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Resolution ?????!!!!! - Adobe Photoshop Elements

This resolution thing still messes me up ! I use a 35mm elan 7 camera and have all my films processed and scaned to a cd rom. The scanning is done at the film developement level, and I pay extra for pro level scans. But all my cd's when I open the file in elements come up as 21.333 X 14.270 inches at 72 ppi. When I change the image size to a standard 5 X 7 pic the res stays the same, I then bump it up to 2400 ppi. The pics seem the same but as a very ...

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  1. #1

    Default Resolution ?????!!!!!

    This resolution thing still messes me up ! I use a 35mm elan 7 camera and have all my films processed and scaned to a cd rom. The scanning is done at the film developement level, and I pay extra for pro level scans. But all my cd's when I open the file in elements come up as 21.333 X 14.270 inches at 72 ppi. When I change the image size to a standard 5 X 7 pic the res stays the same, I then bump it up to 2400 ppi. The pics seem the same but as a very large file, and my system handles these large files with out to much problem.

    Here's the thing that I don't understand, even if I have them scanned in at a consumer level they show the same size. Is elements resampling the file when I open it, giving me this same 72 ppi ? The other thing that confuses me is what is the best format to work in.... jpeg, tiff when I edit my pics ? I am new to elements and don't realy have a problem with basic editing ie color balance, back lighting fill flash ect. But I am still totaly messed up with this resolution thing.

    My printer has an out put level of 4800 X 1200 dpi... ppi....dpi how the beep do they relate to each other and the fact that all my photos on cd are 21 X 14 inches at 72 ppi.

    Please help the landlord is getting ticked about the holes in the wall from me beating my head against then !

    Emeril
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    Emeril Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Okay, I think I usually write too much, so I'll try to make this really
    short. Hopefully that makes it simple too, rather than just more confusing.
    :) (Sorry...I think I need a good editor. This came out just as long as
    other messages I've written :( ).

    Here's an actual short version that I have inserted here, after having
    written another essay. Feel free to ignore the essay and pay attention only
    to this actual short version:

    * With respect to the image file, the resolution of the file is unimportant.
    What is important is the number of pixels across the width and height of the
    image. The scans you are getting back have 1536x1028 pixels (which, by the
    way, I don't really consider "professional quality"). If you change the
    image size without changing the resolution, you remove pixels (and thus
    important data). In the example you gave, you are removing 90% of the image
    data, if I read your message right.

    * With respect to your printer, the resolutions of the image and the printer
    are only comparable if you actually print the image at the size that
    corresponds to the resolution of the image. In most cases, you will be
    choosing a specific size for your printout, and there is a new resolution
    that can be calculated from that size along with the number of pixels in the
    image. That new resolution IS comparable to the resolution of your printer;
    getting close to that resolution is useful, going past that resolution is
    not.

    * Modern printers almost always are going to be at least as high resolution
    as the images printed to them (after adjusting for actual printed size), and
    often much higher resolution. So generally speaking, it's best to just get
    as many pixels as you can for the original image. Because of that,
    "resolution" as stored in the image file is pretty much not useful
    information for many people. Just get scans of your images that have as
    many pixels in them as you can get, and let the software on your computer
    worry about the resolution stuff.


    Okay, the long version...

    When dealing with the digital data on your computer:

    * Resolution basically just doesn't matter.
    * The number of pixels across the width and height of the image matters a
    LOT

    The resolution is simply a way of describing how large the image is
    "intended" to be displayed, whether that be on the monitor or on a piece of
    paper. But it's somewhat arbitrary; you can make the picture larger just by
    reducing the resolution, and you can increase the resolution just by saying
    the picture is smaller. All without actually changing what image
    information is in the file.

    When dealing with digital output to a printer:

    * Resolution basically just doesn't matter.
    * The number of pixels across the width and height of the image matters a
    LOT

    Surprised that it's the same for a printout as for working with it on the
    computer? Well, again...all that really matters is how much "information"
    is stored in the file, and that depends entirely on the width and height of
    the image in *pixels* (along with compression used, if any).

