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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Convert A DSLR To Infrared

Seeing Color In Infrared • Making Sense Of Print Size Ratios • Big ’Scapes Need More Space • Kolor Autopano Giga 2.5 For Difficult Panoramas

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips
I don’t think it’s ever right to crop an image to meet the demands of standard framing. That said, I actually do crop a large majority of my images to fine-tune composition, and I don’t want to make that aesthetic decision based on paper and frame considerations. I also print a lot of panoramas, and those don’t conform to any standards—I print them on roll paper. But with post-capture processing software, I now have much more control over the aspect ratio and final dimensions of my images. When I’m ready to print, I first choose the size of the image I want, then I select a paper of a larger size because I always want a border around the image to allow for safe handling, even if the photograph will be bled to the edge when trimmed or matted to the edge of the image.

If I’m printing images for general sale, I’ll choose a standardized paper size that works with available frames, such as 16x20, in order to save the client the expense of custom framing. I’ll position the image on the page with equal left and right margins, and I might weight the bottom slightly, but there’s no formula—it’s just what looks best. Some photographers sign the mat and need to leave space for that, but I always sign on the image itself, allowing the buyer to change the mat or framing at a later date without losing the signature. When I’m doing a custom job, the sizes are typically much larger and, rather than using the standard mat and frame treatment, I’ll choose alternative presentations, such as the gallery wrap, mount to foam core or stretched canvas. Finally, since I often crop to a square shape, I keep an eye out for square frames. They usually already have someone else’s inexpensive mass-produced painting in them and are being sold in quantity at art supply and home decorating stores, but when I see a frame that’s interesting, I’ll buy it for later use.

Big ’Scapes Need More Space
Q I shoot RAW format almost exclusively and often capture large panoramas. I use both Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 for post-capture processing. RAW files work well in the editing process, but once the editing is complete, they take up a lot of space on my hard drive. Is there any way to conveniently convert these files to a format that doesn’t take up so much hard-drive space?
E. Rogers
Via the Internet

A Once you’ve finished compositing and optimizing your panoramas, you have several format options for saving them. First, flattening the image in Photoshop can significantly reduce the file size if you’ve been working in layers. The problem with flattening is that it eliminates the Photoshop layers and thus you can’t go back to the image later and reconstruct or adjust the work you did with layers in the processing stage.

The JPEG format will flatten the image, reduce its size and, generally, preserve most of its quality if saved at a setting of 10-12 in Photoshop. If you don’t plan to make large prints of your images or open them and rework them, this might work for you. Unfortunately, there will be a loss of quality each time you open and resave an image in the JPEG format.

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