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Tips For Generating and Maintaining Quality Images

The following tips apply to images that must be kept at the highest quality. They may not apply to thumbnail images, images being used as a background on a web page, etc..

Both JPEG compression and unsharp masking create image artifacts which affect image quality and reduce your ability to enlarge an image, even when using a special fractal resizing program:

  • Shoot digital images using the highest quality setting. A "medium" setting should be acceptable, but reduces the ability to enlarge an image as does sharpening the image in-camera.
  • Use a "bicubic" or better sampling method when resizing images. Add unsharp masking after resizing the image, rather than in-camera or before resizing.
  • Less, or even no sharpening, is better than more. Ideally, sharpening should be applied by the printer or pre-press shop since it may vary with the printing process and final size of the image.

If you are going to retouch your image, work on it in a lossless image format such as TIFF, PNG, or Photoshop's native format, which will also allow you to save extra mask channels, vector masks, and other cool Photoshop stuff.


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