Choose An Image To Print In 15 Minutes

Choose An Image In 15 Minutes

Having the time to choose an image to print is one of the biggest challenges that comes up time and time again.

You've got to admit though, there's something particularly artsy and cool about decorating your home with things that you’ve created yourself. 

Photography is a great example of that; whether it’s personal memories or something you think would look perfect on your living room wall, you’ll get a sense of pride each time you see it.

So, push aside the cat, turn off your phone and let's get this image chosen once and for all.

Step 1: Do your images have what it takes?

For starters, the quality has to be half decent to survive being blown up for print without pixelating too much.

We usually suggest that to choose an image anything smaller than 1MB probably isn't sensible.  We want it to look great just as much as you do! NB: some images will work for smaller canvas sizes and if you really want it, that's okay.

Rather than go through all your 1000s of photos and check each one’s size individually, you can filter out all the low res ones in your folders instead!

Here’s how:

Windows:

Open your folder with your photos inside, and go to View > Group by > Size.

Windows: Choose an image

Choose an image by separating the wheat from the chaff

Then you should have them all in order of size, as below:

How to choose an image

Images should be ordered according to file size

Apple:

Open your folder with your photos inside, and go to the little cog -> select "Size."

Apple - choose an image

Apple - sorting by size

Then you should have them all in order of size, as below:

Apple - And voila! You're sorted by size

Apple - And voila! You're sorted by size


Select all your Large (you may also have ‘Extra Large’, so grab them too!) by clicking on the group title.


Copy and paste these into a new folder!

Now that you’ve weeded out the ones where the file size is too low, it’s time to look at their dimensions.

To do this, do the same process as above but instead of ‘size’, filter by ‘dimension’.

You’ll probably have something that looks like this:

Choose a large image

Large Images!

As you can see, even though my computer has categorised all these photos as large, they differ in terms of actual width and height.

We’d recommend selecting photos that are over 2000px by 1330px - anything smaller may lose quality when re-sized!

So go ahead and grab those files that are larger than 2000px by 1330px and drop them in a new folder, and voila - you have a folder of potential winners for your canvas artwork!

Step 2: What makes a great canvas photo?

Your filtered down collection of photos may still be kind of overwhelming, and you’ll probably want to cut your shortlist down some more to make your life easy.

Be harsh, and get rid of:

  • Fuzzy phone photos of your dog
  • Cheesy family portraits where everyone looks like they hate life
  • Photos of baked goods or restaurant food (why would you want this on your wall?)
  • Dark/night-time photos where you can’t actually see much at all…
  • Photos with so many colours you feel like you’re tripping

Remember to keep:

  • Quality landscape photos of your favourite places
  • Fun action shots with your friends & family
  • Artsy close-up and macro shots of interesting things
  • Unique perspectives on everyday things that make you smile
  • Bright and crisp pet photography

Hopefully that’ll give you some ideas on what to scrap and what to save!

Step 3: The final cut-down

If you’re still stuck with hundreds to sift through, have a good think about exactly where the canvas is going to go, and how it will fit in with the room.

I’m talking sizes (A0, A1 etc?), colour schemes, portrait vs. landscape, bold and fun vs. delicate and peaceful.

And hey, remember those other humans you live with? Dont forget to ask them too (unless it’s a gift, obvs)!

Step 4: Now you're ready!

Depending on your appetite for image editing you might want to make some final touches (e.g. Photoshop etc).

BUT, seeing as we're trying to get this done in 15 minutes, we're going to press ahead with getting the blimmin' thing done.

If you're going to print with Pixelpaint, click below and let's do this thing!

Pet Photography Perfection – 6 Tips and Tricks from The Pet Posse

Pet Photography Perfection - 6 Tips and Tricks from The Pet Posse

We print hundreds of pet photography shots at Pixelpaint every year, so we asked Kelly, Tara and Carol from The Pet Posse for their top 6 pet photography tips and tricks for those of you wanting to take better photos of your own furry pals!

1. Keep it fun!

If your pet is showing signs of stress or isn’t happy in front of the camera, step back and give them a bit of space or even put the camera away completely and try another day.

