A&P a little help with printing?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by goten2000, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. goten2000

    goten2000 Tupac's Son

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    ok, so i got some prints done this weekend and i was pretty disappointed. i have a d90 and my pics looks great on screen, but i guess somewhere between resizing and changing file formats, the image becomes poor print quality. what steps should i take on my computer to get a picture ready to for print (i.e. resizing, changing to tif/jpg, resolution, boarders, etc)?

    i got two photos printed, one with my d90 and one with a canon powershot point and shoot. the powershot pic came out much more clear in the print. the d90 pic looks better on screen, but came out grainy when printed. wtf? help plz.
     
  2. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    whats your process? Sounds like you're doing a lot of crazy stuff (i.e. resizing, changing to tif/jpg, resolution, boarders, etc)?

    post a 'ready for print' file too, if you can.
     
  3. Dan Martin

    Dan Martin OT Supporter

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    Less is more when printing. If you're dealing with a pro lab, chances are you'll get better results by sending them your files in sRGB and leaving them in their native resolution. Their software will do all the appropriate conversions necessary for a good print.

    If you're printing yourself, you have much more control over the final output, but with control comes responsibility. :)
     
  4. goten2000

    goten2000 Tupac's Son

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    my process:
    the picture is a RAW image. I save as a TIF in aperture, open the file in PS, and resize to whatever size i'm gonna print it. i take this picture to Wolfe Cameras to print (i do not print myself).

    am i doing it wrong? any tips? what do you guys do?
     
  5. TheManLouisianaFace

    TheManLouisianaFace and decide!

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    sharpen, sharpen, sharpen. sharpening is usually the most misunderstood part of printing. typically, you have to sharpen way more than you'd think (and it will look horribly oversharpened on screen, but not when printed.)

    Nik Sharpener Pro has some good presets to get you started.
     
  6. ///Mik3

    ///Mik3 New Member

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    in this scenario, i wouldn't bother resizing yourself. Just give them the file in full-res and let them set the print size. This is to avoid any screw ups when you resize. You might be resizing to a lower ppi than they use when printing.
     
  7. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    what color profile?
    don't resize
    use a better lab. whcc, mpix, hell even costco
     
  8. ///Mik3

    ///Mik3 New Member

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    i too agree w/ this. Costco actually has got some great printing especially when considering cost. I usually leave my images in adobeRGB and let them deal w/ converting to whatever their print profile is. I also make sure to tell them not to make any exposure/color adjustments to the file before printing. Normally they set it to make automatic adjustments. If you've worked on the image in post, you don't want that.
     
  9. goten2000

    goten2000 Tupac's Son

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    what do you mean color profile?
     
  10. goten2000

    goten2000 Tupac's Son

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    is costco good for enlarged prints (i.e 11x14, 8x10, etc)? i figured wolfe camera would be legit, is it not?

    so far i understand:
    leave as original size, let the lab resize, crop, etc
    sharpen the shit out of the picture
    go somewhere other than Wolfe Camera
    tell the lab not to make any exposure/color adjustments
     
  11. ///Mik3

    ///Mik3 New Member

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    i don't agree w/ oversharpening.
    and only tell them no adjustments if you've made specific adjustments yourself in post.
     
  12. Bloke

    Bloke Banned

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    i never sharpen and i get very good prints out of my pro 9000 mk1. :ugh:
     
  13. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    oversharpening used to be the rule when printers couldn't print fine enough to match the quality of your screen. Not so much anymore....

    Of course, the level of sharpness in your prints is always going to be subjective. But it is a dead giveaway that a print is digital if it's oversharpened... That was impossible in film. I remind all of the students to stay JUST shy of the 'crispy' line with their sharpening, as a max level.

    If it looks horrible on screen, it's going to look horrible in print.

    I'm still waiting for the OP to send me, or post, a finished, ready to print file... There's a good possibility that it's user error, and we aren't going to be able to diagnose that without seeing it.
     
  14. TheManLouisianaFace

    TheManLouisianaFace and decide!

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    let me clarify. DO NOT OVERSHARPEN. I'm just warning that sometimes the amount of sharpening you need to do for a print, MAY look oversharpened on a display.

    As alluded to already, check your printer driver. Some auto-sharpen. But software like Nik Sharpener Pro's adaptive sharpening does a much better job and with less noise/grain appearing than most (non commercial) printer software.
     
  15. TheManLouisianaFace

    TheManLouisianaFace and decide!

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    That's very incorrect when it comes to sharpening and prints.
     
  16. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    Is it? You sure? I'd love to see your results and data backing up your claim that you just sharpen til your image looks like shit, then it's perfect. I'd LOVE to see this.

    I do this for a living. I'm pretty sure I know what i'm talking about. You can also ask the 500000000 people i've printed for here on the forum whether or not I know how to correctly sharpen an image for print.

    When you oversharpen an image you create halos, artifacts, clipping and posterization.

