Old 08-21-2007, 04:18 AM   #1
bigbassloyd
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Default Turning Digital Images Into Prints

I'm starting to feel the desire to put some of my digital stuff on paper, which I've never done before. I'm kind of lost on how exactly to get a quality image. I know that RP's size limit wouldn't make for much more than a 4x6" print. I'm curious what steps you all take, and how you can successfully enlarge a print to an 8x10, 16x20, etc and have it turn out as good as it looks on RP. And if there are some things you have to do differently in post processing for prints, I'd love to hear that as well.

Thanks!

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Old 08-21-2007, 04:32 AM   #2
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Do all your processing without resizing, except for final sharpening. Then, make the image on your screen roughly the size of the print. Sharpen to taste. Save the file, without resizing! You need all the pixels you can have for the best print.

I have photo stores or online places do prints; I never print at home. So color matching is an issue and sometimes I will have to have things redone. I like to use a self-service kiosk (blue=Sony, yellow=Kodak, I think) if I am at 8x10 or smaller, so I can get the color just right.

If I think I am going to print as well as upload, I process the file once, save full size for printing, "undo" the final sharpening, resize for upload, sharpen, and save (to a different file name!).
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:53 AM   #3
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Great info Janusz! I am a bit lost on this comment though

Quote:
Then, make the image on your screen roughly the size of the print. Sharpen to taste. Save the file, without resizing! You need all the pixels you can have for the best print.
Maybe I've been up too long, and I'm just missing it... sorry

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Old 08-21-2007, 05:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd
Great info Janusz! I am a bit lost on this comment though



Maybe I've been up too long, and I'm just missing it... sorry

Loyd L.
When you sharpen for the web, you go to a 100% zoom and sharpen. Thus, you see exactly what you are going to get. If you are printing, then you have a file like 3072x2048 pixels. Go 100% on that and you won't see the entire thing! Zoom 100% on that and you will see what it would print like if you printed BIG. So, regardless of how many pixels you have, you want to sharpen for the size people are going to be viewing at. So you zoom according to the printed dimensions. So, if I am preparing a file for printing at 5x7, then, regardless of the pixels, I zoom the image on screen so it displays as an actual 5x7 (and I do put a ruler to the monitor when I am unsure). At that point, you sharpen.

You may or will find that the sharpening parameters you choose are different than for web upload. So I will sharpen web stuff with 75/0.6/0, but for printing it may be, oh, can't remember, but maybe a 75/1.5/0. The values change because the density of pixels relative to the image size changes; you have a lot more pixels per inch when you print so your sharpening parameters have to be different.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:19 AM   #5
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I've gotten high quality 5x6 prints from images shot as small as 2256x1496 pixels. I've heard even bigger prints can be made from images this size with no serious lose of quality over 35mm film. This is all with a 6.5mp camera.

If you have a 10mp camera and shoot RAW, there really is no upward limit to the print quality you can get, unless you're planing to make a movie poster or something.

The one thing I have noticed is that dark photos turn out nosier than in the original file.

All of this is with a photostore doing the printing. Printing at home isn't going to get you very good results no matter how high fidelity your digital file.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:38 PM   #6
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I've had some high quality images printed at 16x20 from 300dpi processed images. I've used this service for printing and have been VERY satisfied with their quality, pricing and shipping: www.mpix.com
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:12 PM   #7
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mpix.com is superb, and I've used them many times. The prices are right, turnaround is incredibly fast (usually one day) and quality is top notch.

As for size of prints, I shoot with a 20D (~8 MP), and I've printed 20" x 30" prints without pixelation (from mpix), and regularly print 13" x 19" prints on my Epson R2400 that at least equal, if not surpass, wet lab prints.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railfanzone
mpix.com is superb, and I've used them many times. The prices are right, turnaround is incredibly fast (usually one day) and quality is top notch.
And the metallic prints are amazing. I've yet to get one of my train shots printed with the metallic processing, but soon enough I will. And I'm guessing a sepia conversion will look REALLY cool with the metallic printing.
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
And the metallic prints are amazing. I've yet to get one of my train shots printed with the metallic processing, but soon enough I will. And I'm guessing a sepia conversion will look REALLY cool with the metallic printing.
Yes, the metallic paper is incredible, especially for railroad photos. I did this one with the metallic paper, and the silvers and blues just pop off of the page.

Image © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com
PhotoID: 105367
Photograph © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com


Also did this one, and the yellows are the ones that pop.

Image © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com
PhotoID: 106014
Photograph © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com

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Old 08-23-2007, 11:12 PM   #10
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I shoot a EOS D30 (3.3MP) which gives RAWs at 1440x2160 pixels. I've gotten good looking 8x10s from that using just your standard photo kiosk at the supermarket. I wouldn't want to go any larger than that, though.
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