Even the most beautiful pet photography portrait in the world is not worth making your pet stressed or uncomfortable.

Always remember to take plenty of breaks for your pet to play and relax between photos, and always reward your models!

"We like to use healthy treats, or even just playing a simple game of fetch to reward our models for a job well done.

It keeps them relaxed and makes for better portraits and happier pets."


- Kelly Wolfe

Pet Photography - Make it fun

Here boy!

2. Yes, your background is very important

It is not always possible, or practical, to take your pet to the top of a mountain or to a garden in bloom however home furnishings, plain walls, a stained fence or even their favourite chair can make a beautiful setting.

The important thing to consider is that the background is free from clutter and objects that don’t add anything to the scene - also watch those trees growing out of heads!

Pop the washing basket away, move the kids trike off to the side or clear away that branch, move a step to the side if you need to.

A few seconds now can save you a headache later.

- Tara Sutherland

Background is key in Pet Photography

Your background can make all the difference

3. Eyes are the window to the soul

There are some things that are expected as the focus points in pet photography.

Eyes are definitely top of the list.

Compelling and memorable moments all give a sense of connection and the number one way humans make a connection is generally by making eye contact.

This is the same for portrait pictures.

Essentially, that means that to make a compelling and memorable portrait of your furry friend, it is likely you will need to focus on their eyes.

- Carol Howell

Eye contact is key

Eye, eye!

4. Get on their level

While you can get some great shots of your pet when you are standing (the bobble head is one of our favourite poses!), try changing up your angle to find a fresh perspective.

Pet Photography - Bobblehead

The "Bobblehead"

We recommend getting down to your pets level, on the ground if you have to, and really capture their personality.

If you end up with clean clothes at the end then you’re not doing it right!

- Kelly Wolfe

Be on their level

Get down and dirty.

5. Get Attention - Woof, Moo, Meow, Quack

Cats are visual creatures so to get their attention, slowly introduce a toy such as a toy mouse or a fishing lure.

- Cats often need a little space and time to warm to you so be patient.

- Dogs on the other hand will most often react to noises.

The people around you will find this hilarious but if you practice your repertoire in the shower, the giggles you get from those around will be outweighed by the reaction, and gorgeous head tilt, that you get from your pet.

- Tara Sutherland

Don't be afraid of sounding silly when getting their attention

Peek-a-boo!

6. Keep your shutter speed fast and your photos sharp!

If you have a camera that doesn’t allow you to set your shutter speed, try using the “Sports” mode when working with pets to keep your photos sharp.

For action pictures with a camera with manual controls, I start with a shutter speed of 1/1200 and go up if I have to.

- For still portraits, I start with a shutter speed of 1/800 MINIMUM to avoid blur.

You may also like to select your own aperture and depending on if you want the background to blur or stay in focus.

PRO TIP: Remember, the smaller the number, the shallower the depth of field and the brighter your image.

Personally, I love the depth of field from f/2.8 or wider.

It gives a beautiful blurry background and separates your subject from the background.

- Carol Howell

Nice depth of field shot

Sports mode or fast shutter speed will do the trick


ABOUT THE PET POSSE

The Pet Posse

Each member of The Pet Posse spends countless hours each month photographing their own, and others, pets.

They share their images via their Facebook pages and Instagram accounts and enjoy answering the questions they receive on how to create photographs worth printing and sharing.

Want More?

Check out their eBook "Click, Click, Treat – The Pet Posse Pet Photography Ebook"

OR

Attend one of their New Zealand Pet Photography Workshops tailored especially for beginner, intermediate and advanced Pet Photographers

The Team’s Top Favourite Recipes!

If you are what you eat…

We’d be a pizza! You?

Let’s face it. You’re busy.

Sometimes the hassle of trying a new recipe that might come out tasting like poop is enough to send you straight to KFC, aint nobody got time for that.

We’re a pack of foodies here at Pixelpaint and you can often find us getting our Martha Stewart on, trading recipes and trying to avoid prison.