    NONE of these go away when you print an image. If you hit this point when you are sharpening, you're fucked. Prints with these problems are running RAMPANT throughout the world right now, and they look horrible. Advice such as yours is part of the problem.

    Please stop telling people to do dumb shit to their images.

    The correct way is to sharpen an image TO THE HIGHEST degree that it still looks acceptable on screen, with NO HALOS, POSTERIZATION OR ARTIFACTS, then print. Anything that looks horribly over sharpened, is. The simple fact that you're telling people to make their images look like shit before they print them should be a dead give away that you're talking out of your ass.

    My sharpening method: (for prints)

    save your image, with all of its layers intact. Keep it full size!
    convert to sRGB (this will flatten image)
    create 2 duplicate layers
    1st duplicate - unsharp mask, settings: amount 400, radius 0.4
    2nd duplicate - unsarp mask, settings: amount 10, radius 50

    the 1st layer is your edge sharpening layer, and you'll want to keep an eye on contrasty edges and bring the opacity of this layer down until the halo's just barely disappear.

    the 2nd layer is the contrast sharpening layer, and this layer sharpens by increasing local contrast. You'll want to watch your extreme shadows and highlights with this layer, and adjust the opacity until your satisfied that you don't lose any detail. Use your histogram.


    save this as your print file, then flatten and print.

    If you don't like the print, re-open the print file, correct your sharpening layers, re-save, re-flatten, reprint.


    Any questions? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  17. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    srgb
    adobeRGB

    and then theres the custom .icc profiles

    find out if your printer wants srgb or adobe rgb. that is a major thing. some places like costco will let you download a .icc profile to convert to thats paper and ink specific
     
  18. goten2000

    goten2000 Tupac's Son

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    the file's 67mb (it's a .TIFF). thats really big, does it make sense to be that big? esp. since the .NEF file was 12mb...
     
  19. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    tiff is overkill for just about everything
     
  20. goten2000

    goten2000 Tupac's Son

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    wolfe camera only accepts tiff and jpeg.
     
  21. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    full sized jpgs are fine. tiffs really are overkill.

    tiffs were meant to be a lossless storage file, not a working file. psd's or jpg's are really much better suited.

    I do all of my printing with jpgs. Even if someone sends me a tiff or psd, it goes to the print queue as a jpg.
     
  22. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    Shoot raw
    load into lightroom
    make adjustments to raw
    export sRGB full res JPG
    print

    easy.
     
  23. JDizzy92

    JDizzy92 New Member

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    I never save my pictures in .tiff unless I am doing HDR. After I do my editing in Camera Raw, I would open it straight to Photoshop, do some more editing, and save it as a .PSD file in Adobe1998 before I do any resize or watermark. Then I resize, slap my watermark, and save it as a .jpg in sRGB(can save in adobe1998 also). Color spaces are all related to the volume of color (or color gamut) the image can hold. there's basically three main color profiles used; prophoto, adobe1998, and srgb. prophoto has the widest, adobe1998 in the middle, and srgb has is the smallest. srgb is suitable for images posted on the web as a lot of browsers can't handle adobe1998. adobe1998 should be used for printing though, and almost all serious print shops work off this colorspace. prophoto encompasses a color gamut larger than what our eyes can see.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. TheManLouisianaFace

    TheManLouisianaFace and decide!

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    Halos? :rofl: Print sharpening isn't even about edge sharpening, it's about contrast and luminosity. Great, your one particular workflow works for you. I don't doubt that at all, I've seen your results. You do good work. But Print-sharpening is critical. There wouldn't be an entire industry based around it, if it wasn't.

    I really don't know what to tell you, it's a known fact. :dunno: Just google print-sharpening. You'll find articles from almost every imaging company around, adobe, canon, epson, etc.

    The only error I made was to not be specific enough, I wasn't trying to get the guy to crank his USM to 11.

    And it's definitely not to "fix" soft/oof photos, either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  25. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    You can throw all the cute smileys in whenever you need too, it still doesn't make your point anymore correct, and telling me to google print sharpening doesn't add to your credibility either. Nor does basing your entire argument around the fact that people are suckers and companies take advantage of that fact. Sure, there are some companies, like NIK, that automate certain processes and make a pretty gui and charge you a hundred bucks, but that doesn't make them better or necessary.

    "hey, there's an industry and a market for something, so it must be right!" :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    Yes, halos. Halos happen when people use the built in tools like unsharp mask and over sharpen their images. It's a VERY common mcsteak made by people who listen to shitty advice like yours, and crank USM up to 11, like you essentially told them too. I wasn't warning them for my sake, I was warning them for theirs.

    The workflow I provided is simple enough for anyone here to use, and flexible and powerful enough for them to continue to use as they understand more about printing. So far your solutions have been to Sharpen til their image looks like shit, and to throw money at a problem and buy some more software. Thanks for your contribution to the thread.

    Let me know when you actually want to discuss something relevant about printing and file preparation - I'm all ears. But don't waste everyone's time by throwing advice around when your getting all of your information from google searches.

    :wavey:
     

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