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Sharpening for print?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Terri French, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. Several months ago I ordered the book "Real World Sharpening" from Amazon because I wanted to learn the best way to sharpen for printing. The book was out of stock then and is still out of stock. I've looked in a few other places and can't find it.

    I would love to know what techniques you use to sharpen your photos for printing. Do you resize your photos first for the particular size you are printing? If so, what dpi setting do you use?

    In the past I have just sharpened the full size image until it looks good to me and then printed them. But my 4x6s and 5x7s often come out soft. I am to the point where I really want to learn how to do this.

    Are there any resources that taught you how? Or, do you have a quick technique to share here? If this thread belongs in a different area, the moderators can move it to a more appropriate place.

    Thanks so much.
  2. On a simple level I resize to print and then sharpen so it looks a bit oversharpened to account the ink bleed. I use matte paper so I oversharpen more than someone printing on gloss.
    PC users can use Qimage to save some work, you don't sharpen your print. You select a level of sharpening for the print size - the original image is untouched.
  3. Nchesher


    Jul 7, 2006
    Allen nailed it. I use LR so after all editing I crop to what size then sharpen according to print size. Larger prints require more sharpening.
  4. I forgot to mention. I don't print my own photos. I use WHCC for the really important ones. For the ones I need fast--I use Sam's Club.

    Do any of you know if WHCC does some sharpening before printing. The ones I've had done there turn out the best as far as being sharp.
  5. Depends, I shoot for weekly magazine print and even though the mags say they don't like over sharpened pictures, I still add a tinge of unsharpened mask to my photos. Weekly mags rarely do post production and I usually can tell my photos apart due to my settings and PP work.
  6. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    well yes
  7. Nchesher


    Jul 7, 2006

    I'm pretty sure WHCC doesn't sharpen. I think I sharpen a little more than average because I use them. Their colors are a bit more organic (Kodak) than Fuji paper for example so the little extra sharpening helps bring it out.
  8. paradise

    paradise Guest

    I, too, oversharpen for WHCC, they turn out soft if you dont. Sharp images on the screen but not that sharp on paper.
  9. Do you send the files at the desired printed size, or is the printer resizing your images before printing?

  10. I'm lazy, I use Focal Blade to do mine. They have a 'switch' for web vs. print...but I usually do web by sight.

    It was cheaper than Nik Sharpener Pro, which many raved about. I believe that version lets you specify size and how far away you'll be from the print, i.e. on the wall, table, etc...
  11. paradise

    paradise Guest

    Sean, WHCC does nothing, you have to send files cropped and sized to exactly how you want them, all editing done.
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