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CONSTRUCTION!

The bridge repair on US Route 66 has diverted traffic past our house, and will be so for the next year or so.  So much for quiet, country life...

Update, 2015: Construction is finished (yippee) but some of the big trucks still like to use our road as a short cut. It is much quieter, but not the same as it was before.

 

A WORD ABOUT JPEGS

JPEGs (JPGs) are used professionally to transmit photographs and artwork over the internet with great success; however, certain cautions must be taken prior to these transmissions.

Without getting too technical, the compression algorithm used to create a jpg averages the pixels in a graphic and reduces them in number. Each and every time the image is saved as a jpg/jpeg, this averaging occurs, and eventually the graphic will lose too many pixels. They are no longer good for printing and can not be successfully manipulated. 

To avoid this “lossy” result, your camera should be set to save its images as TIFF, or PNG files and also set to its highest resolution to capture the image with as many pixels as possible. RAW files are also good, but they require advanced imaging programs unavailable to most home users. TIFF and RAW files cannot be sent through email, but PNGs can as long as they are not too large. Once you have your image in your computer, you should work from a copy of the image (“save as” imagename2.tiff or 3.png, etc.). Do what you want with it, save it so you do not lose your adjustments, and then, only at the last minute, “save this image as” a JPEG/JPG for email, maintaining the highest resolution file size your email provider’s restrictions can support. You should always protect the original — it is the recipe from which all other images are produced — and never allow it to become a JPEG only file.

Digital Images will enlarge successfully as long as there are enough pixels to support the process. If the image is an image only has 72 dots per inch (dpi), imagine how those 72 dots will look once that one inch becomes two inches, which is what happens when your small snapshot is enlarged to an 8 x 10 or larger.  An image using the camera's compressed settings like: Width: 240 pixels   Height: 257 pixels   Resolution: 72dpi, will translate to a photo measuring 3.3 x 4.4 inches and there is not much we can do other than alter its color. We cannot add dots/pixels. We cannot add detail. This is why everyone in the trade asks for “high res” or high resolution images — the largest settings your camera will allow. The first thing we do when we receive a JPEG file is to save it in Photoshop as a PSD. We never work with a JPEG/JPG file in any of our applications.

We scan images at either 600 or 1200 dpi for enlarging. Even at 1200 dpi, if the original image is blurry, it will be almost impossible to make the final print absolutely sharp and in focus. In these cases, sometimes smaller is better, but we only know a best final size after scanning and inspection. The trick is: START BIG… capture your original with lots of dots/pixels per inch… you can always make a copy of the original and go smaller.