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\"proper file handling\" Huh?
Old 07-17-2004, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A couple of you digital veterans have posted in regards to digital print sizes that "proper file handling" is important for quality large images.

What do you mean by "proper file handling"? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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Re: \"proper file handling\" Huh?
Old 07-17-2004, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Silly guy!

Proper file handling means:

1. Wash your hands first before handling any files.
2. Wear gloves while handling files.
3. Never have food or drink in the file handling area.
4. Do not leave files out in the sun.
5. Do not bend, fold, staple, or mutilate the files.
6. Do not stack more than half a dozen files on top of each other.
7. Do not allow files to become wet. If they do, use a clean dry cotton cloth to dry them.
8. Never drop files, they will shatter.
9. Store files in a cool, dry, dark area.

And Number Ten:

Never allow male and female files to be alone and unwatched. Hybrid baby files are vicious and feral!!!
Re: \"proper file handling\" Huh?
Old 07-17-2004, 06:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I posted my biggest tip on that other thread, but I'll repeat it because it's worth repeating. I'll also throw in a few others.

1) Never work with a JPG formatted file. It's fine if your camera shoots JPG, although of course RAW is always better if you've got the time and the card space. Just don't *work* with JPG's. The reason for this is that if you save your image frequently while working on it, as is wise to do, it will get recompressed every time you save, and that introduces a cumulative loss of quality. As soon as you open a file you're going to work with, the first thing you should do is save it in a non-lossy format like TIFF or your image editor's native format (for Adobe Photoshop/Elements this is PSD, Photoshop Document. I don't know what it is for PaintShop Pro but I'm sure it has one.) Then do all your work, saving often. Yes, you have that nifty History palette, but still, do it anyway. If you absolutely *must* save in JPG, save the image to JPG as your final step before closing it completely.

2) Establish a good workflow to minimize image degradation. There's any number of opinions about what *constitutes* a good workflow. Research is in order. It depends a lot on what you mostly do to your pics. For instance, sharpening with Unsharp Mask is pretty much de rigeur with most digicam shots. This is not a flaw in digicams, it's just that it's better for the camera not to oversharpen and to leave you some wiggle room. This step usually comes last in most workflows.

3) Don't resize more than once. If you want different crops of an image, save each separately and use the master file as a new starting point each time. Cropping throws away information. Resizing (with resampling turned on: with it off, it does nothing one way or another) adds the computer's "best guess" as to what to keep, throw away, and/or add. Modern image editors are pretty good guessers but as with JPG compression the slight loss of quality is cumulative. Don't do it more than once to an image.

4) If you really want to blow up your images, consider acquiring a dedicated plugin or app like Genuine Fractals. Some people swear by them, some people say they do nothing Photoshop can't already do. It depends, like so much, on the image itself as to how effective they will be and how much improvement they'll be over Photoshop's resampling algorithms. I myself am a believer, but I also believe that for less than a 200% size increase, sometimes more, the difference is indistinguishable.

That's a start: there are people here who know far more about this area than I and I'm sure you'll hear from some of them.

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