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Photography Question 
Angela Majerus

Steps for Best Photo Printing with a Canon 10D

I just got a 10D (and I am totally green to digital photography), so I am sure I am about to ask a question that has been asked before, but...

When I load my photos from my camera to my computer what steps should I take to ensure a good photo quality in the developed print? I am shooting in the large/fine mode so I should have a pretty good captured resolution. Is it common to have to make adjustments to ALL your photos prior to burning them to a CD for printing (such as unsharp/mask, or color adjustments)?

I know there are vast possibilities for alterations in Photoshop... I just need the basic steps that one might follow prior to burning their photos on a disc that they are going to take to a local chain type place for developing, and what instructions you might give the retailer for printing.

Thanks in advance for your help. I am at the beginning of what appears to be a long learning curve!

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8/23/2003 12:05:33 PM

Michael Kaplan   All digital pictures need some USM before printing to get the best quality out of it unless the picture looks better not sharpened like a portrait where you may want it a bit soft. I personally use CP Pro action from Fred Miranda but you can use USM in photoshop. I also do if needed a bit of curves and/or levels, color, whatever depending on the picture. I then crop if needed, resize and print. I do my own printing but it would be the same for sending to a lab. Check which them what the best parameters are and file format and then do the upsizing yourself if needed.

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8/23/2003 5:32:15 PM

Angela Majerus   Thanks for the input. I guess I didn't realize that I would have to do anything to the prints prior to burning them to a CD for printing. Like I said, I am totally green to the digital thing. But, I have been reading all the great posts here and going through my software tutorials.

Thanks for the help!

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8/24/2003 7:22:02 AM

Michael Kaplan   I should have said BTW that you don't HAVE to do anything and many people don't do anything and are perfectly happy with their prints. I would suggest you do a trial and error thing. Maybe take 1 print you like and send in 1 image untouched and play around with another and see which you like printed the best. It has been said that you need greater sharpening for prints than for screen so you can try a few variations. Also 4x6 might not show the differences the way an 8x10 or larger shot will. For the cost of prints now a days, experiment a little and see what YOU like best.

Also I said I use Cp Pro. It should have read CSPro by Fred Miranda.

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8/24/2003 7:35:13 AM

Frank Gilbert   If you really want to burn photos straight from your 10D, you can also set sharpening and color intensity in the camera (use the custom functions). The result is not quite as good as doing it in photoshop, but OTOH you then don't need to post process your images.

Another point, photo quality inkjet printers from epson, Canon and HP are so cheap, you will probably recover their initial cost over your first hundred retail prints.

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8/25/2003 10:55:39 PM

Jeff Grove   This is not an answer but an inquiry to Michael K. or anyone who can tell me what "USM" refers to in regard to enhancing digital images, since I'm new to digital terminology.

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8/26/2003 9:03:12 AM

Michael Kaplan   USM (UnSharp Mask) is actually a sharpening tool, not an unsharpening tool like the name signifies. Some different photo programs like Photoshop and others have this (under filters) as a way to add some line sharpening. This acts differently than the Sharpen tool.

Applying sharpness can be done at various stages of the scanning or image reproduction process and is usually necessary
after capturing an image with a scanner or a digital camera. This adds back sharpness lost during the original capture
process. It is best to apply USM to the image at its final size it is going to be reproduced at.

A digital camera has a Descreening filter to remove moire. That filter causes some lack od sharpness that needs to be put back thru USM or similar method for the best quality pictures.

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8/26/2003 3:12:59 PM

Jody Grigg   First thing you should do is copy your images to your computer then before doing any adjustments make a CD-Rom copy of them. That way you always have a raw form.

Just curious why arent you using the RAW format on the camera. This allows for the most editing of the image.

Next step would be to convert images using the program that came with the camera or something like Breeze Browser (Cost about $40 approx.). In the conversion stage you can adjust color, saturation, highlights etc.

After conversion and color fixtures make another copy of your images before you resize them. That way in the future you dont have to go and redo the above steps and the only you would have to do is resize and sharpen them. I would not recommend USM or sharpening then saving reason being is that an 5x7 and 16x20 need different levels of sharpening etc.

Check with your local lab about what format they need computer files most are in 8-Bit Tiff RGB format at around 300dpi.

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8/28/2003 12:00:04 PM

George E. Friend   For weekend-warrior type stuff, I've had great results with Auto-Levels and the occaisonal unsharp mask. I order prints through and they will do digital touch-up by default unless you request they don't - makes it easy to take it straight from the camera.

As for the question on why you don't use raw format, I'm not played with raw mode yet to see the difference, but I'm sure space is the reason. I can fit 120 or so pictures on a 256MB card using JPG, but that would only be around 40 pics in RAW mode. When you're a newbie and trying to see what the camera is capable of, you can really buzz through alot of shots (isn't digital great) with a lot of different settings, etc. to see what effect it's having.

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9/3/2003 7:24:23 PM

Brian  Donaldson   Angela, I usually have 3 cd's. The first cd is for my original(untouched) photos. I send my digital and scanned images right to this one. This way I can go back to the original if I mess something up or delete the image from the work in progress cd.
The 2nd cd is for work in progress images. This way I can save any image as it is and come back to it when I like.
And the 3rd is for my final images. I realize this may seem to be a cumbersome process. But I learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to keep the images on the same disk. I hope this helps

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9/11/2003 7:38:54 PM

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