and said “The file is 600dpi on an 8-bit RGB color mode. So like I said, it’s definitely not the file or the resolution that’s causing this problem. It’s the contrast. Maybe you can try turning off the auto-correction and see if the contrast stabilizes.”
He looked at me, and just goes “oh.” Then he turns around and re-prints the image without auto-correction and LE GASP the image was then totally fine.
Then I strutted out of there with my prints and I felt great.