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DMN

Cropping and resizing etc.

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I think from reading that if you crop a phot 50%, you would throw away about 1/2. I was a little confused when someone said they cropped 100%, I would think it all would then be gone.

I was playing around a little with a raw file that started about 13 meg and when I opened it in Photoshop elements 5 it said the size was 16.2 X 10.8 at 240ppi, if I resize it to about 14 on the long side the ppi went up to 277 ppi, is this beneficial to do?

When I saved it to a psd format the file size climbed to about 43 meg.

I then saved it as a level 10 jpeg and got a file size of 935k

Second I saved the psd again this time at level 12 jpeg and the size was 3.07 meg. Both jpegs say 2993 X 2394

Wouldn't the level 12 be a lot better?

Sorry for being so long winded.

Thanks Dan

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DMN, not sure on the lingo of crop percentages. I generally say something like "I cropped away 70 percent of the image, leaving 30 percent," or something like that, just to avoid the confusion.

When you resized your photo and it went from 240 to 277 ppi, that was just fine. 300 ppi is the print standard for full 4-color glossy mags and fine art prints, but I've compared identical prints at 300 ppi and 240 ppi and can't see a difference. Anyway, if you're downsizing an image that already is at 240 ppi and the resolution bumps up, that's never a bad thing.

With the jpeg issue, a level 12 is better than a level 10, but it's better to save it as a tiff or a psd than a jpeg because even at a level 12 jpeg there is a lot of compression, while a tiff or psd has no compression. The exception sometimes is when you transmit electronically to a print lab. Some of them (including White House Custom Color in St. Paul, where I do most of my work) ask for jpegs, but when they do it's generally at level 12.

For prints up to 16x20 or so I don't think it matters much, but when you start pushing print sizes a good bit larger, using a format like jpeg that compresses image data (and loses some in the process because of the compression), is not a very good thing.

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Stf

Thanks for the reply, I save the originals as a psd or raw and the jpegs are copies.

I have been sending level 10 jpegs to WHCC for 8 X 10s but have not tried level 12s, slow dial up you know, but I may try it and see.

Do you usually do matt or glossy prints from them for birds and critters?

The thing I find strange is the length and with on both levels say 2993 x 2394 while the file size tripled.

Thanks

Dan

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Dan, all my WHCC prints so far are on luster paper. I like the look, and they sell well. Although I'll be trying some canvas wraps one of these days.

The difference between a level 10 and level 12 jpeg is not in the physical dimension of the image, but in the degree of compression forced on it when saved.

The jpeg format is so useful for electronic transmission because of that compression, but the more the compression, the poorer the final image quality.

A jpeg compresses by taking adjacent pixels of similar and identical color value and compressing them all into a single pixel when being saved. The more the compression (lower the level number) the broader the color values that are collapsed into a single pixel.

Then, when you open a compressed jpeg back up in photoshop, the program adds those pixels back in, but at the single color value of the lone pixel, which removes the color subtlety of that group of pixels compared with the original.

And even at a level 12, every time you save a jpeg it goes through the same compression routine, and a small amount of color subtlety is lost. That's what makes jpeg a lossy format. You have to save repeatedly to see any degradation, but it's there, and it becomes more obvious when you print bigger enlargements. That's why it's best always to work in tif or psd formats and only convert to jpeg as a last step before transmitting a file or mounting it on the web.

Making, say, 11x14 prints, one jpeg and one tif, where the jpeg is a level 12 and has always been saved as a level 12, you wont' be able to see any difference. Go to 16x20 and you can start to see some differences, which are magnified the larger you go.

I've done these comparisons with my own work, and it's the superior enlargement quality on big prints that keeps me shooting RAW and processing as tifs. I haven't had anyone ask for a print bigger than 20x30 yet, but when the time comes I'm more confident the RAW/tif will ultimately go larger with better quality, based on the comparisons I've already done.

That being said, for the vast majority of situations, shooting in jpeg mode and processing as tifs or psds until final conversion to jpeg for transmission delivers excellent quality. I'm still shooting jpeg for weddings because of the large volume of images to sort through (often 2,000 or more) and because wedding clients rarely want anything larger than 11x14.

When transmitting to WHCC, even though the transfer takes longer, I would definitely recommend you up your quality setting from level 10 to level 12. WHCC recommends the level 12, and you can see from your own comparisons of file size how much more image information is included in the higher level.

Hope that all helps, buddy. It gets a bit windy sometimes, talking tech. gringrin

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Stf

It takes a lot of words to say a lot of things.

It make sence about the jpegs, I also shoot raw most of the time, if there's a chance of getting a once in a lifetime shot.

I got started on the level 10s from WHCC as that is what they had in their letter, but they may be thinking more along the lines of 4 X 6, I will try some level 12s next time, as I mostly have 8 X 10s printed by them.

I get your point on the wedding jpegs where you may shoot 2000, it sounds like you are giving them their money's worth, I am sure that is helping your wedding buisiness grow also.

Thanks again for your help.

Dan

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No prob with the help, Dan, it's what we're here for.