    You are getting scans back on a CD that are 1536 pixels wide by 1028 pixels
    high. That's the only information that really matters. When you print them
    to a printer, you decide at that time how large you want the print to be
    (using Elements, you set this in the Preview dialog...other programs have a
    variety of ways of deciding how large the printed image is). Then, the
    "final" resolution of the printed image is simply the pixel count in each
    direction divided by the actual printed size in each direction.

    As far as the specifics of your situation goes:

    * You don't say how you're changing the image size, but it sounds like you
    are actually removing "information" from the image, since you say you've
    reduced the image from 21x14 down to 7x5 without changing the resolution.
    This is a bad idea, since you want to retain as much information as
    possible, at least for the purpose of printing the image (sending in email
    is a whole 'nothing deal, and often reducing the pixel count is useful). It
    sounds to me like you've altered the image from 1536x1028 pixels to 500x360
    pixels, thus decreasing the total number of pixels by about 90%. That's a
    huge reduction in information, and it will show up in your final prints.

    * The resolution of your printer is only nominally related to the resolution
    in the image. That's because the resolution indicated as part of the image
    file is simply a "suggested" size. What's really important is the number of
    pixels and how large you wind up printing the image ("final" resolution, as
    described above).

    * As far as that latter pair of factors go (number of pixels and how large
    it's printed), you can calculate the final resolution as I mentioned above
    and compare that to your printer's resolution. With an ink jet printer (or
    any dithering device, for that matter) you lose some detail because the
    printer cannot reproduce the same number of colors per pixel as is stored in
    the image file, and so mixes a fewer number of colors in a larger area to
    achieve the same range of colors.

    Even so, you will find that you get the best results when the image's final
    resolution as printed is near to or equal to the printer's resolution.
    Printer's with non-square pixels (such as the printer you have) complicate
    things, since digital images almost always have square pixels, but the same
    general rules apply. Try to get the final resolution in the ballpark of one
    or the other resolution numbers for the printer.

    * With respect to you finding that the "pro" and "consumer" scans result in
    the "same size" image, what do you mean by "same size"? If you really mean
    that you are getting the same number of pixels (that is, both get you 21x14
    images at 72 dpi) with both types of scans, I am with you wondering what the
    difference is. Certainly there's no difference in the scan resolution.
    Maybe the shop does some kind of color balancing or the like as part of the
    "pro" service? Or maybe they are just ripping you off. I don't really
    know.

    * As far as what format to work in, I would use the .PSD format, simply
    because that's the native format for Elements. Definitely do not use JPEG
    for anything other than final output, and even then you will probably want
    to limit that to situations where file size is more important to you than
    quality (for example, emailing pictures or putting them on a web site). You
    could use TIFF, and in fact in some situations it will be required (for
    example, giving the results to a printing shop that only accepts digital
    images in TIFF format). But TIFF will not store 100% of the characteristics
    of the file (certain kinds of layers, vector objects, that sort of thing),
    so again...it's more useful when you are sure you're done working on the
    image.

    Sorry in advance if none of this is helpful. :)

    Pete


    Peter Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Emeril, I'll only add one point to Pete's comprehensive explanation: if
    you're paying extra for a 'pro level' scan, you should be getting images on
    the CD that are larger than 1500x1000, which is what the math says you're
    seeing when you open the file in Elements - that's the equivalent of what
    you get from a 1.5 megapixel camera. An image of 3000x2000 is what you'd
    really like, and it's one of the options on Kodak's Professional CD. To
    make large prints from the image, the larger scans are highly desirable.

    Chuck


    Chuck Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Chuck

    To add one more point to your post: If Emeril cannot get the 3000X2000 on
    a CD it would probably be better, (albeit not easier), to scan your own
    prints and choosing your own settings.

