You want it how BIG? (pt.1)

Picture: Redwood forest panorama, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Humboldt County, California

Image: Redwood forest panorama, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Humboldt County, California
Click on the photo to see the image larger.

I may have previously mentioned in passing that I was working on a pretty big image.

Earlier this year I met with a design team working on a project for a new hotel. I was invited to bid on the project, which involved the creation of some very specific types of images to fit some very specific places. I listened to them discuss their needs, concerns, and requirements. One of their most important criteria was to be able to deliver finished image files at actual size at 300 dpi. (Dots per Inch) I was confident that I could deliver what was being asked, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was a bit awed by the size of the photos they were asking for.

(1) 10′ x 80′ (Feet) image of a seamless redwood forest panoramic image to be printed in glass. This would become the opaque see-through walls of the 700 sq. ft. Grove Room.
(2) approx. 20′ x 45′ (Feet) murals that would represent what you would see sitting in a oak forest, looking straight up through the tree canopy.

I must admit I was delighted at how well my computer handled the task of blending 50-70 RAW image files per scene, and turning out the final print files. In the case of the Redwood Panorama, the finished, single 16-bit image file was about 65Gb.

In the business world, we often encounter a gap which exists between client expectations and… well, reality.

And hence we come to the Reality divide: Unfortunately, even when reduced to 8-bit color for final delivery, the images were so big, the printer & manufacturer the designers had engaged struggled with importing and processing theses huge files. In the end, the simple reality was that they could only process a smaller file at a lower dpi. After weeks of the design team and printers working furiously to produce the best results possible, the hotel has opened with the artwork in place. I must say I’m delighted with the way the finished installations look.

If you’re in Santa Cruz, you can visit this very cool-looking boutique hotel in person, or check out their web site at: Hotel Paradox.

Finally, Check out these great images graciously provided courtesy of fellow photographer, Chris Schmauch, who photographed the hotel and opening reception. Chris is the Owner, Photographer, and Creative Director of GoodEye Photography + Design based out of Santa Cruz, and who specializes in weddings, portraits, architecture, and events. You can see more of his work on his web site at

Join the discussion 9 Comments

Leave a Reply

Get free information and updates

Enlightened Images

Get free information and updates

Stay up-to-date about new image galleries, workshops, travel, books, and other noteworthy announcements.
%d bloggers like this: