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Overview FAQ's Articles, 15 Questions Media Types, Pricing Mounted Canvas Prints Framed Prints Contact Us, About Us

Overview
What we do:
  • Customers create an on-line account, upload files, order prints. Prints may be sent to them, and/or to their customer(s).
  • We ship to USA and Canada. Various USPS and FedEx options available.
  • While we specialize in large prints, most options are available from 5x7 to 40x96".
What makes us unique:
  • Fast turnaround. For most items, order by noon, central time, on a business day, for shipment the same day.
  • For most items, any shape or size. Great for panoramas.
Why our customers like us so much:
  • Outstanding customer service.
  • Really easy, fast, reliable site navigation. On-line editing? Yes, of course.
  • Precise color. We don't second-guess your color. We print exactly what's in your files.
  • We're OK with large files. We know that great prints often require large files. Uploads up to 300 Megabytes at a time.
  • Solid Guarantee. If it's not right, we'll make it right.
There are Multiple ways to get started:
Blind Drop Ship
  • If enabled and used, order is shipped under your name and logo.
  • Our name will not appear on the order.
Volume Discounts
  • Discounts are based on the sum of your current order, plus everything else you've ordered over the past 90 days.
  • Discounts range from 5% to 15%, for combined volumes ranging from $500 to $2000.
Product Summary
  • Non-mounted prints. Glossy, Satin, Matte, Canvas. Shipped rolled up in a tube, or flat, depending on the order.
  • Gatorboard Mounted Prints. Prints mounted on 3/16" thick black gatorboard. If ordered with hanger, ready to hang on the wall.
  • Mounted Canvas Prints. Canvas wrapped around 1.5" thick stretcher bars (so they won't warp over time). Ready to hang on the wall.
  • Framed Prints. Available with simulated mats. Ready to hang on the wall.
  • Shadowbox Mounted Canvas Prints. An additional level of elegance.
FAQ's
How long can I store my files on-line? Indefinitely, provided you visit your directory at least once every 365 days.  We may delete directories that have not been visited more recently than that.
How many files can I put in my directory? Up to about 3,500. If you have a lot of files in your directory, you will probably find it helpful to use the "search" function to locate your files.
Can I do photo editing on-line? Yes.  When you click an image to select it, one of the buttons on the next screen will allow you to go to an editing menu.  However, if you want to create composites (images which contain at least 2 source images, usually + text), then look for the "create a composite" button at the bottom of your on-line directory (screen which shows all of your images).
Will you edit my photo(s)? No.  Sorry.  We provide extensive tools for you to do this on-line, or you may edit your files with your own photo editor.  We leave the editing to you.
Will you automatically adjust my photos for optimal lightness, contrast, etc.? No.  We can't accurately second-guess what you want. What we do is to print very linearly (meaning that highlight and shadow detail is preserved). If your file is vivid, your print will be vivid. If it's drab, the print will be drab. Not second guessing them is very important to many of our customers.
What credit cards do you accept? Visa, MC, Amex.
How soon will you ship my order? Except for orders containing sprayed, mounted, or framed items, and except for orders over $300, orders placed on a business day by noon, central time, will go out the same day.  You may choose shipment via USPS or FedEx (5 options).
Can you do blind drop shipments directly to my customers? Yes.  Check "account details" to learn more. 
 
How do I prepare files to send to you? Most customers find jpg, tif, pdf, psd, etc. to work well.
I placed an order, but I can't remember what I ordered. Is there a way to determine that on-line?" Yes. Go to "account details" and scroll to the bottom of the screen, and select a link to your recent order. Also, you can see a summary of recent transactions, and determine if your order has been shipped yet or not.
ArticlesFifteen Questions
Some basic terminology
Levels, contrast, spiffiness
Making sure the color in your prints is what you want
Choosing a paper type
Minimize glare from room lights
Mounting Canvas Prints
Details regarding our mounted canvas prints
Tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes
Selling your photos: Information you need to know
Estimating shapness and quality at various print sizes
Color Space (sRGB, Adobe 1998, 16 bit files, noise, dithering)
Measured Gamuts, Various Media Choices

1. What are common sizes of large prints?
2. What are the best photo papers for large prints?
3. Which paper or surface will last the longest?
4. When is it appropriate to spend extra for museum-grade prints?
5. How big should digital photos be, in terms of pixels, to create the best large prints?
6. What is gamut and how does it relate to making large photo prints?
7. What file format should I use? Can I use JPEG?
8. At what ISO settings do photos become too grainy for large photo prints?
9. What is more important when preparing and printing a large photo print, more contrast or shadow and highlight detail?
10. Can smaller photo files be expanded to make large prints?
11. How should a photo be prepared for a large print if it will include text?
12. What is color space? Does it matter?
13. What do I need to know before ordering a mounted canvas print?
14. Is it possible for a photographer to mount canvas photo prints or is it better to ask the photo-finishing company to perform this task?
15. I plan to sell my photos. Do you have any tips to help me?
MediaTypes
All media types are pigment-based, archival.
Non-mounted Prints. Any shape or size from 5 x 5 to maximum size in 0.001" increments.
Glossy9 mils thickUp to 40.75" x 96"$4.00 per square foot, +20% if longer than 72"
Metallic Glossy10.5 mils thickUp to 34.75" x 96"$7.50 per square foot, +20% if longer than 72"
Satin9 mils thickUp to 40.75" x 96"$4.00 per square foot, +20% if longer than 72"
Standard Matte7 mils thickUp to 40.75" x 96"$4.00 per square foot, +20% if longer than 72"
Enhanced Matte10 mils thickUp to 34.75" x 96"$4.80 per square foot, +20% if longer than 72"
Premium Matte21 mils thickUp to 40.75" x 96"$8.20 per square foot, +20% if longer than 72"
Canvas(1)21 mils thickUp to 40.75" x 72"$9.00 per square foot


Mounted and Framed Prints. Size selections presented in drop-down menus. Except for gatorboard when ordered without hanger, all are ready to hang on the wall.
Gatorboard Mounted PrintsGlossy, Satin, or Enhanced Matte paper on 3/16" thick black gatorboard. Sizes up to 30" x 42"$12.00 ($12.80 for enhanced matte) per square foot, + $2 for metal hanger, or $6 for standout hanger.
Mounted Canvas PrintsWrapped around 1.5" x 1.5" wood stretcher bars, with matboard back and hanger. Sizes up to 30" x 42"$20 + $20.00 per square foot (including wraparound area).
Framed PrintsEnhanced Matte media in wood frame. Simulated mats available.$20 + $12.80 per square foot.
Shadowbox Mounted Canvas PrintsMounted canvas prints, with additional framing in black shadowbox.$30 + $30.00 per square foot (including wraparound area).
(1) Canvas prints may be ordered with borders, 2" each side or 3" each side, for wrapping around stretcher bars. When ordering, specify the size without the borders. Pricing will automatically adjust to allow for the borders. The maximum 40.75" x 72" applies to the total size including borders. Eight options for border style (e.g., mirror image, blurred mirror image, white, none, etc.) are available.

Quantity discounts are based on the sum of your current order, plus whatever else you have ordered over the previous 90 days. If over $500, 5% off. over $1,000, 10% off, over $2,000, 15% off. Discounts are taken during checkout. They won't appear in your shopping cart.

The best and easiest way to get more detailed price information is via our Price Calculator;
Mounted Canvas Prints
Our mounted canvas prints are an exceptional value. Here's why.
  • We use thicker stretcher bars. We use 1.5" x 1.5" heavy-duty wood stretcher bars. Many other photofinishers use 1", 3/4", and even 1/2" stretcher bars. Our advantage: our prints are less likely to warp and/or lose tension over time. This is especially important if the humidity varies over time, or if the environment is exceptionally moist or dry. Also, the thicker presentation looks much better.

  • We finish the back with a black matboard. Many other companies leave the back open. While the back isn't normally visible, the matboard retards warping.

  • We use a thicker, 21-mil canvas. Many companies use a thinner or even much thinner canvas. A few companies even use a simulated canvas. Our thicker canvas absorbs more ink, so colors are more vivid and saturated. Also, our thicker canvas retains its tension better.

  • We spray all mounted canvas prints with a PremierArt Matte Eco Print Shield. The importance of this is that the spray guards against cracking at the edges of the stretcher bars. Moreover, it adds durability, important for occasional dusting or cleaning. It also UV resistance of the prints, but this is less important inasmuch as the canvas media and ink combination is already very archival.
  Edges are important. Suppose, for example, that we want to make a mounted canvas print from the image at left, below.



If we don't think about the edges, it can come out like the image above. Note that the text on the bottom wound up on the edge (not visible), and the top of the lighthouse is on the top edge (also not visible in photo). Not good.

To help you avoid that, we offer eight options for the edge treatment. And, we show instant simulations showing what the edge will look like, such as the image above right:

We also have tools to let you add your signature in the lower right, without it also showing up mirror imaged on the bottom and right sides. Signatures can also be added to other types of prints also.
 
Once you put a mounted canvas print in your shopping cart, you can click show simulation and see simulations from each of the four sides.
Framed Prints

Mouse over the image at left to see a simulation of what it could look like, with simulated mat added to the print, and framed.

The simulated mat is, of course, simulated. It becomes part of the print. However, when viewed from more than a foot or two away, it looks very, very, real.

Contact Us
Automated Photo Technology
871 Mendakota Court
Mendota Heights, MN 55120

Voice:   651-687-9840
Fax:      651-687-9504
Email:  custservice@AutomatedPhotoTechnology.com 

Nearly all of our customers upload files via the internet. Some of our customers mail their files to us, on a CD or DVD, at the above address, and then order on-line once we let them know that their files have been added to their directory. We do not return disks. We do not take orders via a mailorder form. All orders must be placed on-line. If you are having difficulty, please contact us, we are always glad to help.

Create an account
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Automated Photo Technology was founded in 2001 by David Schoon (pronounced "shown") and Cleon Ince. Both are photographers, and both are programmers. They have written nearly all of the programming used on this web site.

The mission of Automated Photo Technology is to be helpful -- not just with the printing of digital files submitted by their customers, but also with the file editing that makes the results look professional. Many customers choose to do their editing off-line, but those who do use APT's on-line tools generally find that they can get the results they want quickly and easily.

Customer Comments
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The "Automation" in Automated Photo Technology applies to three areas: on-line editing, on-line guidance regarding the choices (e.g., size and shape) customers need to make before they order prints, and order processing.

Orders are processed automatically, 24/7. For most orders, the first human involvement occurs after the prints have been printed. This level of automation benefits customers in two ways: (1) it reduces costs, and those savings are passed on to APT's customers, and (2) it allows orders placed by noon, on a business day, to almost always be shipped the same day.
Automation is a good thing. It allows resources which would otherwise be applied to repetitive tasks, to be done by computers, so that APT's people have the time and ability to attend to the things that matter most to customers. The result is a combination of quality, consistency, speed, and customer service which has become the gold standard for the on-line photofinishing business.

The focus of APT is primarily on large prints -- prints generally larger than 8 x 10. APT's customers are about an equal mix of advanced amateur and professional photographers. The majority of APT's customers purchase prints for resale, in many cases having the prints shipped directly to their customers.