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Thread: Grasshopper, a little editing

  1. #1

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    Grasshopper, a little editing

    I have taken a lot of photographs, but have not processed very many. I was going thru some and this green/yellow fellow jumped out at me so I pulled him into CS5 for a little touchup.
    Original photo

    Grasshopper, a little editing

    In this version, I opened a new layer: soft light mode, opacity 28%, fill 50% gray and darkened some of the highlights. I cloned out some of the brightness on left bottom of image, and also cloned out some of the overlapping leaf at bottom right. Slight crop.

    Grasshopper, a little editing

    Question: When I want to do a crop for printing, should I set the size to the size that I want to print (like 16x20 inches or 8x10) or do I lose detail by doing that? and what should I set the resolution to? Thanks in advance for comments and advice.

  2. #2

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    Re: Grasshopper, a little editing

    First answer: don't bother setting sizes in inches or resolutions.
    Do make sure that the aspect ratio of the image (height:width in pixels) corresponds to the one of the print you want (16:20 = 8:10 = 4:5). Otherwise you'd get either white bands on two sides, or a cropped image (or a distorted image, but then you should fire your printer/print shop). The image as posted is marked as 695x1000 pixels, or 7:10 ratio. To get a nice print, you'd have to crop a bit more from the sides (or a bit less from the top/bottom) to get your 8:10 paper aspect ratio.

    Next step could be to ask your print shop what image size in pixels would be best for the print size you want, and adjust your image accordingly. That allows you to control the resizing (and sharpening).

    I'm not going to do any explanations of the why, there are a lot of threads where this subject has been discussed more in depth and better than I can explain it here (see the tutorials on this site for instance.

    Remco

  3. #3
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Tommy

    Re: Grasshopper, a little editing

    You did a good job on the edit!

  4. #4

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    Re: Grasshopper, a little editing

    Thank you both. I will have a look at the tutorial. There are so many wonderful tutorials here, it will take me a while to see them all....so much to learn, and what a great place I have found in which to do it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Grasshopper, a little editing

    Nat. I always leave my originals at the full size then adjust a copy to my required print size. But are you printing yourself or sending your files to a commercial printing firm?

    Printing myself, I reset the photo dimensions to exactly what I require, which may or may not require a crop. Sometimes it can be better to draw a selection rectangle around the required area and use that to crop because it is easy to set the required width x height ratio instead of worrying about actual sizes.

    However, when preparing to print (doing it myself) and there isn't a lot of alteration required, I usually start by using the Image Menu to set the shortest side. Then select the Crop Tool and check the Front Image setting from the top toolbar.

    Set the other length by entering the correct amount into the crop length size box (on the top toolbar). Drag and crop, and everything fits perfectly, providing I did it correctly.

    Getting this exact can be important when you require an equal all round border, as Remco mentioned. The problem being that photo sizes from a camera don't always equate with actual print sizes, particularly when you take borders into account.

    Working out the exact required sizes sounds complicated but usually isn't as bad as it sounds. What I tend to do is take a piece of paper at the finished print size then mark on my required borders and print size; just to check my maths.

    This is probably more important in Europe where we have strange paper sizes and A4 paper doesn't quite equate to a standard 3 x 2 image ratio.

    For my own prints, I just keep the native CS5 resolution of 240 ppi which seems to print fine.

    But if you are getting someone else to do the printing it can be different as some establishments insist on having 300 ppi resolution. Although this often isn't actually necessary.

    And when using outside printers, it probably is just as well to give them a full size image with instructions as to how you want the print. After all they are, or should be, the experts.

    For normal prints, I wouldn't worry about any loss of quality through resizing. This is usually only an issue when making substantial alterations, in either direction. In which case, I sometimes add a little Unsharp Mask after resizing. Always in the case of a substantial downsize for internet use.

  6. #6

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    Re: Grasshopper, a little editing

    Thank you, Geoff. and there's the problem: The Nikon D90 images are not the size of most frames, and sometimes it is just too expensive to have the framer cut the matt and frame it for me, so I use standard frames/matts. Sending to the printer, sometimes the image they "crop" for me is not exactly as I would have chosen. So that is why I wanted to crop it to a specific size/ratio without losing detail in the images.

  7. #7

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    Re: Grasshopper, a little editing

    Under those circumstances, Nat, simply crop to a ratio which will suit the paper/frames. It is always better to crop to your own personal tastes. Back in the film days I often asked for a print at a different ratio then didn't like how they chose the crop position.

    I shoot Raw and do most of my cropping during conversion.

    Although my camera shoots 3 x 2 ratio a lot of my finished images, particularly wildlife, end up as 5 x 4. That is where using the selection rectangle to create a cropping ratio is much easier than messing around with numbers.

    It's really just when adjusting a 3 x 2 ratio shot to A4 paper, and with a fixed border that I have to get more complicated.

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