And you're right. The wedding bookings are moving quickly, with 11 so far this year as far away as the Twin Cities and Fargo. And since most wedding bookings come from folks who watched you photograph a friend's/relative's wedding, that'll keep going up.

I also should have mentioned how handy jpeg is when shooting sports. You get a faster burst mode with jpeg as opposed to raw, and I expect dbl will weigh in on this as he typically shoots jpeg with great results.

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I will disagree a bit with Steve here. Save your JPEG's at level 10 when transmitting to the lab. All the labs I work with recommend saving your JPEG's at level 10 including WHCC. This is right from the FAQ at WHCC.

Quote:
JPEG compression is a very efficient, lossy image compression algorithm designed specifically for saving photographic images. It takes advantage of how we see color versus brightness to only save information needed to reproduce the image for people to view. Image data is lost during compression, but at high levels of quality you will not see a difference between a Level 10 JPEG and a TIFF printed to photographic paper. JPEG compression is perfect for transient files for sending to the lab for printing, but avoid using the compression as a working file type. Also avoid opening a JPEG, making changes, and re saving it again as a JPEG repeatedly. If your work flow calls for this to happen, save your files as TIFF or PSD files until they are complete and ready for output, at which time you should save them as a level 10 JPEG. Any JPEG artifacts you see in your prints come from the JPEG file coming out of your camera, not from saving them as a level 10 for output purposes.

And my HSOforum provider and printer for my on line galleries says this as well about JPEG;

Quote:
No one has been able to tell the difference between images stored at Photoshop JPEG 12 and JPEG 10 settings, but JPEG 10 images are less than a third the size.

We tell our customers to save at JPEG 10 for psychological comfort, but for our own photographs, critical prints of million-dollar cars shot at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance that hang in expensive mansions, we're perfectly comfortable with JPEG 8.

In 1,000,000 photographs shipped, only a handful of people noticed a JPEG artifact. We've seen many prints returned, almost always for color, contrast, exposure, or lack of unsharp mask — hardly ever for compression.

I do more printing in a month than most folks do in years and as I mentioned in the previous thread do at least a couple of prints per week at poster sizes, 20"x30" and 24"x30". I get fantastic prints at those sizes with level 10 jpeg's 2 to 4mp files. All of my client work at the smaller sizes are done through WHCC. I have had one complaint in the last few years on a print and it had nothing to do with the printer.

Lastly don't confuse ppi and dpi. PPI refers to pixels per inch, this will affect the print size of your photo and has an affect on the quality of the output. If there are too few pixels per inch, then the pixels will be very large and the quality of the image will suffer. If you change the PPI of a file it doesn't change the amount of pixels in your image at all just the size that it will print at. I can change that number to my hearts desire and no pixels are added or subtracted to the file unless we re-sample the image, which we won't get into now.

DPI is talking about the PRINTER only! Each pixel contains color and are made up by different colors. So your image (and each pixel) is made up of tiny droplets of ink, the higher the DPI, the better the tonality of the image. Colors look better and viewed at a high resolution through a Lupe the blends will be more subtle.

That is my take on this, you upload at whatever makes you comfortable but please save your originals. I honestly think saving your original files as JPEG is a more universal format that will be around forever. Longer than RAW, or TIFF or your camera proprietary format, but that is a whole different discussion!

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Yikes, looks like I blew it on the WHCC thing. My memory said level 12. Getting old, I guess. blush Level 10 it is, and thanks for correcting bad info, Dan! Otherwise, I do it exactly as the WHCC FAQ suggests regarding tif or psd workflow with a final change to jpeg and no repeated saving of jpeg.

In the end, I'll probably never need to take advantage of the slight difference in quality between jpeg and raw at truly large print sizes. And for the record, I don't say jpeg printed really large isn't excellent. I do in fact say it is excellent, because that's been my experience. I also say in side-by-side comparisons I've done of jpeg and raw prints at 20x30 and larger (when the raw prints use 16-bit color depth), I see a difference, that the raw print is even more excellent. smile

And aside from my doofus screwup on the WHCC level thing, I don't think Dan and I really disagree much at all about raw vs jpeg. I think our statements are more a matter of emphasis than differences of opinion. smile

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Dan or Steve... question gentlemen.

What are your thoughts on saving as a PSD vs a TIFF file format?

Any preference either way and why?

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Buzz, I don't know of a difference in quality. Maybe Dan has some hands-on experience with the differences . . . ?

Just did some checking, and it appears the psd format has compression built in, though it is supposed to be lossless compression. The tif only compresses if you ask it to (I never compress a tif), and then doesn't compress it as much as psd does.

I don't know how compression can be lossless, but then I'm not a tech whiz at that level. As to real-world differences in print quality, I'd be surprised if there's much difference, but again that's just supposition.

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My preference is save as a PSD. Why?

1. 1/2 the file size for all the information along with the ability to save layers for faster editing at a later date. I can open a PSD at a later date that say has a sharpening layer. I learn a new technique and want to apply it to the old file. Open the PSD, delete the old sharpening or just un-check the eye icon so it isn't visible and create a new sharpen layer. I can now compare the two by checking or un-checking the eye. The original is still the background layer so I haven't touched that at all. Tweak to your hearts desire with layers!