We’ve got you covered with these favourite tried and tested ‘go to’ recipes from our team. Check them out below for some fast, delicious, easy eats.

Rich’s Recipe:

Grilled fillet steak recipe

Grilled fillet steak with creamy leeks and butter beans.

Why I like it: Simple ingredients, low hassle factor and tastes awesome.
Perfect for: When you fancy a decent meal but don’t want to think too hard about it.  You can smash this out in 20 mins.

 

Ant’s Recipe:

Grilled eggplant recipe

Grilled eggplant and goats cheese stack

Why I like it: Easy to make, sounds exotic, looks fancy and still tastes good the next day.
Perfect for: Impressing a hot date! Three years later, the missus is still asking me to make these.

 

Emma’s Recipe:

Apricot quesadillas recipe

Apricot salsa quesadillas

Why I like it: Super versatile, lightening fast, use any filling you want. Just don’t skip the cheese. The cheese is essential.
Perfect for: Feeding the gang at short notice. Serve with an ice cold Corona.

 

Kyles Recipe:

Homemade hashbrowns recipe

Crispy home made hashbrowns.

Why I like it: Easy to make, cheap as chips and delicious.
Perfect for: Satisfying that greasy salty carb craving on a Sunday morning after a big night out. Add bacon and eggs if you dare.

 

Naytes Recipe:

Blueberry galette recipe

Blueberry Galette.

Why I Like it: All the benefits of a pie with half the work, made with ingredients most of us have in the pantry.
Perfect for: An easy dessert for a cold winters night and the leftovers make a tasty breakfast. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

 

What’s your favourite recipe?

Staircase

Sexy Staircase Ideas

Stop stairing at me!

Seriously. It’s embarrassing… a bit like that lame pun.

Not all of us have a significant set of stairs in our lives. For those of you that do, it’s time to step up and check out our top 5 stairway transformation ideas.

With a bit of that famous Kiwi ingenuity and a spare couple of hours, you can transform that boring old stairway into a stairway to heaven.

Gallery wall on a staircase!

Create a gallery wall
Hanging art on the wall of your stairway is like being a snooker player – it’s all about the angles.

Check out this simple guide and turn your stairway into the gallery of your dreams. No art to hang? You know where to get some canvas!

Chevron pattern staircase

Stencil them
Fire up your creative engine, bust out your paint brush and sharpen your craft knife because things are about to get ker-azy.

You’ll be cutting shapes like you’re at a 90’s rave now that your armed with this cool tutorial.

Slide down the staircase!

Slide down them. 
Ever feel like throwing yourself down the stairs? Now you can!

If anyone asks, you can pretend it’s for the kids. We won’t tell.

Slide the night away in the privacy of your own home.

Chalkboard staircase

Write on them
Trick the members of your household into doing all of your chores with some subliminal stairway messaging.

Alternatively you could write something inspirational or whatever takes your fancy – poke your peepers into these ideas.

Wallpapered staircase

Wallpaper them
Wrap ’em up like a present and every time you climb the stairs you’ll feel gifted.

It’s cheap, looks cool, and it’s not as hard as you think. Plus the wallpaper options available these days areendless and amazing. Scope the tutorial here.

 

Are you a ‘blank stair’ or a super staircase kinda person?

The Blue Planet Documentary

Mentally Nutritious Documentaries

Brain chow. Nom nom nom.

Dreadful sequels, ghastly remakes and god-awful comedies are enough to make anyone lose the will to live.

Here’s a better idea.

Why not watch something mentally nutritious? That way you’ll feel better about sitting on your arse eating a bowl of bacon caramel popcorn. The two will totally cancel each other out, right?

We’re avid documentary geeks at Pixelpaint and sometimes even watch them in the office as a little treat.Check out our favourites below and get that big wheel turning.

Zeitgeist Documentary
Rich’s Pick
What’s it about? Religion, 9/11, media, money, politics and control.
Why I like it: It explains how manipulating forces control our lives.
Who should watch it? Anyone who read about Prism or wants to wake up.

