Rescaling vs. Re-Sampling Photos and Why it Matters


The subject of resizing your photographs to make a high quality print or to share it online continues to be question that comes up in forums. Part of the confusion stems from the terminology itself. In this post/post, I will discuss the subject from the standpoint of scanning a negative or slide. First, Are a couple of comments about the terminology.

Resolution – Dots Per Inch

Resolution is generally referred to as either dots per inch (dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi). What can lead to confusion is that dpi is used to describe the resolution of a scanner. For example, a scanner that is capable of scanning 35 mm negatives may have a optical resolution of 3200 dpi or greater. The word optical here means there are no mathematics being used to artificially increase the resolution. For the best quality, you should scan at or below the optical resolution of the scanner.

Resolution – Pixels Per Inch

Referring to a scanned image, once you open the image in say, Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, the terminology changes. Now the same resolution is measured in and referred to pixels per inch (ppi). The resolution is the same as you scanned, the term just changes. For example, if a negative is scanned at 3200 dpi and then opened in PSE 15 using the Image > Resize > Image Size command, the dialog below is opened. The resolution of 3200 ppi is shown.

3200 ppi ex

Print Resolution – Dots per Inch

When describing the resolution of an inkjet printer, dots per inch or dpi is again used. However, at this point in the process, the term takes on a whole new and more literal meaning. Now it is used to describe how many drops of ink are placed on the paper per inch. It is one of the prime, but not only parameter that is used to describe how well the printer can reproduce the image. And, this number has nothing to do with the resolution of the image file (in pixels per inch) that was sent to the printer.

This tutorial is an exercise that will not only give you a better understanding of rescaling an image versus re-sampling it, but will also demonstrate the loss of quality that is a bi-product of up-sampling an image, or adding to the number of pixels that were not in the image when it was scanned.

To view or download the tutorial, click on the image below. I suggest you actually follow along with the tutorial using one of your own images.

Resampling Comparison

In this post and tutorial I have focused on resolution as it impacts the printing of your digital photographs. In a future post, I will cover the topic of how to properly size your photos for sharing them online.

If you found this tutorial to be helpful and would like to see other tutorials in the future, please give it a suitable star-rating and  share it with your friends.

Until next time..

 

Revisiting Processing Video using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) in Photoshop


Just about two years ago I posted this article on processing a video file using the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) editor in Photoshop CC and how the results compared to the same video processed in Premiere Elements.

My remarks in that post are still valid today. This post is just another example of the comparison. However the videos clips are shown back to back and in slow motion to better focus on the results.

I am not suggesting that the ACR inherently is better at editing video. But for me, it is much easier to get to the final result I am after (video with punch) than is PRE 15 in this latest example. I did not try to duplicate the two results. I was happy with the PRE 15 version until I further processed it in the ACR.

I am sure that not everyone will like the ACR result, but I do. And, since I am far more familiar working with the ACR than PRE 15 in this regards, I find I can get to what I am after much quicker.

Here is the link comparing the two video clips.

pre-15-vs-acr

If you have a video and use Photoshop, try it out. My previous article outlines the steps. It is extremely easy to do if you work already with the ACR.

Let me know what you think. If you liked this post, please Like it, rate it accordingly, and share with your friends. Thanks for dropping by.

Until next time, Happy Holidays!

How to Change an Edited RAW Image Back to Its Original Settings


One of the great advantages of shooting RAW images is that you can always return an edited image to how it was captured by your camera after you have edited it. In this quick video tip, we’ll demonstrate how to do that using the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) editor in Photoshop Elements 14.

However, the steps are the same in earlier versions of Elements, as well as in Photoshop CC.

YouTube Title

 

 

Scratching the Surface of Nik Color Efex Pro 4 to Work


About a week ago Google made its complete Nik Collection suite of plug-ins for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements available as a free download. In an earlier post I explained what was in the collection and where to download it.

In my last post on this subject, I illustrated how the Dfine 2 plug-in can be easily used to reduce the noise that results when an image is captured using an extremely high ISO.

This time, we take a very brief look at what  Nik Color Efex Pro 4 can do. It has so many presets and effects that there is no way to do it justice in one short blog post. So instead, I’ll just illustrate what I did to pretty overexposed image. I chose to use Photoshop Elements 14 for this post, but earlier versions of Elements, and of course Photoshop could be used as well.

