External Printing confusion

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Overread, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ok tried searching, but had no luck --

    I am intending to print a series of photos taken with my 400D at 8*10 size and a 300dpi. Now far as I know for this I have to crop the shots to fit the 8*10 scale, but is there a way (in photoshop elements) to perform this kind of crop specifically or is it guesswork with manual cropping?

    Secondly with regard to sharpness - just how soft can you go with a shot (for the above settings) before its too soft to get a good result - I know this is mostly down to experience, but I have no printer access so I can't test myself - I will try to get a 100% crop example of the lowest end of sharpness from the photos that I would like to print - but any idea would be welcome. I also hear that people tend to sharpen far more a print than for online. Then there is noise (which I also here reduces a bit when printed) but again I have no idea of the limits.

    Thirdly does anyone know good online UK based printing firms - I have read a lot here using the US based ones, but since I am UK based the postage might be a bit much ;)
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For printing? You could go down to 150DPI but it will look soft when compared to a higher DPI pic side by side. If you are concerned with quality, don't go under 300DPI.

    Elements doesn't have an "auto crop" feature, but I know that PS CS3 does. I use it anytime I want to do any "proper" cropping.
     
  3. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    You can use the crop tool in PSE - it's the one under the type tool, if you have the standard toolbar - it looks like two opposed Ls with a diagonal line. Set the width and height to 8 and 10 as appropriate, and the resolution to 300 ppi (strictly speaking it is pixels per inch, not dots per inch). There is a preset for 8x10 in the Aspect Ratio drop-down list. You can switch orientations between portrait and landscape by clicking on the opposed arrows between the width and height boxes.

    To judge sharpness you can try viewing the image at about the size it will be printed at and sharpening to taste - don't view at '100%' but at the approximate physical size of the print, ie 8x10. It won't look exactly like the print because the print should be higher resolution than the screen image, but it is possibly the nearest simulation you can get.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm I have found the rulers option in elements - so with that I can set a crop option to the desired size - but the image is way too big to fit into 8*10 - so I assume that I have to resize - how am I to pick the right resize scale though?
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    You don't want the rulers option, but the 'crop tool'. Search in the help file for 'crop tool' and you will see what the icon looks like, and how it works. It does exactly what you want.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ahh sorry I miss informed - I am using the crop tool - but I could not find any way to fix the size of the sides, so I used the rulers to scale the size of the crop selection window.
    Seeing that the photo was just too big I did the resize and then the crop after
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    If you have no way of setting the length of the sides then you aren't using the crop tool. You are probably using the rectangular marquee tool - the dashed rectangle. Look lower down the toolbar. It's there in PSE 4, which is what I use (along with PS CS4).

    Best,
    Helen
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ahh no I got it - I was using the right tool, just that I did not notice the adjustments bar along the top - found it now. So its now crop - set to 8*10 - dpi to 300 and then crop. Much simpler! :)
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    right prints ordered and arrived now - I ordered a few to give me a quality spread so I could see just how soft I can get away with - though I think I need a change to my sharpening prosess - what would be good settings for sharping with something like the following shots to get a sharp print at around 8*10 size 300ppi. OR if not possible to get sharp at 8*10 what rough size could be used - or is there no hope for the shot - do a reshoot.

    [​IMG]

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