The Blue Planet Documentary
What’s it about? A journey beneath the world’s oceans showcasing an array of previously undiscovered sea life.
Why I like it: Ridiculous creatures, beautiful colours and bonkers camera work.
Who should watch it? The world!
Jiro Dreams of Sushi Documentary
What’s it about? An inside look at the life of 85 year old sushi master Jiro Ono and the traditions which have shaped his success.
Why I like it: It’s as much about family and tradition as it is about food.
Who should watch it? Food and culture junkies.
It might get loud documentary
What’s it about? Rockstar legends come together to talk about the motives and passions behind their individual music styles.
Why I like it: I’m in awe of how ridiculously talented some people are.
Who should watch it? Anyone who appreciates true talent.
Brooklyn Castle
What’s it about? The difficulties faced by a financially challenged junior high chess club from the ghetto.
Why I like it: It’s inspiring, motivating and deep.
Who should watch it? Anyone who roots for the underdog.

What’s your favourite documentary and why?

Epic Infographics You’ll Love

Visual pleasure for your intellectual leisure.

Ever fallen asleep during a lecture?

“Please read aloud tons of boring facts, I would love to memorise them”

…said nobody, ever.

We’re visual people too and obsessed with infographics. What’s not to love about a visual orgasm of interesting, relevant information all in one place?!

They also look great printed on our panormaic canvas sizes for the office or bedroom. We’ve picked out our top 5 favourites for you to enjoy below.

 

Adding value to your home - Infographic

Considering adding a spinning bed love dungeon feature to your home? Hold that hammer! Before you go busting down walls make sure it’s worth it in the long run. Check this essential infographic for home owners here.

Espresso Guide - Infographic

Coffee, AKA proof that someone up there wants us to be happy, has many different faces. What the heck is a Cafe Con Leche? Brush up on your coffee knowledge and check out the full infographic here. This would also canvas up nicely in your kitchen – just sayin’.

Colour Psychology - Infographic

It’s been known since ancient times that colours effect our moods, emotions and behaviour. So before you consider slapping a fresh coat of paint up in the bedroom, check out the psychology of colour infographic here. Just in case you choose the wrong shade and end up with two single beds instead of a double….

Food pairing - Infographic

Much like famous celebrities, food and wine are often seen together but seldom are they well matched. Don’t serve Spencer and Heidi at your next dinner party, Brad and Ange your way to perfectly matched food and wine combos with this awesome food and wine infographic.

Curious Planet - Infographic

It’s a big wide world out there, and if you haven’t been trotting around the globe recently chance are those feet are getting itchy. Check out this interesting travel inforgraphic here before you plan your next overseas getaway.

Book club!

Pixelpaint Book Club: Our Page-Turners

Books protect us from awkward strangers on the bus.

They make us look smarter and enrich our minds without having to leave the couch or put on pants.

Finding a good book to settle down with can be tricky.  Especially if you’re distracted by ahot librarian, catchy title or sparkly dust jacket. Let us do the groundwork for you.

Check out our top five book recommendations below:

Tim Ferriss - 4 Hour Work Week book

Rich’s Pick
What’s it about? A book about living more and working less. Sound good?!

Why I like it: Inspirational and practical. It helped me think about efficient systems and ways to do more with less.

Who should read it: Anyone looking to start a business or something on the side.

Brave new world book

Ant’s Pick
What’s it about? Set in a society devoted to pleasure and consumerism. It raises questions about humanity.

Why I like it: Written in the 1930s, the novel is still funny, chilling and relevant.

Who should read it: Those who question authority and our society.

Let's pretend this never happened book

Emma’s Pick
What’s it about? This memoir delves into a painful and embarrassing past. Sounds grim but is actually hilarious.

Why I like it: It’s witty, slightly disturbing, and it made me cry-laugh.

Who should read it: Anyone who wants awkward, weird and funny.

False Accusations book

Kyle’s Pick
What’s it about? A respected doctor is charged with homicide. There’s blackmail, drama, and a tasty plot twist.

Why I like it: Intensity, big characters, meaty story line. Justice can be served!Who should read it: Anyone who loves a gripping thriller that makes you think.

