Print Quality

Forums All About Photography Print Quality

This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  ajroyle 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    As usual we have a lovely selection of work in the next print competition. Varied subjects but also a very good standard of presentation – some more than very good – exemplary in fact (I may point you to those later).

    Some are just a tweak from being very good – and it is that old chestnut of over doing the processing – plus, I suspect, also over cropping.

    It is too big a topic to discuss here in one post but I would just point out a couple of things:-

    1/ Cropping

    By all means crop to improve composition but bear in mind the effects it will have on picture quality. A rough guide is to try to achieve 300ppi – you will be OK with that and may be able to go lower if lens quality, camera shake etc are not limiting the rendition.

    2/ Sharpening

    I am finding now, with cameras which have no anti-aliasing filters I don’t think so often about sharpening. That is not to say my images don’t have any, but they are those of the defaults in Lr. If I do any sharpening it is selective and usually on macro work.

    Sharpening can introduce nasty artefacts – so can other treatments – and make the picture have an unpleasant appearance.

    We seem to pass through stages in our digital photography and I think the processing is maturing now and we need to be aware of that.



    As a postscript. On Thursday, look out for my Cambridge, in the Colour General section. By my standards today it is “overdone”. That print is two years old. I have been using up a few prints which I had by me. It was “enhanced” using Topaz and, while I would still use Topaz I think I went a bit over the top with that one. You will not notice any manifest artefacts but somehow it is just “unreal”.

    A characteristic of film is the smooth rendition of the image. I mentioned this when I was writing about visiting Niall McDairmid’s exhibition. From a distance a quality film print has quite a smooth, even soft appearance but when you go closer you see great detail. The image is not soft it is the delineation which doesn’t draw attention as it does in a not-so-well treated digital image. In photoshop there is a filter called “Find Edges” which does what it says – and marks out these delineations – those very things which I think we need to avoid.

    Rendering detail is what a good lens will do for you. The common parlance is “sharpness” which is actually not the same thing – although they can go hand in hand.


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