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Print-Quality JPEGs from LR

Last week, I received some good advice from a couple of people about JPEGs from LR suitable for on-line applications. I asked this because I didn't want to overwhelm my Dropbox account, which was the delivery method for approximately 200 photos.

Can I now have some suggestions about print-quality output? Do you simply limit the file size, or is it better to specify dpi and long-edge number? Or, do you just let it rip, with no limitation? Again, I'm trying to not overwhelm Dropbox. This tome I have about 100 photos.

Thanks - Dave

Comments

  • I'm going to address quality two-fold.  First, resolution (I think that's where you were heading with your question).  I'm going to assume you'd want at least 300dpi for those images.  But check on that requirement to be sure.  Once you have the dpi value, what is the print output size? 8x10? smaller? larger?  If you're printing 8x10, the image would then be 2,400 x 3,000 pixels.

    Second is color quality because that is something to not overlook.  While I don't print images myself, I employ the following workflow:

    * Calibrate my monitor (I personally use DataColor products).

    * For all images that need to have best accuracy in color, I'll shoot a white balance card and set a custom white balance (while this doesn't affect RAW, it will be used if you shoot JPEG).  I do this step for two main reasons. First, I always shoot RAW plus JPEG.  Second, when viewing the back of my camera, I'd like to see a good representation of white balance.  And what you're viewing on that display is a JPEG.

    * If I need even more accuracy to a set of images, I'll shoot my DataColor SpyderChekr (color checker).

    * In LR or ACR, I will then set the white balance and apply a custom color-correction preset from a color checker image if shot.

    Basically what this does is ensures what you see on your display is an accurate representation of color.  So as you make edits, WYSIWYG.

    Before printing, you can always use soft-proofing features as well to see what particular a particular printer/paper combo will reproduce.

  • Thanks, RS. I was informed by my last client some of the people would like to print out their photo(s). I would imagine no larger than 8x10, something for their desk or wall.

    I had plenty of time to set this shoot up, so I metered for the flash, and then used a gray card for color. The photos look good, and remembering some of the people, especially the guest speaker, pretty accurate color.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited April 2016
    One thing I would like to point RS, if you are shooting Raw + Jpeg so you can view the file on LCD for colour, you are being redundant on that, RAW files are automatically embedding a Jpeg file inside themselves, you can even get software to extract those jpegs out of the RAW file also.

    So if you are shooting purely for that reason a Jpeg, it's just eating up space. I was not sure exactly that's what you meant, just going by your quote:

    * For all images that need to have best accuracy in color, I'll shoot a
    white balance card and set a custom white balance (while this doesn't
    affect RAW, it will be used if you shoot JPEG).  I do this step for two
    main reasons. First, I always shoot RAW plus JPEG.  Second, when viewing
    the back of my camera, I'd like to see a good representation of white
    balance.  And what you're viewing on that display is a JPEG.

    By applying any WB changes to your shot it will include the RAW, although you do see those changes on the embedded jpeg, any WB does affect the RAW file also.

    Only 2 things affect the RAW, Exposure and WB, the 'sharpness' you see will be the jpeg, (whatever you set in camera for Jpeg) and when opening a RAW file, you get what Exposure & WB you set to show up, you then need to do anything else in the RAW converter to suit your tastes, including obviously Sharpening.

    Trev
  • Trev,

    I see I omitted a key point; sorry about that.  My camera only has a single media slot, so I use RAW + JPEG in order to have a second file as a minimal backup solution.  Building upon that, I like to have accurate WB so that when that's baked into the JPEG, that file would be usable in case the RAW version is corrupt.

    In terms of white balance and RAW, I thought that the WB value was only stored in the metadata and doesn't affect the raw data values themselves?

    Thanks,

    Rick
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Rick,

    Totally understandable re RAW+Jpeg.

    With WB and RAW, test it yourself, put a manual Kelvin in say 3500, take a shot, then put in say 6500, take another shot, open both in your raw converter and you will see the difference.

    There is like a time when to try to get it as right as possible in camera, but at least with RAW you can change your mind almost on anything so even if your WB is really whacked out you can correct, it's definitely a *lot* harder to try to adjust a really bad WB on a Jpeg as no doubt you probably have experienced, so I try to get it close, but also knowing my 'light' so to speak and my camera model and the Camera Profile I use in the Raw Converter I set things up in camera to match light.

    eg: late morning to early afternoon, I set 5600K; late afternoon with really warm sun, I set to around 4500K *if* the sun is on subjects, but if against I use flash and set my K to 5600; tungsten with video light, set to 2800K; light shade 6000K; heavy shade 6500K but only if not using flash as fully dominant lighting & incorporating a bit of fill.

    Trev
  • Trev,

    I hear what you're saying; yes, the same lighting setup shot with different WB settings will produce different results.  However, unlike exposure where you can destroy data if overexposing or underexposing, it seems you cannot destroy any data with WB settings.

    I found the reference to where I learned that WB was only stored in metadata: Perfect Color in Lightroom with Tim Grey.  Start at the 6 min 20 second mark.

    In my own experiments with RAW, I have been able to get a correct WB no matter what setting was used in the camera (even if beyond the defined WB range).  The most extreme case was during a lighting workshop where we learned reverse gels.  We had a speedlight with a double CTB gel.  Shot a grey card with that, then set a custom white balance.   The model (lit by the flash) was in a proper WB and the background went very orange.   LR reveals that the temp is 50,000K (basically maxed out).  That makes sense since the mired shift of a single CTB (-131) would give you a temp at over 19,000K.  A double CTB seems to go beyond what the mired shift equation can handle (going well beyond half-a-million degrees).

    Later, I shot another image with a bare flash and forgot that the camera still had that custom WB; image way too orange.  Recorded K was 6,250.  In LR, I could drag that down to 2,500 to correct it.


    Rick
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Fair enough Rick, thanks for link.

    Trev
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