Scar Tissue
Nayte’s Pick
What’s it about? This memoir is all about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.Why I like it: Never a dull moment, this book will have you turning pages.Who should read it? Anyone intrigued by the hedonistic lifestyle of a touring musician.

What’s on your ‘to-read’ list?
Rainy day

Our Top 5 Rainy Day Activities

It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is snoring.

Although we haven’t bumped our heads, we’ve certainly struggled to get up in the morning.

As much as we love to stay snuggled up all weekend watching Game of Thrones and eating chocolate, eventually boredom sets in.

Want to be super productive or need a way to pull your kids down off the walls?

Get stuck into one or all of our top 5 rainy day activities! Guaranteed to kill boredom and make your life approximately 10.8% better than it was before.

Mmm...cookies! (A delicious rainy day activity!)

1. Bake cookies.
Impress everyone you know with these Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies which we whipped up this week.

They’re easy and turn out looking as amazing as they do in the picture.

We got this recipe from Becky Bakes.

Paper Lantern creativity on a rainy day!

2. Make your own paper lanterns.
Turn every day into a fiesta with these bad boys!

You can make these lanterns in any colour you like and add endless variations to the template to suit your personal style.

Catch the tutorial from Oh Happy Days.

Woodland Terrarium DIY for a rainy day

3. Make a terrarium.
Bring the outside in and feel like a chic version of Captain Planet. They look incredibly cool as the centrepiece on any table.  All you need to get started are a few of those old preserve jars that are hiding in the back of your pantry.

Find a detailed how-to guide on Martha Stewart’s website.

DIY lamp design for a rainy day

4. Make your own lamp.  
I love lamp! This looks and sounds like it will be hard but it’s stupidly easy.

It involves using an old toilet roll, something we all have lying around. Plus it looks really bling bling, far more impressive than your standard table lamp.

We got this idea from Design On Form.

 

What’s your favourite thing to do on a rainy day?
Life Hacks with Pixelpaint

Life Hacks with The Pixelpaint Crew

Every so often, we humans have a moment of genius.

For example, the moment someone figured out rubbing the unsightly chip in your wooden coffee table with a walnut hides that little sucker like magic.

What were they doing rubbing their nuts on the coffee table? Who cares!

We call these moments of divine discovery ‘life hacks’ and we wanted to share some of our favourites with you below…

We hope they change your life forever!

Emma says: “When my fresh herbs wilt and die ahead of schedule it makes me want to punch someone. Luckily for my friends and family I discovered they’ll (almost) live forever if I chop ’em up, distribute them into ice cube trays, and covering them with olive oil. They freeze beautifully, are ideal for cooking with, and all the prep is done!

Emma at Pixelpaint

Ant says: “You spend all summer wearing in your jandals, only to have the strap pop out while you’re chasing away a suspicious looking dog. This was my recurring nightmare until I discovered I could turn back time with a plastic bread bag tag. If the strap pops out of the sole, put it back in and secure it on the bottom with a bread bag tag. Works a treat.”

Ant at Pixelpaint

Rich says:  “You know that horrible moment when you’re drinking your pump bottle on the loser cruiser and a wee bit goes down the wrong tube?  You try to stop coughing, but you can’t, right?  My Mum always used to shout at me, ‘put your hands above your head’. I swear it works! All you need to decide is whether you look like less of a tit coughing or holding your hands above your head on the bus.”

Rich at Pixelpaint

Kyle says: “One of the most emotionally scarring experiences for a young man is the day the pulley thing on his zipper breaks, leaving his manhood exposed to his fellow bros. If this happens to you, grab your keying, remove the keys and attach the ring to your pulley-less zipper. Just make sure you tuck your junk away first”

Kyle at Pixelpaint

Nayte says: “If you like the sound of a refreshing twist for your next beverage, or you just want to impress a hot date,add frozen berries to it instead of ice cubes. You won’t be sorry. This is how I pull all of the ladies, it’s a sure thing.”

Nayte at Pixelpaint

 

Got your own life hack to add? Leave us a comment!
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