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In this course, photographer and author Ben Long explores the art and the craft of creating beautiful, archival-quality inkjet prints. The course looks at the anatomy of a print job: how a printer works, how to adjust and prepare your image to get the best results, and what happens to your photo in its journey from pixels to paper.
After a discussion of how to choose a printer, the course covers the process of preparing both black and white and color images using Adobe Photoshop. Ben describes how to take images from looking good onscreen to being properly adjusted for best results on paper, covering details such as sizing, sharpening, and color management.
With photographer and master framer Konrad Eek, Ben explores the creative decisions that photographers should address before printing. What size print? How does print size relate to the message of the photo and to the space where the photo will be displayed? What kinds of paper choices do you have, and how does your photo's content relate to the paper you choose?
The course also describes how to properly evaluate a print and how to handle common challenges that crop up during the printing process.
I can of course crop my image with the Crop tool, and the advantage of the Crop tool is that I get a lot of free-form flexibility; I don't have to just try and lop things off the sides like we saw with Canvas Size. The tricky thing about the Crop tool of course is in this particular case, I want to crop to a very specific size. Fortunately, the Crop tool provides some easy ways of doing that. This is the Crop tool right here. It looks like a Crop tool. You may not know that if you've never worked with an actual real-world analogue practical crop tool, but it does actually look like this.
In CS6, I have a new cropping interface. I have these handles on the edge of the image that I can drag, and as I drag, my image stays centered in my screen. What's not necessarily obvious to people who are just starting out with the CS6 Crop tool is that I can still actually crop the way that I used to, which is to simply click and drag to define the crop that I want and then refine it from there, still using this center- weighted cropping mechanism that they have introduced.
I'm going to cancel out of this and start over. Whether you're using CS6 or an earlier version, what you want to do with your Crop tool for this case is to actually give it specific dimensions that you want to crop to. So you can see, up top I've got a number of different predefined options. What I want to do is set a size and resolution. Now in previous versions of Photoshop, you may simply see Length, Width, and Resolution all up here in the Control bar.
So I'm going to put in a Width of 10, a Height of 8, and a Resolution of 360. Now, I know ahead of time because I've looked at my pixel dimensions that I have more pixels than I need to get an 8 x 10 at 360. So I know some downsampling is going to occur. I'm fine with that downsampling. It won't degrade my image. But before you head in with the Crop tool, you may want to see by, looking in the Image Size dialog box, if you actually have enough pixels to get the crop and resolution that you want. I'm going to say OK. And now it has gone ahead and set up an 8 x 10 inch crop at the appropriate resolution.
It's taking it right out of the center. So this is actually doing exactly what canvas size did in the last movie. The advantage here is I can think about some of what's going on in the edge. I've got this black bit over here, which I like. It makes a nice frame around this window, but I've also got this little bit of lace over here, and I might want to keep some of it. So I can pick up my crop and drag it around. Now, I can drag it around by simply clicking with the mouse and moving it, but I need to be very careful because if I drag up or down, I will actually introduce this white space down here, so I'm going to undo that.
And instead, I'm going to use the arrow keys. With the arrow keys I can make nice little nudges to my image. So I'm going to nudge the image around a little bit and see. I'm looking at this area over here and keeping an eye on this over here. I think I like that a little bit better. The hands are still mostly in the center. I've still got a little bit of black border there. I'm getting the edge of that lace, which I like better. I think also I like having the hands a little bit to the right. This is kind of a leading edge in the image, because of this window out here, so compositionally, I think it works a little bit better having the hands to the right.
So I'm doing that just with the arrow keys. And then when I'm done I can simply hit the Return key or double-click within the crop to accept the crop. Photoshop thinks about it a little bit and then crops the image. I want to talk about one more thing here in the Crop tool. I'm going to undo that crop and set it back to where I had it before, so I'm going to put it right about in there. And take note of this checkbox up here. This is new in CS6: Delete Cropped Pixels. If I uncheck that and do my crop, Photoshop shows me the crop, just as you would expect.
I can now go off take other tools, do other edits, save the image, print it, do whatever. If I come back to my Crop tool though and decide that I'm not worried about 8 x 10 anymore and I choose to expand this, my original image is still there. So if I uncheck Delete Cropped Pixels, it doesn't actually throw away the pixels that are cropped out. In other words, Photoshop CS6 now supports nondestructive cropping. It only keeps those cropped pixels if I save in Photoshop format.
So I don't want to go save this as a TIFF or a JPEG if I intend to go back to that image and uncrop it later or change its crop later, or if I'm going to save it as a TIFF or a JPEG, I need to be sure that I also save a PSD. So this is a very, very powerful new thing. Obviously, if I don't plan to re-crop later or if I want to deliver a smaller Photoshop document then I should choose Delete Cropped Pixels because that will actually remove the cropped areas from my image, so they won't take up more space.
So that's cropping to a very specific size and resolution, and that's another way that I can get my image sized exactly how I wanted to fit, say, within a particular sized frame or mat.
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