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picture quality

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by rosmari, Nov 10, 2004.

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  1. rosmari

    rosmari Thread Starter

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    Since everyone is sending me photos over the internet or on CDs, I've been looking into printing them myself. The results are pretty dismal. While the pictures look great on the screen, they are fuzzy and look quite out of focus coming out of my printer, an HP Deskjet 842C.

    I've been using the Photo Printing Wizard, which came with my Dell computer and Windows XP. Under "Preferences", I click "Best". My browser, by the way, is Opera. I like smallish pictures, so I've been using the layout of 4 pictures (3.5x5" each) to a 8x11" page. I prefer my photos in matte, and am using matte photo paper, 92 bright, 6 mil.

    I realize that, by right-clicking the picture, I can open it with Dell Image expert application and make it sharper; but then the pixels start showing, and I don't like that either. Anyway, the originals, as sent me, are perfectly fine.

    So, what should I do to get professional-looking snapshots out of my printer?

    Thank you,
    Rose-Marie
     
  2. photolady

    photolady

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    Possible problems are jpgs are set at 72dpi......enlarging them causes blurriness. Most photo will not enlarge more than double the size without getting blurry photos. Make sure you are resizing and not resampling them.
     
  3. linskyjack

    linskyjack

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    Many cameras require sharpening in a Photo program---Its usually called "unsharp mask" and can be found in the filter column. It works miracles--experiement with different settings--In other words, get rid of the crummy Dell photo printing wizard.
     
  4. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Check the image file size on the ones as you receive them. If they are optimised for viewing on the monitor, they may be quite small in size. You need several hunderd kB of size, or over a MB per image as a general rule.

    That means (if the file size is low) the detail for high resolution printing is just not there, and nothing you do can fix that. It was lost at the time the pictures were sent or burnt to a CD.
     
  5. rosmari

    rosmari Thread Starter

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    thank you all.
    photolady: how do I find out what the jpg setting of my pictures is?
    linskyjack: where can I find that "filter" column?
    kiwiguy: one set are are between 3.1 and 3.8 k; another (which indeed comes out sharper, though still not as good as I would like) is between 328 and 846k.
    the first set is 24 bits per pixel, and the dimension of the is 96x65 pixels - I couldn't find the bits/pixel or dimensions of the other set.
     
  6. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    can you post a sample of one that does not come out to your liking...before you try to print

    buck
     
  7. linskyjack

    linskyjack

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    I am not sure if the Dell product has one----I know that Photoshop Elements and Photoshop do.
     
  8. photolady

    photolady

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    Right click an image and scroll to properties. It should give you details. If you would like a better image program rather than Dell's product a good one to use irfanview and it's free. I use it a lot for resizing photos, saving as .jpg or just viewing photos, it does have some enhancement options as well, including sharping. You can download it from here:

    www.irfanview.com and get the plugins that go with it.
     
  9. rosmari

    rosmari Thread Starter

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    buck52: I'm attaching a photo - hope you are getting it
    photolady: I downloaded irfanview, and there is a noticeable improvement. But I'm afraid that the problem lies with the jpg setting (which I still haven't been able to find). How does one see to it that photos come with a high jpg?
     

    Attached Files:

  10. photolady

    photolady

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    Those are way too small to increase in size. Even doubled this photo was blurry. You need photos to be saved either at a higher DPI or something other than jpg. As I looked at the properties of this one photo you posted, the dpi was 72, and the size/pixel wise was 3k. No way you are going to get print quality on those. Keep in mind these changes need to be done before you get them. I took the one you attached and resized it to double what it was originally and changed the dpi to 100. I then chose a higher DPI of 150 and resized to triple what you had originally. It was really blurry, and had artifacts in it so bad you couldn't tell what the photo was about. See the results below:
     

    Attached Files:

  11. rosmari

    rosmari Thread Starter

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    Thank you, photolady. I'm afraid I'm a novice re photos. I don't have a digital camera, and it is the outfit (Mystic Photo) to whom I sent my film for developing that put the pictures on the internet.
    How do you request that the pictures be posted in a high DPI, and how high is good? And can one request a high pixel count?
     
  12. photolady

    photolady

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    Ask them to save the photos as .tif/.tiff format. This way the photo can be resized by you with irfanview. If they won't do that, do you have a scanner? If you do, you could have prints made and scan those yourself.
     
  13. rosmari

    rosmari Thread Starter

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    thank you - shall do
    Rose-Marie
     
  14. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    Hi rosmari...

    Is that the size of the image they have put on the web for you?

    Looks like just a thumbnail to me... On the site they are on can you click on them to see a larger version?

    buck
     
  15. RT

    RT

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    Hi rosmari,

    You are getting some good advice and info from buck and photolady, et al ,but I would like to add this:

    Regarding those CDs sent to you (if I read you right, you said you get them via email or internet and/or CD...)

    With the CD in the drive, right click My Computer>Explore. If something else comes up (photo-wise, like the CD is auto-running, click Cancel)

    Choose your CD-ROM drive (D,E, or whatever) and expand the + mark.
    Perhaps you will have directories there that can be expanded. Often CDs come with more than one format included, but if you just pop it in and it runs automatically, it may only display a slide show, (or ask you to install some software, maybe - don't for now) or otherwise optimize the photos just for your screen.

    The other folders/directories on the CD may hold higher resolution images and that is what you will need to print from. Look to see if anything else is in there.

    Well that sounds a little confusing, sorry 'bout that, but try it.

    Pics sent by email...well, what they send is what you get.
    Most folks send smaller images via email as a courtesy, either by choice or the software does it , so that the download load time is less. If you wish to print , ask the sender for a higher resolution image (and wait for the larger download)
     
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