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Thread: Preparing your images for larger prints

  1. #1
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    Default Preparing your images for larger prints

    Just wondering how many people here actually print larger size images and what is involved in preparing these images for print?

    Currently I use Lightroom to catalogue and make minor adjustments to my images, then export as psd files (72dpi) which I then resize and make final adjustments in Photoshop. I resize my images to 900px to upload to flickr/put on my website.

    The problem I have here is that if I do wish to print a larger print of one of these images I will need to reexport the original RAW file from Lightroom and redo the PP in Photoshop :x Didn't think this once through when I first began using lightroom/Photoshop combo.

    I'm looking for some pointers on what optimal settings to export images as for print, which I can then apply PP adjustments in Photoshop, which will leave me with a file ready for larger prints and the ability to resize the same file for web.

    Cheers
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    I have been wondering the same myself, so I will be interested to read peoples answers.
    Reposts welcome =)

    Blog- Close Encounters of the Bird Kind. Updated 28/05/2014 "Courting Cuckoos"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    Personally I process a jpeg at 300 dpi @ 100% with no compression, and do any adjustments to that. Then have an action to resize/sharpen/watermark in PS ready for web/BOz.
    Cheers, Dave

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    I'd suggest keeping a full resolution layered tiff (no sharpening) as a "record" of your adjustments with no changes in pixel dimensions and also keep the Raw which is effectively your negative. When you convert to a jpeg save a copy of the small file. Preparing an action to do that is a good idea.

    When you want to print you work out your size you want and resample the image to that size at 300 dpi. Printing is the only time where dpi actually matters.

    Ideally you'll want to soft proof with the printer profile and check for colour shifts. You also need to sharpen for print. My suggestion for inkjet prints is to process to look just slightly over sharpened when viewed at 50%. You must view at 50% as PS does a quick interpolation routine for other magnifications.

    This works well on my iPf5100 printer. If you or any forum members want prints I offer them at good prices, I can do up to A2 size prints.
    Chris Ross
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    I've found that I've been having to convert my images to DNG from the CR2 files the camera takes them as. I use Photoshop CS4 to open the DNG files, is there an update I'm missing that allows CR2 files to be opened with photoshop, I couldn't find anything. I'm just wondering if I'm doing a whole extra unnecesary step, it would be good to cut out.

    Good info so far My process so far consists of keeping the original RAW file, converting any images I want to process, keep the original converted file, I make any adjustments. Save a full size version as a PSD and then a full size and reduced size jpeg (if uploading somewhere). I also find that when I go to copy the image to a new photoshop window, it's always at 271 DPI, is this a result of having converted to DNG, or is it just what my 550D will always bring it up as. Just curious.
    Reposts welcome =)

    Blog- Close Encounters of the Bird Kind. Updated 28/05/2014 "Courting Cuckoos"

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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    What camera are you using Azzy?

    Not sure where the 271 dpi comes from?
    Chris Ross
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    Here is the latest update for camera raw for CS4:

    http://www.adobe.com/support/downloa...jsp?ftpID=4683

    it lists cameras that have been added there. With Adobe after a new PS is released they might release 1 update of camera raw, then any new cameras require you to upgrade PS to get the newer versions of camera raw which only work with the newer PS.

    For instance to use camera raw with the 60D you would need CS5 and the latest camera raw update.
    Chris Ross
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    Yep, just about to post the link but noticed Chris has already posted it. You should be good to go with that update to ACR for CS4, Azzy.

    As for the opening question my workflow sounds almost identical to Dave's. I'll do all PP work on a .PSD file (100%/300DPI) and save it with any layers or adjustments I've made. Then I'll simply resize for web (usually 1000px wide) where I'll add a watermark/sig and possibly a touch of sharpening.

    If I need to print, I'll just refer to my PP'd .PSD and use that as all the work is already done.

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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    You guys are life savers! I tried so hard to find an update like that but somehow managed to miss this one. It's going to save me so much hassle. Thanks!
    Reposts welcome =)

    Blog- Close Encounters of the Bird Kind. Updated 28/05/2014 "Courting Cuckoos"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Hall
    I'll do all PP work on a .PSD file (100%/300DPI) and save it with any layers or adjustments I've made. Then I'll simply resize for web (usually 1000px wide) where I'll add a watermark/sig and possibly a touch of sharpening.
    The only problem i find with this is that the PP applied to the 100% image needs to be repeated when the file is reduced. For example BG blurring - in the 100% file doesn't appear to be as pronounced as in a much smaller version, thus I have to redo the blurring once I resize :x
    Adam Blyth Photography on Facebook
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    If you wish to redo BG blurring presumably you make a selection the BG. You can then save the selection as an alpha channel and this will be kept with your layered tif. When you redo the BG then ctrl-click the alpha channel and you have the selection back. You can then invert the selection to use as a sharpening mask. The alpha channel resizes along with everything else.
    Chris Ross
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    Chris' method is exactly what I do too. When you've got your selection made, right click anywhere on the screen and choose save selection then give it a name. If you save your image as a .PSD the saved selection is saved along with it. As Chris has mentioned if you resize the image, the selection is scaled accordingly.

    If you look under the Channels tab in Photoshop (where it has layers/channels/paths) you'll find the selection you saved. To reselect it, do just as Chris has mentioned, hold down CTRL (on PC, different on Mac?) and left click the selection, it'll reappear around your image.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    That's not a bad way to do it I suppose, although lately I've found myself using the blur tool instead of creating additional layers.
    Adam Blyth Photography on Facebook
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    What I do is blurring the whole picture then using the history brush to help be more precise about your blurring See Tutorial here: http://www.espressographics.com/text/historybrush.html
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    Default Re: Preparing your images for larger prints

    I've never been a hug fan of blurring images to recover the BG it never seems to look as good as a truly smooth OOF BG. I'll do some cloning and also I'll use noise reduction on the BG.

    Seems odd to me that you would need to redo blurring when you resize. What resize method do you use? You should use bicubic and you may want to try resizing in steps, it's fairly easy to set up an action to do this. You can also use your BG selection (save it as an alpha channel) to to make a mask for any sharpening you do on the resized image.
    Chris Ross
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