Frequently Asked Questions

Are these images Legal?

This is the number one question I get, and with good reason.   One must be careful with copyright issues and for this reason alone, we are thankful for all the fantastic web sites on line that provide free images for our use.  These are gifts, not only for the amazing imagery but also for the legality.   In order to upload images at those locations, you must first agree that you have the legal right to do so.  Of course, not everyone is truthful, but those legitimate sites process claims and remove images that are found to be in violation of copyright, and so such images do not remain for long.  I collect those images from trusted  talents that have been members for extended periods and have developed a following.

Then, I tweak the image for color, density, composition, and whatever else I feel the image needs (sky, subject elimination/addition, special fx, etc).   The image is then put through my three step process to ensure razor sharp quality at large sizes.   You just can't do that with an image straight from the archives.  And so, all images in this archive are derivative works.

And finally, most people photos have NOT been added to the photo-gallery for direct purchase.   I will use those free use photos on custom / altered images for one-up jobs, but I will not use those in any catalog way because, the sites we work with do NOT collect model release forms, something that I feel comfortable with if printing large numbers of same image prints.   And so those images appear on this web site for use in custom work, but NOT in the purchase gallery.

Although every image archives has safeguards in place to avoid using images illegally, I realize that this is not bulletproof.  Nothing is.  If you find an image in our collection that you can prove is your copyright and you wish it removed, all you need to do is contact me, and I'll be happy to oblige.  

Why should I pay for free images?

I am absolutely not charging for images.  I am charging for my time and experience in the visual arts industry.  You will (hopefully) notice as you scan this archive, that these images are hand picked and optimized (for crop, lighting, contrast and color, sharpness and sometimes radical modification).   And then, this project is not even about HAVING these images, but rather what I can DO with them.   

An image must be properly prepared for output based on the specs of the product (size, DPI, aspect ratio, etc).   A person must have control over those variables and have the gear (hardware and software) to do so.   All image files in my archive have already been prepared for up to 60 inches of photographic enlargement without going soft (out of focus) or getting noise ridden.  And when someone orders and 8 foot Photo-Graphic Veneer I build that image in the same, size appropriate way to be sure that what gets printed remains razor sharp and clear every time.

I bring 40 years of experience to the table, and can blend, modify, and create about anything you could need for your projects, all under one roof.   No need to purchase (or find) an image from one source, hire another for modification/creation and then a third for output.  I got your back from start to delivery, guaranteed.  

What makes what you do any different than others?

Thinking out of the box is what I do.  Creating things like 8x4 foot art (and art marketing) in full color at very little cost.   Or giving an office building manager a fast and affordable way to find (and create) unique, high quality photographic products that land at their door in days.   I can provide four color printing ( business cards, post cards and art cards) or cover an entire wall with imagery and provide custom options along the way.  Need a funny way to gain attention at your shop or in the mall?  Contact me.

With a service based on creativity, you can never have ALL that you can provide on a single web site.  I will post general things I do here on the site, but rest assured that it would be worth a contact to discuss your project, as even if I must point you somewhere else, I will tell you the most efficient way to accomplish your goal.  I would rather gain your trust for a lifetime of business, than lose it for one sale.  I do business the old fashion way.  I guess that comes from getting old <grin>

You have SO many sizes! How do I find the right size for my image?

What this project is really, is a tool for those who use creative art and signage vocationally.  This means many options and a completely flexible ordering system.  And so, yes this comes with a bit of complication if this is your first visit here.  There are two things that, once understood, will make answering this question very easy.  (quick answers in red)

1- Aspect ratio.  Usually expressed as a fraction, which describes in relative terms, how wide something is, in relation to it's height.   Such as 16/9 (a video format describing a monitor or screen) means that for every 9 units tall, it's 16 units wide.  Make sense?   Every size has it's Aspect Ratio.  And so, with that in mind, the standard DSLR (6000 wide x 4000 tall) would be a 6/4 Aspect ratio.   And since they are relative, as one (height or width) changes, so does the other.   When you crop an image, this ratio does not change, only the zoom level does.

  • In short, this means that with any given size choice, you will have a pre-determined space that you must fill, in your crop choice.

2- DPI, or rather Dots Per Inch.   This is how the level of detail or sharpness is expressed.   There are two areas of consideration regarding DPI, and they are actually different.    There is the DPI required for (maximum) quality out of any given output.  And of course, this is completely a consideration of the hardware that is being used to output your job.  And EIS has optimized our images for large sizes, but the more you zoom in when you crop, the less DPI you will have in your output FILE to meet the requirements of the print machine.   If you're outputting to a smaller size (say 16x20) then this is no beg deal, but if you are ordering a 40x30, for example, you want to keep your zoom/crop choices to a minimum.   For 8 foot signs?  I prep every sign order specifically for 8 feet in size.   The files I send to the photo lab (unless you order text or customization) are pre-processed and ready for print.

  • In short, this means, if you are ordering a large print, do not crop / zoom too much.

When looking at a panoramic file, you may have to have me prepare the image for the size you're wanting.  Remember, 40 inches is as wide as photo output (here) gets.  I will prepare your image on the size you need so that there is white/black borders at the top and bottom, so that all you have to do is trim the print when you receive it.    I offer that service at no additional cost.   Shoot me a note and I'll instruct you with how to proceed.  NOTE:  Photo quality banners are a good alternative to panoramic larger than 40 inches wide.

AND for those photos that do not fit in an acceptable aspect ratio for the size you'd like, please order it and send me a note that you seek modification.  I can fit any image into any size with the right modification.   Lots of tricks for this too 😉    And I won't print a thing til you authorize a proof copy of it.... so you have nothing to lose. 

Please note that I double check all orders and contact those who's crop choice doesn't look purposeful before letting it go to the lab.  But please contact me prior or immediately after you order something which you need custom services for, as once it's off to the lab, there is nothing I can do about it.   ShootProof (the service I use for this) and the lab they work with are independent businesses, of which I have no control.    ONE way to be sure I don't send it off is to make a ridiculous crop decision, and that will force my contact at the email you provided 😉

I want photo output greater than 40 inches

As previously mentioned, our photo prints from a PROFESSIONAL level lab can come as large as 40 x 30 inches, and those look mouth dropping.  But what if you're looking for larger.  Something that isn't a sign, but large LIKE a sign.

This is actually the key point to the ElecTrick Image project and what is meant by "blurring the lines between art and marketing".  I work with the third largest sign company in the country and I have access to 28 different outputs from window films, to floor vinyl and auto vinyl.   But I am focusing on those products that can be put to work in the ART realm, as the quality of the output I get from this product is simply brilliant.   It's weather-proof, long lasting/durable, easy to install, affordable and most important; it's gorgeous!   But Photo-Graphic Veneer can only be printed on one 4x8 sheet at a time.   So we can tile those (easy) for larger works if one is required, but most won't require that.  So between 40 inches and 96 inches (8 feet) this is a viable choice, but given the limitation I have you must order one sheet regardless of size.   We CAN use the rest of the sheet to print a secondary sign/art of some kind, no additional cost for the layout.

If you need larger than 8 feet, and you don't wish to tile panels of Photo-Graphic Veneer, there is banner vinyl (three different grades to choose from) that can be used to wrap a surface of any size.   Contact me for a quote.

I'm finding 8 foot output lots cheaper on line. What's up with that?

Be sure you are comparing apples with apples.   I think if you look closely, you will find that the materials you're pricing are something other than the material WE are offering.  Corrugated Plastic is created the SAME way as cardboard, only with plastic materials.  That is what those Real Estate and Political signs that you see on front lawns are made from.   

What I am offering HERE is a high grade, professional signage material made from PolyStyrene.  Two different worlds. 

What options do we have for Jumbo Panoramic output?

I offer any size you wish (by the square foot) with a variety of 3 foot tall choices already in the print gallery options.  But if you require taller (or different) sizes, just request a custom order and I'll set that up for you, including tweaking the image so it fits just right.

Do you provide custom photography services in this style?

I reside currently in Somerset, KY.    I am willing to travel for shoots for the cost of the shoot plus expenses.   Those interested should visit my free lance site at RCMedia Services.   And thank you for your interest.  

Will you work with my local photographer?

Absolutely, not ever an issue.  In fact, if you already HAVE images that you OWN THE RIGHTS to, and would like me to work with, this also is not a problem.    But if you have a professional photographer who can generate "Bracketed Frames" of your image(s) and provide me the raw frames, then I can provide you with what I do in my style.   I begin with an "HDR" image but I process this image in a number of ways afterwards. 

Have your talent contact me prior to the shoot and I'll explain to them what I'm needing.

What do you mean by "blurring the line between art and marketing"?

When I discovered that the sign products available today were as high a quality, full color as they were, I felt myself wondering why more folks weren't using signage output for artistic means.  It sure as hell excited ME!  

And on the other side of the fence, there is no reason why marketing can't BE art, done correctly. I like to call that "Art-Marketing" where an ad has few words and huge visual impact.  In my head, that's the most memorable of marketing options, to be able to reach that far down a person's soul in a split second.

Too many hard lines between art and marketing in the traditional marketing world.  I will be experimenting with blurring those lines.

Why are there images in your archive I can't order in your gallery?

The images that are downloaded from the archives come with permission from the photographer, but those are not the only permissions one needs to consider.  People IN the images you use must also give you permission to use their face IF they are recognizable in the photograph.  And to be honest, even where we don't need permission by law (public photo), I wouldn't post those for public consumption, without direct permission.  Some things are just a matter of ethics 

However, people's faces as a component to a local sign or other "one up" is something completely different.  It's something that isn't seen by many (by comparison), likely wouldn't be recognized anyway as the photo has been altered (derivative work) and there isn't any real money being made with it.  But even still, if someone depicted on this site in our archives contacts me with proof of identity (more photos of the same face?) I'd be more than happy to remove said photo(s) from the archive.  This project is about art and skillful imagery, not about profits and over-stepping boundaries.  

How do I place an order

For ordering photographic prints up to 40x30 in size, access the "Purchase Prints" link above and follow your nose.

IF you wish to order something larger than 40 inches OR you need custom work with text or image manipulation / graphics, please contact me first and we'll figure out what is best for you before we proceed.   You will be directed accordingly.

Either way, thank you for trusting RCMedia Services with your project.  

Isn't Polystyrene what foam cups are made from?

Yep, that's the stuff, BUT the PROCESS of making Styrofoam cups is something completely other.  For cups, the material is blown full of air, much like they make cheese puffs, to mold into cups and plates.  For the professional signage material used by sign shops coast to coast, it's created to hold ink well so it can be printed to, and to withstand the elements.  In hand, it's very much like credit card plastic (that tough) but holds ink at high resolutions.  I love the way this stuff looks.

How do you price your wide output

I output my photographics that are larger than 40 inches, to 18oz, high quality vinyl, not for the durability but rather for the texture finish that it provides.  And am pleased to offer this to you at $5/square foot, a very competitive price for this product.  Not only does this stuff look great, but it's long lasting as well.   Keep in mind that my art fees are inclusive, so you don't have to pay for anything more.  Banner grade comes in at about half the price.