2. Long term viability as a file format that is recognized. PSD will more than likely be around longer than TIFF. Think along the lines of 8 track tapes, cassettes, VHS vs Beta.....you get the idea?

3. Both are lossless so no loss of pixels so a toss up on that one.

And Steve we both agree on the RAW vs JPEG no doubt about that. I shoot JPEG because its what works for me and my shooting situation along with the shear volume of shots I deal with. I also shoot RAW and JPEG to separate cards when pleasure shooting. I will say I rarely touch the RAW, but I have it if I really want to tweak and get the best possible results out of a file. I just don't see that much difference in my final prints.

I was just merely pointing out the JPEG quality issue and no difference of opinion on printing large sizes either. I just did over 150 posters last year and will double that this year so I think I have a good handle on what works for my situation.

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A psd has no compression? How is it that the file size is so much smaller than a tif?

Also, what's your thinking on why the tif will go the way of the Betamax while the psd will be the format of choice? Is it because of the combination of smaller file size and a more nimble document format that lets you go back and re-work layers and other things?

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Thanks for the quick answers guys. I was just wondering what you guys did. I started out as Tiffs but quickly made the switch to .psd files. The file size being one big reason why as well as what else Dan mentioned. Thanks guys!

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I miss-typed Steve, I changed #3 to show lossless not un-compressed. In a big hurry today was up all last night.

My research on TIFF shows that it is losing some favor. Adobe who drives much of the software we use as photographers has a lot to say about what will work. They are solid on PSD and the file size and layers really make it better and easier on all of us.

Storage space is cheap these days so size should not matter all that much, but working with those large files and have a computer that can process it quickly does matter!

There are a few organizations that are pushing file formats to the manufacturers. Of course they do what they want, but how about DNG? That is supposed to be a standard for all but I don't know anyone that uses it.

Microsoft has a new JPEG format that may blow all of these out of the water! It is constantly evolving so I could be wrong, and others that spend time thinking about this may as well but I'm not putting many eggs in the TIFF basket. JMHO, nothing more or less. I do enjoy these discussions, I think we all pick up new and interesting information which I hope makes the process of taking pictures easier. After all this talk it still is about taking the pictures, how we get the final result is up to the individual.

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Here is some info I found while doing some surfing. I just used bits and pieces, that applies to this discussion.

TIFF is publicly documented, PSD is not. Also, I believe that TIFF has been around a lot longer than PSD.

TIFF uses ZIP compression for max compression, PSD uses RLE which if you save without the Max compatibility will be a bit smaller, but at the risk of not being able to be used by applications like Lightroom.

Adobe can do anything including stopping support for PSD because it's a proprietary file format. TIFF is public, even if it's owned by Adobe. Even if Adobe went belly up tomorrow, TIFF would continue.

I suppose to be on the safe side, a person could keep a copy in both formats. Nobody really knows the future.

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Thanks for the info guys.

If I stay near the 300 ppi resolution my Canon 40D gives me about an 8 X 12 print, I take it if you want bigger you let the print service enlarge for you?

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Thanks Dbl, I save the original as a PSD for future and then save as a jpeg for printing. That way I hope to be covered.

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Depends on the print service, Dan. For WHCC, I do the interpolation myself in photoshop. Some labs prefer to do it themselves. It's best to check with whichever lab you are using beforehand.

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My updated reading indicates that, from Photoshop CS2 on, tif can be saved with layers just like psd. Just as an fyi to add to the previous tif vs psd discussion.

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I found that myself Steve, I was not aware of that. There does appear to be small limitations to that but mostly in vector graphics which doesn't matter all that much to photographers.

I did find more info about Adobe's apparent lack of support or moving forward with enhancements of TIFF since its acquisition so I guess time will only tell what happens.

XT PSD is supported in Lightroom. Adobe would be remiss not to support its own file format in one of its own programs. Adobe is the big guy on the block for now I quess so it sits in the drivers seat.

I don't think the layer capability will cause me to change my mind on storage mainly because of the file size, and the fact that it is a simple matter to convert PSD's to TIFF if one chooses to do that. But I do think its a darn good idea to keep accessing your work flow and refine it to fit your needs. Thats why I find these discussions are so beneficial.

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In further discussions with other photographers, the consensus is that graphic artists (for whom Photoshop really was designed and who know far more about Photoshop than even most professional photographers) will drive the ultimate preference between tif and psd. The old school GAs are sticking to tif while the newer generation has adopted psd.

So as the older GAs drop out over time, it's likely psd will keep coming on strong.

That's of course just a guess, but it's a pretty decent guess. My wife, who has been a graphic artist for nearly 30 years and knows way more about Photoshop than I ever will need to know, is a tif girl, but my 20something GA niece goes for psd. It doesn't sound like one's better than the other in most of their minds, just that you go with what you're used to.

In the meanwhile, when working with graphic artists who are using our photos, it's safe to say that some will request tifs and some psds.

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