    PeteD


    Pete Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Thanks for the info it helps, one of these days I will understand this program and the digital darkroom.(can't wait till I can get my cannon 10D and I won't have to worry about film processing and scanning).

    I have batch saved some of the jpegs I recieved form the film processor I use. I saved them as psd so I can work on them later at 4200 X 3000 pixels at 600 dpi this gives me a 7 X 5 inch pic according to what elements tells me this is about a 36 meg file. The pics look good on screen and are a good size to work with, at 200 magnifacation on screen they still seem good and clear.

    Now if my understanding is correct, if I bump up my pixel setting after editing I should be able to print them out in as a larger print, say larger then 8 X 10 and still get a good clear print.

    Emeril
    Emeril Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Emeril, now I'm a little confused: did the original images from the
    processor come in at 4200x3000 or did you bump them up? If the former,
    that's great; if the latter, and they really came in at 1500x1000 or
    something like that, increasing them to 4200x3000 wasn't a good idea. To
    the extent possible, you want to start with the maximum pixel dimensions
    (forget about ppi and inch dimensions for the moment) that the camera,
    scanner or photo processor serves up. Then, in Image<Resize<Image Size, you
    want to UNCHECK the resample box and change the doent size (in inches) to
    your desired print size. When you do that, the ppi will automatically
    recalculate; if you wind up with a ppi of 200 or more, you should have a
    very good print.

    However, when you bump up the pixel dimensions (which you can only do with
    the resample box CHECKED), you are adding calculated pixels to what was
    contained in the original image. A little bit of that may be okay, but
    adding a lot will seriously degrade your image in sharpness and even in
    color rendition. Even if you do decide you need to add pixels in this
    manner, the approach that has been successfully demonstrated by Leen Koper,
    a professional photographer and forum regular, involves increasing the
    pixels in small steps. If that's needed for what you want to do, please
    come back and we'll add some details.

    Bottom line: whatever pixel dimensions you start with when opening the
    image, stick with that if at all possible.

    Chuck


    Chuck Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    > Now if my understanding is correct, if I bump up my pixel setting after
    editing I should be able to print them out in as a larger print, say larger
    then 8 X 10 and still get a good clear print. 


    Emeril,

    What you are suggesting here is referred to as "upsampling". It will add
    those pixels but it is very questionable if it will do it well. While this
    function is useful sometimes, most of the time (for going to 8X10) the
    quality of the print will e degraded. The photo itself has a lot to do
    with the success of upsampling. If the image is not complicated it may
    work well.

    The thought is to "scan" at a size and resolution that will be your final
    print output. (or ask for that when they burn Cd's).

    (You could scan one of the images you have setting scanner to 8X10 and
    resize the same picture from the CD and print, then compare your results to
    see what effect you get).

    PeteD


    Pete Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Chuck,

    I did not notice you over there or I would have just let you answer this one
    :-) (was I really typing for 14 minutes? ... time between posts?)

    PeteD


    Pete Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Hey, Pete, as long as we're telling the same story, more is better!

    :-)

    Chuck


    Chuck Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    "Chuck Snyder" <rr.com> wrote in message
    news:webx.la2eafNXanI... 
    on 

    Heh...in my defense, I did actually say that too. It's just that I wrote so
    much other crap, it was probably hard to find that little tidbit in all that
    other verbiage. :)


    Peter Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Pete, I'm sorry - missed it on the first read of your post. But it's a
    point worth reiterating, right?!

    :-)


    Chuck Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    "Chuck Snyder" <rr.com> wrote in message
    news:webx.la2eafNXanI... 

    Indeed. Probably THE most important point, since that has the biggest
    effect on the quality of Emeril's printouts.

    Pete


    Peter Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Peter,
    I read your long, informative tutorial and I understand most of it. There are a couple of points that confuse me. And so, at the risk of making a fool of myself, I'll just charge ahead....

