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Thread: Posting photos that look good

  1. #1

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    Posting photos that look good

    I'm perplexed. I never can seem to get a photo to look good when I post it to this site. Any gradual color of tonal shifts become banded, and I have to shrink the picture to get it within the size limits. Yet, I see large, great looking pictures all over the site. Any pointers on how to do it right?

    --Gary

  2. #2
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary L. Quay View Post
    I'm perplexed. I never can seem to get a photo to look good when I post it to this site. Any gradual color of tonal shifts become banded, and I have to shrink the picture to get it within the size limits. Yet, I see large, great looking pictures all over the site. Any pointers on how to do it right?
    Assuming that you are using Photoshop...

    1. Edit | Convert to Profile... sRGB
    2. Image | Image Size... Bicubic Sharper (e.g.)700pixels on long side and 96dpi

    (I use Genuine Fractals instead; it seems to give better results)

    3. Save | Save for Web & Devices... jpg

    Joanna

  3. #3
    Downstairs
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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    ....700pixels on long side and 96dpi... Joanna
    Joanna,
    Tell me more about 96 dpi. Isn't 72 dpi standard?

  4. #4
    joseph
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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    I don't think the dpi matters at all-
    only pixel dimensions-

    96dpi is the screen res of my macbook pro, though-

    I think Gary is asking about pictures embedded in posts,
    and not clickable thumbnails-

    For that, you have to use tags, little pieces of code that tells the browser where to go to display an image.
    After following Joanna's advice above, regarding re-sizing for the web,
    you should host the image- either on your own website, or on any of the image hosting sites- imageshack.us, flickr, pbase, whatever-

    Once uploaded, the image will have an address- beginning with http...
    Placing the tags [img] at the beginning, and [/img] at the end of the address (with no spaces in between) will force the browser to look up the image, and display it on the page-

    I'm not a computer person, so details might be incorrect, but that is my understanding...

    joseph

  5. #5

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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    Christopher, it is only the pixel size and the color space that really matter, dpi is irrelevant for screen representation. It is basically a number that instructs the printer how many Dots Per Inch to lay down on the paper, hence the name. It is not the same as Dot Pitch used for displays.

    Hope this makes sense

  6. #6

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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    You can LIGHTLY sharpen your images once they are web-sized to reduce the softening effects of the jpg save. As for the banding, all you can do is use higher quality jpg settings OR modify your file by adding a small amount of noise (which will increase the size of your jpg.)

    All of these photo posting sites have automagic software that will resize (and sometimes strip the profile or sharpen) your photos to suit the webmasters (see what myspace and facebook do) and sometime you have to experiment.

    Nobody has used a 72dpi monitor in years (unless you are visually disabled and want larger text) -- just like printing, it is the amount of pixels that is important, you can post 1200 dpi images (albeit with small physical dimensions). I think the limit here is something like 500 pixels wide.

  7. #7
    Tim Bowles timbo10ca's Avatar
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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    Assuming that you are using Photoshop...

    1. Edit | Convert to Profile... sRGB
    2. Image | Image Size... Bicubic Sharper (e.g.)700pixels on long side and 96dpi

    (I use Genuine Fractals instead; it seems to give better results)

    3. Save | Save for Web & Devices... jpg

    Joanna
    Could you tell me more about this bicubic sharper please? I've never used it, but it sounds interesting. I've always downsized using bicubic then applied USM to the degree I feel necessary. I like the control this allows me. Does Bicubic Sharper keep the exact same image sharpness/ ghosting/ etc of the pre-downsized image? This sounds like it could save me a step. My workflow is:

    Scan at max ppi (non-uprezed), save as tiff
    Downsize tiff in PS to true scanner ppi (bicubic)
    Edit and sharpen
    Save as tiff for printing, using ZIP compression
    Run script in PS to convert to 8bit RGB and downsize (bicubic) to web size (400 pixels high), save as uncompressed jpg
    Apply sharpening to this jpg to account for softness induced by downsizing (USM 1 pixel, about 30-50%), save again as jpg, upload to web.

    Will Bicubic Sharpen improve my results at either of the downsize stages?

    Tim
    If only we could pull out our brains and use only our eyes. P. Picasso

    http://www.timbowlesphotography.com

  8. #8
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo10ca View Post
    Could you tell me more about this bicubic sharper please? I've never used it, but it sounds interesting. I've always downsized using bicubic then applied USM to the degree I feel necessary. I like the control this allows me. Does Bicubic Sharper keep the exact same image sharpness/ ghosting/ etc of the pre-downsized image? This sounds like it could save me a step. My workflow is:

    Scan at max ppi (non-uprezed), save as tiff
    Downsize tiff in PS to true scanner ppi (bicubic)
    ??? Not sure what you mean here. You should, usually, if you intend to print up to the maximum size your scans will allow, then you need to use, providing your scanner supports it as a true optical resolution, 2400 dpi.

    This will give you, approximately, 10x enlargement from the tranny/neg and is close to what the film actually resolves.

