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Image files that can print 4x6 and 8x10

Mariah Smith , Jan 19, 2007; 11:52 a.m.

Does anyone have a good method for sizing images to fit regular sized enlargements? I do my cropping very carefully and usually pretty close. I size my prints to fit 4x6 dim's and then when my clients order 8x10's, I have to go back to Raw and start all over with sizing. I also lose the look of the image because it was originally shot as a 4x6.

I'm showing them the 4x6 print and when they order the 8x10 it looks way different (if I have a tight frame). How do you handle this..make two or three sizes of the same file for their viewing, resize for an 8x10 and crop as needed hoping it doesn't ruin the integrity of the print...


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Peter Lyons , Jan 19, 2007; 11:59 a.m.

Do whatever you like with your RAW file. Then when you're done with that, save it as a full-sized, 16bit, AdobeRGB file in psd (Photoshop) format. Do all your retouching here. (dust, any additional color correction, etc.). Save all that in the master file. Then when the client places a print order, save a new file from the master in whatever format and color space required, and resize and/or crop ONLY THAT file for printing.

As to different aspect ratios and what the client gets, all I can think of to say is that you need to explain that to them.

Not sure I've answered much of your questions, but if I've missed important parts, please clarify for me.

J C , Jan 19, 2007; 12:00 p.m.

My work flow is basically; Completely edit files save as jpeg 12. I then take the original file and crop to size as needed and save as different file.

Steve Dohring , Jan 19, 2007; 12:10 p.m.

I don't think I could function without Q image - it sets up the size you want filling up the page automatically. If you need 4 5X7 3 4X6, wallets and 2 8X10's (off all different pics) it Ques them up with the least amount of wasted paper. It has a crop feature to the size you want and you can move it to how you want it.


Michelle Ross , Jan 19, 2007; 12:14 p.m.

Cropping can be very frustrating . . . cropping begins in the camera and keeping in mind what sizes your customer might want . . . I try to think of everything in terms of an 8x10 or 11x14 because these are two very common enlargement sizes and ones that will suffer the most cropping . . . 5x7 aren't as critical as not as much is lost, however again you have to be careful starting "in the camera" that you have enough head and foot area that the photo is balanced once cropped . .. creative cropping can be applied if you get yourself in a bind and crop too close in camera. . .but sometimes it makes it hard if there is a group of people . . .

As far as proofing .. . I proof everything in a 4x5 format which will also look the same as an 8x10, 16x20 and as i mentioned above very similar to an 11x14. .. I do this because people have a hard time understanding aspect ratio so I want the to see exactly what they will be getting ...then if they order a 5x7(or wallets) they get more of the photo which most don't seem to mind as much as when they LOSE part of the picture. . .

I edit in RAW . . . and save each edited file uncropped and as it comes out of the camera on size/dpi and save as a TIFF file. Then once the order is placed I open each file they order from and then do my cropping from there . . . if they want 4x5,8x10 or 16x20 I crop accordingly and upload that file for that size prints. .. if they want boy an 8x10 and 4x5 I use the same file to order from .. . if they want 5x7 and/or wallets . .. I crop the file to 5x7 and upload that file separately for that size. .. it is a little more work but then I know exactly what things are going to be and don't have any headaches trying to fix preset crops that i have saved. . .

Most cameras produce images that are in the 4x6(8x12) aspect ratio . .. so you really should be thinking about that when cropping in the camera. .. it will save you a ton of time later and if you want a tight crop you can always eliminate unwanted parts but you can't easily add something that isn't there. . . and like I said as far as viewing they see everything as if it were an 8x10(16x20) and I've never had any issues with this . ..

In the event you just can't crop to an 8x10 and have it look good offer your customer an 8x12 for the same price ... it is not a standard size when it comes to framing but I do know a few places sell 8x12 frames or they can always mat it larger going up to a 12x16 which is fairly common and really makes the pictures look nice.

Hope this helps!

Mariah Smith , Jan 19, 2007; 12:21 p.m.

As always, awesome and informative answers...thanks all! How frustrating, why don't they just make 8x12, etc a normal size...who came up with this 8x10 business anyway!??!?!?

Matt K , Jan 19, 2007; 12:27 p.m.

3 Methods

Save you "master" full resolution .psd file with ALL your edits, layers, etc..

When you want to output a jpeg for a client or to print, you just use the crop tool and specify the width & height (in inches or pixels) along with the DPI. Simple.

Alternately you can create an Action that simply downsizes the file to "fit" the size you want by using the "fit image" (I forget the exact menu name), where you specify the max number of pixels in each direction... So for example, I have an action that Fits the image to 1800 x 1800 pixels, applies a bit of sharpening and converts to an 8-bit sRGB format, which I use for resizing to 4x6" proofing.

Yet another way is to use Photoshop's Image Processor, which can do basically what the Action I described does, but it doesn't apply sharpening and I find that it makes a bit of difference, which is why I use my Action. Either way it's all automated and I can just let it run on all the images for a wedding.

Bob Burns , Jan 19, 2007; 12:49 p.m.

You can also use photoshop picture package and make your own sizes by using edit layout. It didn't have an 8x10 or 4x6 choice so I made my own. One for an 8x10 and one for two 4x6's.

David Eicher , Jan 19, 2007; 01:29 p.m.

>>As always, awesome and informative answers...thanks all! How frustrating, why don't they just make 8x12, etc a normal size...who came up with this 8x10 business anyway!??!?!?<<

My guess is that most Pro Portrait photograhers did not shoot 35mm, instead opting for the Professional 120 formats. Using 645 type format gave perfect sizes for 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 prints with minimal cropping. The only 8 x 12 you would ever see came from amatuer 35 mm cameras. With the advent of digital, this has now changed as more Pros are switching to the convienence of Digital.

J C , Jan 19, 2007; 02:08 p.m.

Not to age myself, but I remember when small prints were 3.5x5. It wasn't until 1980ish(give or take a couple years) that the 4x6 became the standard small print. They were considered jumbo prints and a big marketing tool for the fancy new overnight prints you could get at the drug stores!

To get back to the point, this is why you should always frame your subject then zoom out a hair. This way you won't be "cutting" anything off for the different print ratio's.

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