    With regard to display of images on the monitor, resolution is irrelevant, as you say. Monitors display pixels, and the resolution information in the image file is generally ignored. I say generally, because some slideshow software will downsample to fit the screen if the image is too large. (too many pixels)

    The first advice I would give to Emeril is to UNcheck the Resampling box when adjusting the size or resolution of the image. That box should only be checked as a last resort. Resampling will always destroy image data, whether you are upsampling or downsampling. Of the two, downsampling is less destructive usually. The Constrain Proportions box should also always be checked unless you are trying for special effects, because changing one dimension of an image without changing the other will distort the picture. Generally not desirable.

    Now let's talk about printing. Printer dpi has absolutely nothing to do with image resolution! The printer uses multiple ink dots to produce a pixel of the downloaded image. Each pixel is NOT converted to an ink dot. If you think about it, it is clear that the printer is using blobs of C, M, Y and K ink to create a pixel that started out with three 8-bit values for R, G and B. The printer software does the conversion from RGB to CMYK, but it still takes a bunch of ink dots to reproduce the exact color of each pixel. In fact, sometimes it is unable to, and uses a procedure called "dithering" to get as close as possible. That's another whole subject. There is a lot of confusion about ppi vs. dpi. The way Wayne Fulton describes it in has book "Scanning Tips" is as follows: Ppi and dpi are the SAME thing if you're talking about monitor display of images. PPi and dpi are NOT the same if you're talking about printing for the reasons described above.

    A general rule is that 300 ppi is an optimum value for most printers. Higher resolution is at best a waste, at worst can actually degrade image quality. I know Peter disagrees with me on the last statement. Maybe it depends on the printer software. If you go much below 200 dpi, you will begin to see a lack of detail in the print. Even lower, and you will see pixelation.
    So, given all that, let's take one of your 1536 x 1024 images. If you follow the above instructions and set the resolution to 300 the print size will be 5.12 x 3.41 inches. If you go down to 200 ppi, the print size will be 7.64 x 5.12. In other words, you can't get a good 8x10 from this image! If you want an 8x10 (or larger) you have two choices: Upsample or go down to 150ppi resolution.
    Neither one will give you perfect results, and the best procedure can very from image to image. I often do it both ways, using the Unsharp Mask to sharpen it up as much as possible.
    Anyway...another long, boring read...sorry.
    Bert
    Bert Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Chuck,

    The resolution I get from the processing lab on cd is 1536 X 1028 pixels in a 21.333 X 14.270 inch jpeg at a 72 dpi resolution. The is according to elements image info at the bottom left of my screen.

    I load the jpegs into elements and then batch process them to my hard disk. The settings I use in the batch process is convert open to PSD, convert image size to 4200 X 3000 pixels resolution set to 600 DPI, rename files filename to newfilename and then save them to my HD.

    I am reducing the picture size to 7 X 5 inches, a standard print size so I can edit and fix them in elements when I get a chance to. The origenal jpeg is not touched (so if I scr--ed up I can fix it).

    I will try what you had suggested, turn off the resample and then change the image size and see how that works. One more thing does elements resample automaticly when you open a jpeg from cd and can you turn the resample off if it does ?

    One of these days I will get the hang of the digital darkroom, it's a far cry from what I use to do in my B/W darkroom 20 years ago. It's been a long time since I have had the chance to get involved in photography like I did back then.

    Emeril
    Emeril Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Bert,

    Not a boring read for me, every little bit helps. To everyone else once again I thank you for the info, I try to read each posting in here on a daily bases. It all helps out be it a long posting or a short posting, I do get around to reading every word in them.

    But now a new question, I have just got back into photography after 20 years (marriage, kids and divorce, long story). If one wanted to get back into things, where and how does one get his photos displayed, sold or get a job/assignment. My usual line of work is drying up, I may not be as good as some of the other photographers on these forms, but I would like a chance to get involved full time.
    Any ideas drop an e-mail my address should be listed.