    But, you just scan at 2400ppi, no resizing or scaling is necessary. Once the image is in PS, use the Image | Change Size dialog to change the resolution, without scaling, to 240ppi, as a final working and printing resolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo10ca View Post
    Edit and sharpen
    You should not sharpen at this stage, unless you are using Genuine Fractals for resizing. Photoshops resizing can really wreck a good image, if you reduce the image size after sharpening.

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo10ca View Post
    Save as tiff for printing, using ZIP compression
    IF you are using Photoshop, why not save as PSD? It is a lossless compression. Regardless of the file format, I wouldn't use any extra compression.

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo10ca View Post
    Run script in PS to convert to 8bit RGB and downsize (bicubic) to web size (400 pixels high), save as uncompressed jpg
    You don't need to explicitly convert to 8bit, simply convert the profile to sRGB.

    As I mentioned in my first reply, I use Genuine Fractals for resizing, for a couple of reasons:

    Photoshop can make a mess of a sharpened image when downsizing, if that were my only option, I would not sharpen the image until it had been downsized, I would use Bicubic sharper to resize and then apply sharpening afterwards.

    Genuine Fractals seems to work much better on a sharpened image so, in this case, I would do my final sharpening before resizing. During the resizing, GF allows you to adjust the sharpness of the resized image to accomodate any loss during the process.

    I usually use the "Save for Web and Devices.." option to create a jpg file, it seems to handle things better.

    Regarding compressing the jpg, I tend to compress as much as is needed to create a certain file size.

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo10ca View Post
    Apply sharpening to this jpg to account for softness induced by downsizing (USM 1 pixel, about 30-50%), save again as jpg, upload to web.
    In my opinion, it would be foolish to sharpen the jpg if you have already sharpened the original image; best to leave all sharpening to after you have resized, unless you use Genuine Fractals.

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo10ca View Post
    Will Bicubic Sharpen improve my results at either of the downsize stages?
    If you don't have GF, then yes, it should, but be careful not to sharpen before resizing.

  9. #9

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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    You should not sharpen at this stage, unless you are using Genuine Fractals for resizing. Photoshops resizing can really wreck a good image, if you reduce the image size after sharpening.

    If you don't have GF, then yes, it should, but be careful not to sharpen before resizing.
    This depends on how you are sharpening. I have CS2 and sharpen in 3 stages - 1. source sharpening of scan, 2. content sharpening and 3. output sharpening on layers and masked for edges as per Bruce Frasers recommendations (ref Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2) and implemented in PhotoKit Sharpener. I have absolutely no issues resizing at any stage with CS2.

    And in my readings in other fora it appears that the consensus of opinion is that from CS3 onwards Photoshop outperforms Genuine Fractals for resizing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    2. Image | Image Size... Bicubic Sharper (e.g.)700pixels on long side and 96dpi
    Ignore dpi unless you want your image to display at a specific measured size on the monitor, e.g. 6 inches on a 120 dpi monitor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    IF you are using Photoshop, why not save as PSD? It is a lossless compression. Regardless of the file format, I wouldn't use any extra compression.
    This is irrelevant - TIFFs can be losslessly compressed using LZW or ZIP. Anyhow compression of your master file is just a trade-off between smaller files on disk or slower open/save times depending upon the size of your hard drive and speed of your processor.

    Rob

  10. #10
    Tim Bowles timbo10ca's Avatar
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    Re: Posting photos that look good

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanna Carter View Post
    ??? Not sure what you mean here. You should, usually, if you intend to print up to the maximum size your scans will allow, then you need to use, providing your scanner supports it as a true optical resolution, 2400 dpi.

    This will give you, approximately, 10x enlargement from the tranny/neg and is close to what the film actually resolves.

    But, you just scan at 2400ppi, no resizing or scaling is necessary. Once the image is in PS, use the Image | Change Size dialog to change the resolution, without scaling, to 240ppi, as a final working and printing resolution.
    I have been advised on a number of occasions that scanning at max dpi then downresing to the true scanner dpi will give a more detailed scan.

    I haven't worked with psd, and just use tiff in zip to keep it simple, plus it's lossless. I will look more at saving as psd's for saving disc space though.

    I sharpen prior to resizing because it's my ready-to-print final image. I have noticed quality loss when printing at lower dpi settings (300), so I leave the file at it's maximum dpi and print it, regardless of print size. To make it simple, I just resize that image for web and do a touch-up sharpen. I've been happy with the results so far, but I'll have to try saving a non-sharpened image, resize it using bicubic sharpen, then sharpen it and compare to one the way I've traditionally done it. I don't have GF, but have CS4- I just haven't learned it yet (I've been using CS2). I will also have to compare to a CS4 created jpg, done in my usual manner.

    Another reason I sharpen my original image is because I've found it to give better results when spotting. On a number of occasions, I've spotted then sharpened, only to find new spots due to the sharpening. So I sharpen prior to spotting, which is now my final step before saving.

    Tim
    If only we could pull out our brains and use only our eyes. P. Picasso

    http://www.timbowlesphotography.com

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