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yahsemtough

Photos editted for web vs. printing.

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I'm curious, I always edit my pictures so that they can still produce a maximum size print if I wish. If they do not then that is as far as I edit/crop.

 

My question is, do people take some pics and then crop them so tight they look amazing when web posted but could never print bigger than a postage stamp. ie. editted for web posting only? (2 sets of the same picture). Nothing wrong with that just curious. Two different uses.

 

Also, when posting to meet the maximum file size for posting what quality do people leave the picture to post to. I posted up my last bunch at 50% quality and notice that some sharpness has been lost in the web posting.

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I like to compose in camera. On the other hand, most of the images I was coming home with at first were far from perfect. Even so, it was fun to try to salvage the best of the "failures" with Photoshop voodoo and creative cropping. (But of course, there's no mistaking a perfect exposure for a doctored image.)

 

Here's my favorite "failure" - a shot of Kellet's Whelk eggs. This is a crop - about 1/3 of the original 2560x1920 image. The reason I cropped it was because the rest of the image was completely blown out and/or out of focus. My skill with Photoshop was pretty lacking when I did this. :) It was a salvage job - still it was fun to put a photo of the eggs next to the one of the Whelk laying them in my critter book.

7405_3483_8.jpg

 

Here's the Kellet's Whelk laying eggs.

7405_3483_7.jpg

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If you're not a pro, then what the heck, put up everything good you have even if there is only a 400 x 600 crop from a shot that otherwise isn't any good, right?

 

If you're a pro and want to showcase your portfolio on your site, then that's different.

 

Cheers

James

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Best way I've found is to do all your editing then drop the size down as a copy of the original file.

Simply type in the size (maybe 600 longest) and then adust slider to desired Kb or just a bit lower.

This keeps much of the quality without too many compression artifacts.

 

Photo's you see in books etc, are rarely the full image... No need to worry about quality as they only specify 300 dpi and images are rarely big.

 

The best thing about photography is looking forwards to taking the next image, and maybe improving on the last. :) (mouth is closed!)

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This is a bigger topic than you might imagine.

 

Printing (whether on your own ink jet printer, preparation of an art print, or submission to a publication, etc.) means conversion to CMYK color space, even if you don't explicitly invoke this step yourself. CMYK has a different (and much more restricted) gamut of colors, as well as limitations in inking. There may be colors in your RGB image that are not printable in CMYK - look for an explanation point (!) in the information palette when you scan around the image in RGB or LAB.

 

Things with weird names and acronyms like dot gain, GCR and UCR get invoked, and it turns out have huge implications for how a printed version of your image will actually look. None of these are trivial.

 

Resolution is another issue, but it's not the case that, for printing, more resolution is better - sometimes the opposite is true! And there's also aspect ratio. Your original digital image might have an aspect ratio of 1.5:1. You might want to crop this differently to display it on the web, and you definitely will want to crop to a different aspect ratio if you're printing on A4 or US-standard paper sizes and want to make maximal use of the printable area available from your printer. You'll want to set the pixels/inch setting to 72 for images you are using on the web, but for printing you will probably want to go to 200 or higher.

 

As for me, I try to do all editing at the maximum resolution/file size the original image has. Images for the web get converted to 72 dpi and a maximum size of 800 pixels on the longest side - usually 800 x 535 for an uncropped image. To print, I go back to the original large file, set dpi to somewhere between 200-300, and crop the image to fit on A4 paper.

 

Robert Delfs

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James, what if you had aspirations of developing a good reputation and moving towards being a pro. You then would want to represent your work in the best light.

 

ps I'm not quiting my day job anytime soon.

 

But, then bob and the other poster raise interesting points that sometimes the ultra-crop is acceptable in the end anyway.

 

Thanks for the discussion as I was curious. I have never cropped beyond what I thought would still allow a 8x10 from my CP5000. I always thought that if someone really like the picture and asked for a print I would be embarrassed to say Ah, I can only print you a 4x6 maximum.

 

But, I also agree with Bob, I don't consider the failures a loss, I actually like to analyze them and learn and adjust. I think that is what I love about photography. The same as golf for me. No matter how great a shot you get there is always another you want or, something you wish you would have been able to get on the same dive.

 

I will add a new category to my library as web only.

 

:) What no tongue Bob?

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James, what if you had aspirations of developing a good reputation and moving towards being a pro. You then would want to represent your work in the best light.

James has no such aspirations! :)

 

You could categorize you images as "best of", "worthy of show", "all the crap I shot" and let the user select. My database does that. You can see an example here. It's not my current database but it's where I first developed it.

 

I think that when you create a gallery, you need to decide whether you want to (a) put forth your best photographic work, (B) document your experiences, or © try to teach. There are examples of each of these three approaches and what a person wants effects his opinion of how a gallery should be presented.

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I'd like to add to this debate that editorial and advertising customers like to see a bit of space in our images, so that they can crop them or run text over them etc to suit their needs. Whereas for a slide photo-competition you want full corner to corner impact. Photo competition winning shots are not necessarily the best images for commercial use.

 

So I guess it is all about getting our images right for their required use. Plentiful negative space for editorial and advertising, full frame action for competitons and max punch in as few pixels as possible for the web. I'll be taking three shots of everything I see from now on...

 

The other area for digi images is for projection where it doesn't improve quality to go beyond screen image size.

 

IMO

 

Alex

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Interesting points Alex. I had never thought of taking pictures with different uses in mind for the same subject.

 

Usually I am bracketing and changing positions and lighting but trying to fill the frame as much a possible.

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As long as the shooter reveals how the image was created - I don't care if they are crops. Frankly, though, most images I shoot that need more than 20% cropped (or more than 5min of photoshop editing) goes straight to the trash.

 

For any of you that have Chris Newbert's Within a Rainbow Sea - I think many of the great macro shots in that book are actually crops from larger images - the DOF just seems too large. For our purposes I like to know how an image was created so I can go out and practice a given technique, but if the image can't be created in the camera it would be a waste of time!

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