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Photography Question 
Diane C. Pontious
 

How Do I Take a High-Resolution Image?


Hi all,
I'm all confused about high resolution photos. I use a Nikon d80 and shoot JPEG. I use a fine setting with large format, but I guess this isn't high resolution? What is it? How do I do it? Do I need to shoot Raw? If so, what program do I get that will allow me to open Raw images in Photoshop elements 5.0? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much!


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12/12/2007 1:02:14 PM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  Hi Diane, even at fine and large, with JPEGs, some compression and loss of data occurs. At your settings, this is not really a loss of resolution as much as a loss of color bit depth or data. But this loss will limit the exposure, saturation, sharpening, etc., adjustments you can make without introducing some artifacts. So for the maximum data in your files, shoot Raw. I believe Nikon View is the free software will allow you to open NEF files. But if you really want to work with NEF files, get Nikon Capture NX. This one program will allow you to do all edits that you can do in Elements without ever leaving the NEF raw format. Plus you have the control over white balance, exposure and lighting that working in raw gives you. And all edits are nondestructive and saved as a sidecar instruction file that is much smaller than multilayered PSD files.
Bill


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12/12/2007 3:20:34 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Diane,
The term "high resolution" is relative. Compared to most DSLRs, the point & shoot cameras are low resolution. A Mamiya 2.25" with a digital back is high resolution compared to a DSLR. It is all relative.
All the best,
Pete


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12/12/2007 7:09:25 PM

 
Diane C. Pontious   Thank you both for the feedback, I think I get it now. I just kept hearing people talk about taking "High Resolution Images" and I didn't understand just what it meant. I'm going to download a 30 day free trial of Capture NX and go out to shoot myself some Raw images!!! Thanks Again!! Diane


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12/13/2007 5:33:06 PM

 
Bruce Prevett   Diane, I agree with William. I have purchased the Capture NX program myself about 6 months ago, and would say that the difference between JPG and RAW is night and day. I took a picture of a Cormorant diving into the water near where I live. I was shooting at the maximum 300mm...the picture to catch the action was set to the maximum open apeture that I could and it was still dark. I brought it into the Capture NX program and brought the RAW file back to life, you could even see the water droplets from the splash. A JPG picture like that would definitely have been lost.

I would also recommend a tripod if you really want good resolution off of your D80. I find that anything above 135mm and I need the tripod just to make a good crisp shot.


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12/18/2007 5:11:22 AM

 
Marc D. Bell   Hello all, I'm sure Diane appreciates your responses. But, as for William's response, don't you think telling her to shoot "Raw" and then stating nothing about conversion to JPEG after that is a bit confusing. Or has something changed to where you can download
"raw" images onto CD and take in for processing into prints?
Thanks,
Marc


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12/18/2007 6:46:15 AM

 
Marvin Swetzer   You can get a free download from Adobe that will let you open and work on NEF files.


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12/18/2007 7:03:05 AM

 
Marc D. Bell   Thank you Marvin for your response. However, that has nothing to do with my statement. I work with Adobe 7.0.1 but Diane P. needs to know that if she intends on getting her images printed they have to be in jpep or tiff format. Unless she uses her own printer to print. I use direct lambda prints (as is printing) from a local film/digital processing company. Notice you can't even submit images onto BetterPhoto if they are still raw images and have not been converted to a standard format. I hope I'm making sense, if not someone please correct me (in detail).


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12/18/2007 7:15:08 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  It could depend on where you read or heard it. It could be somebody saying that in their bio to signify they use which ever camera has the highest pixel amount like Nikon's D2x(is that their top model now?) or it could've been somebody talking about using a camera's biggest file size.