    Emeril.
    Emeril Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Emeril, thanks for explaining your work flow. Going from an original of
    1536 x 1028 to a final of 4200x3000 is really introducing a lot of
    calculated pixels via resampling, which is not helping your image quality.
    Here's what I would do to get that 5 inch by 7 inch picture:

    1. Open up original.

    2. Go to Image<Resize<Image Size and uncheck resample. You should see the
    1536x1028 in Pixel Dimensions, and your 21.33 inches, 14.27 inches and 72
    ppi in the Doent Size Segment.

    3. Then replace the 14.27 inches with 5 inches; that should change the long
    side to around 7.48 inches; that's as close as you can get to 5x7 without
    cropping a little off that long side. You could actually do that with a
    paper cutter or pair of scissors after you make the print, or you could crop
    in Elements; if you want to crop, we can give some suggestions in that area,
    too.

    4. You'll note that the ppi has changed from 72 to around 205 ppi; that's
    really pretty close to the minimum for a decent print, but go ahead and try
    it to see if you're okay with it. We may have to go back later and add a
    few pixels in via stepwise resampling to get the best print possible.

    Bottom line on your photo processor; he's not providing you with enough
    pixels at 1536x1028 to print much more than a 4x6; if you're paying a lot
    extra for that service, it's not cost-effective. As someone earlier in the
    thread suggested, you might be better off scanning a print rather than
    settling for 1536x1028...

    To answer your other question, Elements doesn't do any resampling upon
    opening; what you're seeing is simply a calculation based on your image's
    pixel dimensions (1528x1036) and a default resolution of 72 ppi.
    HOWEVER....once you start resizing or cropping, you can introduce resampling
    even if you don't want it. Keeping that resample box unchecked until you
    really want to resample is very important.

    Chuck



    Chuck Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    "Bert Bigelow" <com> wrote in message
    news:la2eafNXanI... 

    They are not the same, but provided one understands the relationship between
    the two, they are certainly comparable.
     

    That general rule is simply wrong. The "optimum value" depends entirely on
    the actual printer and the technology the printer uses. But even for a
    consumer-level ink jet printer one can buy at CompUSA today for $150,
    printing at a resolution higher than 300 dpi will produce better results
    than at 300 dpi.

    Pete


    Peter Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Ok Chuck, I will try what you suggest and see how it works out. As for paying the extra for the scanning at time of processing, it almost triples my cost. I have an epson scanner, it takes forever to scan the prints in (flat bed).

    Epson has this little quirk,it doesn't like you to use any other printer except epson, as for scanning directly into elements it wouldn't even allow me to assosate elements as one of the application to scan directly to.

    I will be getting a new scanner and printer soon, after I get the rest of my new photo outfit (just got back into photography after 20 years). I have to make due with what I have at the moment, new camera and lenses do take a bite out of ones budget. I've been using those little throw away point and shoot cameras for snap shots and family pics for years. Now I'm getting back into photography like I use to before I was married (not any more which is why I can get back to it). So any help, suggestions on equipment would be greatly appeceated.

    Emeril
    Emeril Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!

    Emeril, re the scanner - can you just scan and save as a JPG or TIF file?
    Many (most?) scanners will let you do that. Then you can open the saved
    file in Elements and go from there.

    I checked on the Kodak website; they do have an ISO (!) 400 speed
    black&white film that uses C-41 processing; I've never used it, but it may
    be worth a shot (no pun intended...)

    Chuck


    Chuck Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Resolution ?????!!!!!



    The "optimum value" depends entirely on the actual printer and the technology
    the printer uses





    Pete,
    You are correct, it does depend on the printer technology. I should have said that. I was referring to the consumer-level inkjet printers that most people in this forum use. I have read that number in several books, and it is often quoted by knowledgeable people on this forum. It is obviously not true for commercial printing.
    I am curious, though. What $150 printer are you referring to?
    Bert
    Bert Guest

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