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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

What would you do?

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Old 06-06-2002, 02:00 AM
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BigAl BigAl is offline
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What would you do?

I'm not sure which forum (input/output, jobs) this should be on, so I'll post it here to be safe.

I'm getting an increasing number of requests from folks wanting me to print images from digital cams. However, what many of these people are doing, is taking the pictures on the econo-mode setting of their cameras. These pics look great on the screen, but then you get the query: "why can't this be printed on A4 (or even A3) sized paper?" They don't seem to be able to understand that printers require more pixels than the screen for decent output.

I've just printed a postcard size image from a 100k jpeg and it looks really awful (to me anyway), yet the person who wanted it is quite happy with the result and willing to hand over money. However, I feel a bit dishonest in doing this. What is also worrying, is that a more discerning prospective customer might see this and think to him/herself "I don't need whoever did this to do work on my pics".

My question is "would you do this kind of thing?"
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:37 AM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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I'd probably refer the customer to somebod else if I was in that position, because I wouldn't want to get a bad name for putting out bad quality material. One possible thing you could do though, is convert the image to Vector and resize it larger, then export back to Tiff or Bitmap for printing. (not sure how sucessfull that'd be though) then I'd tell the costumer that if they wanted to get better print quality, they'd have to shoot their pics in higher quality.

- David
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Old 06-06-2002, 03:01 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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If you resample upwards in 10% increments, rather than printing directly from the file, it can hide the actual square pixels. There's no more resolution than there would be from printing directly, but it's a tiny bit less obvious.

A similar theory, but different implementation, is used by programs such as Genuine Fractals and others like it. They use math to hide the pixel edges, but there's no actual increase in resolution.

And remember this fascinating fact: the new Star Wars Episode 2 movie was shot digitally at 1800x1200 pixels (or something like that, I know the 1800 was the largest figure).
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Old 06-06-2002, 04:58 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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I think you should go ahead and print them. Most likely, others viewing the images will attribute the poor quality to the camera rather than the printer, as many people are sceptical of digital cameras anyway. There could be a plus side too. Others that own digital cameras will know that you are a source that they can go to to get prints. (The first question people always ask me about digi cams, is how do you get prints).

David- "convert the image to vector"? I understand the resize advantages of vector graphics, but I never heard of converting a photograph to vector. How is that possible?
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Old 06-06-2002, 05:39 AM
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BigAl BigAl is offline
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I feel the same as David, that I'd rather send them somewhere else, but it is a source of possible customers. Surprisingly, I've just heard from my wife, who says that the folks who wanted the prints are still talking about how well they came out... So, I'll probably go with Vikki and continue to do it.

Thanks Doug, I'll try the 10% increments. I just bumped it straight up to the size and resolution I wanted, but as you can imagine the focus has gone very soft. I would have tried the older version of Genuine Fractals I have, but can't find the CD. However, I do recall someone once did some tests and showed there was very little difference between a Genuine Fractals enlargement and PS's bicubic interpolation.

Vikki, there was a discussion about converting an image to vector format here and here recently. I'm a bit sceptical about how efficiently it can work.
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Old 06-06-2002, 05:49 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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I think I agree with Vikki on this one. There are probably more people than you think who will agree the prints are fine. And those who don't will not blame you, but the person who used the camera. The ones who can actually notice the difference most likely will have probably seen poor rresults before, and can figure out where the problem is.

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Old 06-06-2002, 10:11 AM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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Al- Like Vikki and Ed, I would go ahead and print the images but would also spend a little time trying to educate them about resolution and compression. I have a couple of images printed at different resolutions in order to help illustrate the concept for people. Usually I try explaining it in simple terms and people look at me confused....but when you bring out a visual example so they can see what you are talking about, the light bulb usually goes off!

The way I look at it is that if they are happy with the images now, they will REALLY be happy if you can get them to understand how to get high quality images. Easier said than done though....

(Some of you guys (in the US) sure stay up late...or get up really early!)

Last edited by G. Couch; 06-06-2002 at 11:12 AM.
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