Master File Creation

"What is a 'Master File',
and why do I need one?"

A Master File is a multi-purpose, multi-layered, un-cropped and un-sharpened 16-bit TIFF or PSD File of a photographic image.  This is the file that you want to put all of your creative Photoshop "mojo" into.

Think of it as your "final image",  from which all further uses of this image derive  -  It has been enhanced and prepped so that you can crop, sharpen, convert to 8-bit, reduce or enlarge in size, save as a JPG for the web, and so on, depending on your needs.

Why should you use John Watts to create one?

In a nutshell, experience. I generally know what works, and what doesn't ...

ve been privileged over the last 30+ years to work in partnership with some of the world’s finest photographers both professionals and avid amateurs. I also have a knack for making superior color prints for these photographers.  I've now taken that expertise and applied it to the world of Digital Imaging Education. 
I have also been a regular photo judge at many popular photo contests throughout Southern California over the years.

Ever wanted to see what an experienced custom printer could do for your images? Now's your chance ...

How John can  make this a "teaching moment":

I'll save your Master File as unflattened 16bit TIFF or PSD - - You can open it in Photoshop and see, layer by layer, what has been done to your image to optimize it. I'll work on your image  from your instructions, and make suggestions as the process unfolds.

The process:

This is definitely an "artist/craftsman" relationship, and communication is key.  First, you upload the image to me, we'll discuss your image and what you'd like to do with it, I'll make recommendations, then I get to work.   When I have something that I believe works , I'll email you a low-res test JPG, and we can discuss until your Master File is completed.

What you Get:

You will receive the following on a thumb drive:  your original file, your Master File, and one "to size" file"

Please note that you should never sharpen your Master File.  The amount of sharpening that is necessary for a 16x20 is much more than it would be for an 8x10 - - If you sharpen your Master File for a 16x20, your 8x10 will be over-sharpened.  It is best to sharpen each time for the intended output size.

With that in mind, I'll include one file "to-size" (your choice of size) that is flattened, sharpened, cropped, converted to 8-bit, and so on. Additional "to-size" files are $5 each.

Pricing / turnaround time:

Your price depends on the type of original file(s) that I start with, and turnaround depends on the amount of work necessary, but is typically a few business days.  Please note that your best results will always come from a RAW file!

If your original file is:
  • JPG, TIFF or PSD: $70
  • RAW file: $80
  • HDR (3 files or more of the same image): $85 and up
Simply Upload your Image(s),
then Contact John to get started!