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12/18/2007 9:12:08 AM

 
Chandragopal Shroti   i feel resolution to the higher amount of megapixels in a camera. a 10 MP shot has more resolution than 6 MP or lower. this also comes in printing. the higher resolution images will produce larger enlargement without noise. as in films, 50 iso or 100 iso has good resolution and capability to produce grain free pix rather than 800 or 1600 iso.

regarding capturing in RAW, u will have to convert the photograph in jpeg or other formats for purpose of printing. anyhow when u shoot in raw, conversion is possible in PS. IN FAST SHOOTING, I THINK, IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO SHOOT IN RAW since in RAW the writing speed on sensor is slow, so wait for few seconds before next shot. but as stated above by my friend, THE SHARPNESS OF RAW is unmatchable. so both have advantages and disadvantages, it is uopn u how u tackle the issue. thanks.


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12/18/2007 11:17:56 AM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  Hi Marc, sorry I wasn't prescient enough to anticipate the questions Diane did not ask nor to divine her printing intent. Submitting any digital file to a third party means you have to be knowledgeable enough to provide it in the format they require. Of course, if she intends to print herself, she will be able to print directly from the raw format. Chandragopal, you fear of effect on shooting speed is unwarranted. If you select a jpeg mode on any good DSLR, the camera actually shoots in raw and then converts to jpeg so the frame rate is not really affected by the format. The number of shots you can store in your buffer is higher in jpeg but this is due to the fact that a great deal of data is discarded in the jpeg format - a trade off I find to be unacceptable. Finally, raw files are initally less sharp because unlike a jpeg no in camera sharpening is applied. However, with the much increased color data, raw files can generally take much greater sharpening in post processing without creating artifacts.


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12/18/2007 1:52:20 PM

 
Bruce Prevett   Marc,

I agree that you do have to change from NEF to a different format...but Capture NX will convert to JPG or TIF. If you are completely worried about quality, then you would convert it to TIF in the program, that way you will not lose the quality. One BIG caveat though with TIF format is BIG files. But most regular developing houses will work with TIFs.

It is better to work in high def as much as possible before you JPG, because you have the HD image to go back to, if you start with JPG, then the best you'll ever get is the "loss" effect of the JPG. Don't get me wrong, JPG does have it's place...and is a good format if you are wanting snapshots.


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12/18/2007 2:07:11 PM

 
Marc D. Bell   Hi Bruce, William and all! Wow, i'm impressed there are so many people that want to help Diane with her question. And yet, I've learned something as well. I shoot quite a lot, from Events to Publicity and everything in between..lol, and I've never shot in RAW or I tried once and they all had to be transferred to jpep or tiff. I work work adobe 7.0.1. So, If I shoot "raw" the images will be better? you see I don't use Adobe Photoshop for anything unless I'm taking out a blimish or want "just a slight hint of contrast added". So tell me, if I shoot in raw mode and get the CF card downloaded, then the images into my adobe progeam I can do any adjustments (if needed) please tell me how once I have to transfer to "Tiff Files" how exactly do I do that, or do I so it during the save as process?


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12/18/2007 3:18:12 PM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  Fair question Marc. In CS2 or CS3, your raw files will open in Adobe Vamera Raw (unless you use another raw converter). You can make general adjustments in ACR suich as levels, curves, white balance, etc. You will have an option to either save the file or open it. If you open it from ACR, it will open in Photoshop as a PSD file. You can then do your finer adjustments, pixel editing, mask work, etc in Photoshop and when you save you use the "save as" function and can chose your format. If you want to save as a PSD or TIFF you don't need to worry abouth anything. If you want to save as a jpeg, you will need to make sure that your color mode under Image > Mode is set to 8 bit rather than 12 bit color depth or Photoshop will not allow you to save as a jpeg. When saving as a jpeg, all layers will be merged so I typically save as a PSD or TIFF first and then save a jpeg version if I want to email or post the photo to a web site.

