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Old Mar 29, 2005, 7:12 AM   #1
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The other day I took some pics to the photo lab for printing. I've made up my own crop tool preset in Photoshop 7 for 6X4 prints (exactly 6" X 4"), so I cropped all my images and took them down there.

When I looked at them, I noticed that the images had been cut off at the edges - in otherwords, my pictures seem to have been RE-cropped.

IS 6"x4" exactly 6"X4" or am I missing something here? Should I be using the CM dimensions instead?

The people at the lab told me that their maximum print resolution is 300dpi. Some of my images are around the 350dpi mark. Should I be reducing the resolution? Could that have caused the apparent RE-crop?

I'm keen to hear some others' thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.

Jev
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 1:33 AM   #2
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You probably should try setting the resolution first, and then cropping to size. This could certainly be the reason for the re-crop.

Another possibility is that the photo processor is expanding the image beyond the paper borders to insure printing to the edge of the paper. This is due to slight misalignments and variations in paper position and sizing.

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Old Apr 1, 2005, 5:43 AM   #3
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VT - thanks for your reply. I'll definitely give the resolution change a shot first, prior to cropping.

It's interesting what you said about misalignments at the photo lab - I'm hoping that's not the case.

Thanks again for your help.

Jev


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Old Apr 9, 2005, 5:59 PM   #4
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hi!

Did you have any success with this?

I recently hit the same problem (I first went to Walgreens got pissed by the cropped pictures, blamed it on their stupidity, went to Costco just to get the same result :-()

What I was trying to do: I wrote a simple script to pad my pictures (which are mostly 4:3) to 2:3 by adding white strip either on the bottom or on the right and putting a date label there (I attached a sample). So I have a file 2304 x 1536 pixels which is exactly 3:2. And when they cropped the result is that the letters in the label are cut almost halfway and the hat (it's pretty close to the edge) is also a little cut off.

And on the other hand I heard people say that they print pixel-for-pixel... I wonder if maybe that will happen if pixel size is multiple of cetain number (dpi?) say if I resample the picture to 2400 by 1600 or 1800 by 1200?

I am actually thinking of creating a set of test images of different sizes with patterns to see how they cut them off and maybe deduce the best way to preprocess pictures to get prints as I want them...

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Old Apr 10, 2005, 5:00 PM   #5
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Hello Fedork - I've tried a few different things since my last post, all with no success.

I'm kinda new to digital photography, so the 2:3 aspect ration still confuses me at the moment :-)

I use Photoshop 7 to do any editing. I crop my pics to exactly 6" X 4", using the crop tool, and adding the exact dimensions in fields in the toolbar.

It went like this:

- Cropped to exactly 6x4 print size, didn't worry about final resolution, then printed = re-cropped

- Cropped to exactly 6X4 print size and reduced the dpi to 300 (the lab's standard output resolution) = re-cropped

- Cropped to 10cmX15cm print size instead of 6x4, reduced dpi to 300 = re-cropped

I too will be trying to make some test images and trying a different lab. You have me thinking too about the pixel dimensions, versus the print size.

Here's a sample of what one of my pics would've looked like BEFORE the crop:
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Old Apr 10, 2005, 5:02 PM   #6
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Here is a capture of the PS7 settings I used for that pic:
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Old Apr 10, 2005, 6:28 PM   #7
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If you have to have exact dimensions, what I would recommend is to create a gray border around your picturein increments of 5 pixels or so, up to about 30 pixels. Resize to 6x4" , then have each printed and determine how many pixels the printer is expanding your prints, then use this for all printing by that printer.

My Epson printer will expand the image a small amount when I select borderless printing. It has a slider to control the amount of expansion, and in the lowest position, leaves a very thin white border.

I have also noted that when cropping to size and setting rexolution, that sometimes a pixel or two is dropped, so it is best to do the math yourself and resized to pixel dimensions.

brian
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Old Apr 11, 2005, 2:50 AM   #8
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Brian - thanks for sharingyour expertise with us. The grey incremented pixels are a great idea.

I'll try it out on Wednesday and watch the results with interest.

Jev
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 7:36 AM   #9
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For anyone following this topic, here is an update.

I made a test image with a multi-shaded frame, to see how much of it would be cropped when printed at an AGFA photo lab I go to. Here is the test image:
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 7:41 AM   #10
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Below is the actual output. I use a kiosk to order the images - according to the manager, ALL the kiosks treat EVERY image as if it's the wrong aspect ratio and crop them. The kiosks don't actually check to see if the dimensions of the file are correct, they just assume that they're wrong.

If I've prepared images of the correct dimensions, apparently I have to ask a staff member for assistance, and they would then have to change the "auto crop" setting on the kiosk. I got the impression that this isn't something they'd like to do very often.

I've read that if I order the images online, I can specify no cropping. Until then, I'll try a different lab.

Anyways, here is a scan of the resulting photo:
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