- Before you begin
to edit, make sure there is a copy
of the original somewhere. Just
assume you will destroy the prized photo you are working on. Strange
things happen, and Oooops might be the nicest thing you could possibly
- If you are going
to do any editing and perhaps save the file again (and again), remember
that each time causes a recompression and significant quality loss
in JPG files. You can avoid this by keeping the file in TIFF or RAW
until you are done. If
you start in JPG, convert to TIFF before editing, then back to JPG,
- This is important
enough to repeat. Even if you have JPG quality set at 100%, each
time you save the picture, you lose several percent of quality from
recompression, and the file still grows (at 100%). If
you know you will keep working with and saving the picture, stay with
TIFF, because it does not recompress. If you have a JPG you will
work with extensively, convert a copy to TIFF first. When you are done,
you can put in (or back to) JPG, and only lose the effects of one recompression,
if you need the smaller JPG file size.
- For simple cropping or rotation, use software that allows LOSSLESS
cropping and rotation. On a Mac, Graphic Converter is a great choice.
Photoshop Elements also is reported to have this feature.
- Consider learning
the UNSHARP MASK function in your software to crispen slightly blurry,
or even "perfect" images. Some commercial printers
require this of pictures that are inserted in books and reports. This
should tell you something. As to which UnSharp Mask settings to use,
- When a photo is blurry, or when not enlarged for cropping: High
is 2 pixel, 100%, 4 Threshold
- For good or blown up photos Low is 1/60/2
- Everything can
be downsized, but be careful. Computer monitors waste anything over
72 DPI, but printers can use all info up to about 1,400 DPI, although
150-450 is usually sufficient.
- Some Photos can't
be fixed. Chalk it up to the learning process. Always take several
shots of important scenes. They are free. If you did something differently
on the one that is best, check the EXIF data and remember the settings.
- If you do happen
to lose precious pictures due to a computer virus or other hard drive
problems, try a data
recovery service, and save your memories.
Books about Digital Photography