Bill


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12/19/2007 4:18:20 AM

 
Marc D. Bell   Thanks Bill,

I'm fairly sure most photo processing places except TIFF files, so your information helped. Can I ask you this, I use the Adobe sRGB 1998 ICC profile and also have my camera set to it. Is that a good or bad thing (But remember I don't alter much, actually don't even know how in Adobe, I try and get it right when I take the picture) as far as increased clarity in contrast and color if I start to shoot in "raw". What ICC profile do you use? I know I can't shoot in "raw" mode when I'm covering an event, I'd never be able to get all the shots I needed. But I'd like to know as much about the ICC profiles and raw format to make sure I'm using one that works best.
Thanks,
Marc


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12/19/2007 6:07:25 AM

 
Bruce Prevett   Good answer Bill, from a PhotoShop perspective. I'll add a a little extra from a Nikon Capture NX perspective. I have worked with shooting in JPG and RAW with Capture NX and I can tell you, only half of the adjustments are available if you are shooting in JPG as compared with the RAW.

I started by shooting in JPG and after watching Jim Moitke's DVD (ya, I know...shameless plug for the site's owner), as Jim states in the video, the flexibility is there to make far more adjustments than with a JPG file.


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12/19/2007 6:25:47 AM

 
Diane C. Pontious   Hi all. I just wanted to thank everyone for their great responses. I am learning so much here it's great!!
Thanks Again!!!!
Diane/CT


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12/19/2007 11:58:51 AM

 
Marvin Swetzer   I keep seeing the word quality. If you want quality forget about digital and use film and not the itty-bitty 35mm.


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12/19/2007 2:43:01 PM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  Marc, think of color profiles as a set of instructions to a device on how it is to interpret the color data, Each profile may result in a slightly different rendering of the colors. The most significant consideration though is the width of the color gamut (or total range of the colors that can be expressed) and how the profile deals with out of gamut colors. sRGB was a profile specifically develped for the internet and has the narrowest gamut. But since this is what the internet uses, you generally want pictures you upload to be in the sRGB profile or you can get some distortions when the site you post to attempts to compress a larger gamut profile such as Adobe RGB into a smaller gamut space. Often I see a distinct loss of contrast and saturation in this situation. I shoot in Nikon Adobe RGB because I want the largest gamut in the digital file. This really has little to do with the finished photo since it will either be uploaded in sRGB or printed and printers have a smaller gamut than Adobe RGB. The real advantage is the same as using the raw format - that you can make more aggressive adjustments without creating unusual artifacts. As an example, if I have a bright pink flower shot in sRGB profile and attempt to increase the saturation it is very easy for me to push the color out of the gamut and get a very artificial shiny color. However, if I shot in Adobe RGB, I have more gamut to work with and and less chance of creating that result. Once I get the picture how I want it, I save the original and make copies converting to sRGB if it will be a web pic or converting to the appropriate printing profile if I intend to make a print. After converting the profile, I carefully check the results to see whether it has changed anything and make adjustments as necessary. typically, a curves or saturation adjustment is all that is needed.

Remember, all of these things we are talking about relate to the ability to have greater control in post processing. If your commercial activities do not allow you the time to make adjustments on every picture then jpeg with appropriate in camera settings may be your best bet.

Bill


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12/19/2007 3:27:58 PM

 
Marc D. Bell   Bill,
Thank you for your information. It was very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my e-mail.

Marc


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12/19/2007 3:48:48 PM

 
Ken Henry   True. sRGB is very difficult to saturate up to match the quality of RGB colors. I get better results by adjusting the sat settings at my printer and the print matched the RGB print. So I use RGB only.

I "Save As" my JPEG's into TIFF. Do any editing and then resave back to JPEG at large file 11 or 12 index.

I thought of RAW, but who's going to know your print is in RAW or JPEG?

Besides, less PS post work is more free time to take pictures and I doubt the client is going to pay me for all my post processing time. Unless I do artistic photos for sale.

Concerned about large file sizes? I use external hardrives for all my Photos. and they are probably about a 10th less in cost than a trunk full of CD's or DVD's.

Less Is More.


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12/29/2007 10:18:44 AM

 
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