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Image Optimization and the Digital Photographic Print

Posted in PHOT 156 by Paul Turounet on September 5, 2009

PHOT 156_Tech#2


After scanning the negative, transparency, reflective object or directly importing a digital photographic image from a digital camera, it will be necessary to make the necessary adjustments | manipulations in Adobe Photoshop to optimize the image.  Similar to working in the analog darkroom, the basic process of image optimization includes cropping | sizing the image, adjusting the image density and contrast, tonal adjustments ( color balance or grayscale ), utilizing burning and dodge techniques to control local area density adjustments as well as retouching dust marks and/or scanning imperfections.

It is important to initially work and optimize the file on an overall or “globally”, including the use of adjustment layers ( Levels | Curves | Color Balance | Hue/Saturation and Black & White ) to optimize image density, contrast and tone. Once these global optimization techniques have been used to manipulate the image, proceed to use the appropriate tools and/or adjustment layers to optimize selected or “local” areas such as burning and dodging techniques.


Layers Image



Click and download the above image, PHOT 150_Technical Assignment Image, to the desktop in order to complete the assignment.

Optimize the image for digital photographic printing as follows:

  • Open image in Photoshop and Save As a .psd file
  • Size the image to 8 inches x 12 inches at 300 dpi
  • Optimize the overall image density, contrast, color balance, hue/saturation as well as setting up the file for black & white conversion
  • Use burning and dodging techniques to enhance local areas of the image
  • Retouch any dustmarks and/or scanning imperfections


Upon completion of these adjustments and optimizing the image, make an 8.5” x 11” digital inkjet, color print in the Grossmont College Digital Photography Lab as follows:

  • Resize the image to 6 inches x 9 inches at 300 dpi
  • Optizimize the sharpness of the image with a Filter > Unsharp Mask technique
  • Follow Printing Protocol to print image



For evaluation, turn-in digital inkjet, grayscale print and save optimized file with adjustment layers on Thawspace as follows:

Last Name_PHOT 150__Tech #1.psd


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