  1. First, I added one of the image Border presets in Color Efex Pro 4.
  2. Then I added one of the Color Efex Pro 4 Tonal Contrast presets.
  3. At that point,I added a traditional Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer.
  4. I then merged these layers into a composite layer using Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E.
  5. Finally, I applied the auto profile setting of Dfine 2, since the adjustments I was adding to this small JPEG image were beginning to take its toll.

Shown below is the layer stack I ended up with.

Efex Pro Layer Stack

A couple points are worth noting here. First I had set the Options in Color Efex Pro 4 to apply each effect on its own layer. Among other things, this allowed me to tweak the impact of the effect by adjusting the Opacity of the layer. Also, note that you can intermingle Color EfexPro 4 layers with layers dealing with Photoshop Elements commands. Think of the multitude of presets embedded in Color Efex Pro 4 as starting points for you to adjust to create your own vision of the captured scene.

The figure below compares my before and after for this simple example.

Efex Pro Before After.jpg

I hope you found this post helpful. If so, click on the Like and share it with others using the buttons below. Also, let me know what you think of the Nik Collection in the comments below.

Download Nik Collection Software From Google For Free


You may have seen this announcement elsewhere, but just in case you haven’t, Google is providing the complete Nik Collection of plug-ins as a free download.

For those of you not familiar with the Nik Collection, it is a suite of several plug-ins that integrate with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom that adds a variety of effects and advanced settings for enhancing your images.

These tools include:

  • Color Efex Pro
  • Analog Efex Pro
  • Silver Efex Pro
  •  Viveza
  • HDR Efex Pro
  • Sharpener Pro
  • Dfine

You can find out much more about the plug-ins and download the complete suite from the link below.

https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

You really should take advantage of this opportunity. Up until this announcement, the software package  sold for about $150, and was one of the most popular packages of its kind.

I will have more to say about the Nik Collection in future posts.

 

Yet Another Way to Improve a Sky


There are a many ways to darken a sky to make it more dramatic. That’s good, because they often show up in your photos as something less than hoped we for or remembered, being too bright and lacking color.

This technique is somewhat different and does require Photoshop. It is not possible to use it with Photoshop Elements. Fortunately, there are many other techniques that work well with Elements. Here are the steps.

  1. Open the image in Photoshop.
  2. Duplicate the background layer – always a good idea.
  3. Make a black and white adjustment layer.
  4. Adjust the color sliders as desired to darken the sky. Usually, the blue and the cyan sliders have the biggest effect.
  5. Change the Blending Mode of the B&W Adjustment Layer to Darken. You will probably see some color coming back in the non-blue areas.
  6. Reduce the layer’s Opacity to 40-50%. If you go too far, the sky quickly returns to its original brightness.
  7. At this point I may often add a Vibrance or Saturation Adjustment Layer to further enhance the sky. Also, in some photos, adjusting the other sliders in the Black and White Adjustment Layer will add additional impact to the photo.

Dark Blend mode Ex

As you can see from the comparison here, the change is subtle, but effective. In this photo the water was also affected.

I learned about this technique from www.postprocessingmastery.com. It is worth checking out this site to learn more about this techniques as well as others.

Try it out on some of your photos and share them in the comments below.

Using the Targeted Adjustment Tool in Photoshop


Recent versions of Photoshop have a Targeted Adjustment Tool accessible from the Properties panel of the Curves and Hue/Saturation commands.

In the Adjustment Layer Curves command panel, it is the hand in the top left of the panel that contains a two-sided arrow. Selecting the tool and then dragging it up over a portion of the image, lightens all of those pixels that have the same tonal value anywhere in the image. Dragging it down darkens pixels of similar tone values. The short video below demonstrates this tool. Watch how the shape of the curve changes.

Curves Target Adj

The Hue/Saturation command also has a Targeted Adjustment Tool. Dragging it over to the right over a portion of the image will increase the saturation of similar color pixels and dragging it to the left decreases the saturation.  Control-dragging the tool changes the hue of the pixels.

In a Black and White Adjustment Layer, dragging left will darken the pixels of similar colors and dragging to the right will darken them.

If you want to be more selective with your changes, you can make a rough selection containing the area in the image you want to adjust.