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Thread: preparing an image for print

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Noel

    preparing an image for print

    Some images may not be worth printing, but could be if prepared correctly. I think I get enough of these to warrant acquiring a better understanding of how to approach it.
    I took this picture at Darling Harbour in Sydney last year, Lumix TZ-11 compact, Auto (f4.3, 1/1250, ISO100). I have a liking for perspective images, and really like this one because it has the bridge rail, shadows, flags, lamp posts and monorail all converging. I think it could make a good print, and would like to improve it while still maintaining the integrity of the image as shot.
    I have tried some simple PS CS3 adjustments with my limited knowledge (attached) cropped from 4:3 to 3:2 for 6x4 print, with perspective cropping to straighten buildings a bit (had to sacrifice top of flag to exclude elements outside the convergence), shadows adjustment to lighten the foreground (amount 40, width 40, radius 30).
    Before going any further, I would really appreciate some guidance from the collective knowledge base of the CiC brains trust to get some direction on how to prepare this image for print, and any tips or pointers to sources of information on the pre-print process flow in general.
    Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can offer.
    Regards,
    Noel

    original image
    preparing an image for print

    adjusted image
    preparing an image for print

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
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    Dave Ellis

    Re: preparing an image for print

    Hi Noel

    I dont get much printing done but I'd suggest you increase the colour Saturation a little and add a bit more sharpening prior to printing. The crop you have done does emphasise the convergence in the image but it's a shame to lose the top of the flags. Does the crop have to be 4x6 or could you make a narrower crop and place a border around it (in PS) that is wider on the sides than the top and bottom so that the image including border is 4x6 (or maybe 5x7).

    Dave

  3. #3

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: preparing an image for print

    Hi Noel,

    I think you're cropping more than you need to. I had a quick play with the image and came up with ...

    - Fixing the distortion

    - Adjusting levels

    - Adjusting saturation

    - Cropping

    - Adjusting aspect ratio

    - Sharpening

    preparing an image for print

  4. #4

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    Re: preparing an image for print

    Yes, I agree with showing the whole of the flag pole.

  5. #5

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    Noel

    Re: preparing an image for print

    hi Dave, Colin, Geoff,
    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.Dave, Geoff, definitely a bad idea on my part to crop the pole, but I wanted 3:2 for my 6 x 4 album of keepers and thought i would have to lose some height. Dave, the border is a great idea for getting a 4:3 image onto 3:2 paper.Colin, I worked through your suggested process, and am very happy with the result - my tweaks may not have been the best numbers but I thought each of my adjustments was an improvement. I would appreciate any further comments on how well or otherwise I went with it. One question, though, in adjusting the aspect ratio without cropping a proportionate amount of image, have I stretched the image? Thanks again, everyone.
    - Noel

    readjusted image

    preparing an image for print

  6. #6

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    Re: preparing an image for print

    Quote Originally Posted by casper View Post
    hi Dave, Colin, Geoff,
    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.Dave, Geoff, definitely a bad idea on my part to crop the pole, but I wanted 3:2 for my 6 x 4 album of keepers and thought i would have to lose some height. Dave, the border is a great idea for getting a 4:3 image onto 3:2 paper.Colin, I worked through your suggested process, and am very happy with the result - my tweaks may not have been the best numbers but I thought each of my adjustments was an improvement. I would appreciate any further comments on how well or otherwise I went with it. One question, though, in adjusting the aspect ratio without cropping a proportionate amount of image, have I stretched the image? Thanks again, everyone.
    - Noel

    readjusted image

    preparing an image for print
    Hi Noel,

    Looks pretty good to me - just a couple of things ...

    1. It's still slightly flat - just raise the black clipping point slightly and watch it look more contrasty as the deep grays are driven to black.

    2. It needs output sharpening following the down-sample - try an USM of 0.3px @ 100 to 200%.

    In terms of the perspective correction, it's normal to lose a bit around the sides, but don't forget that your original also had a degree of rotation, which needed to be fixed first. After that there are a number of techniques to correct it (some result in more of a crop than the others) and it's even possible to replace some of the lost material with the likes of content-aware fill.

    If you really need a 2:3 aspect ratio then digitally adjusting whatever pixels you're left with is one way (one I use a lot to be honest) - I did this in my version of your image, although off memory, it wasn't a bit adjustment (so it still looks OK). Another technique is to put the image on a matte where the matte is 2:3, but not necessarily the image (it helps turn extreme aspect ratio images 3:1 or 4:1 etc into something that can be hung on a wall more reasonably.

    Does that help?

  7. #7

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    Noel

    Re: preparing an image for print

    Thank you , Colin, that was very helpful. I did think that with a complete range of values, and no clipping, it would be damaging to tamper with the levels. Moving the black point did result in a noticable improvement, even with a very small adjustment. I think I have that concept now, the greys become black and the blacks get clipped, and overall the contrast improves. Also tried the USM suggestion. To be honest, at 150% I couldn't pick the difference until about 0.7 px - but that's just me, I will get better.

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