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From Computer to Web or Print

15 Nov

Revised again December 27, 2014, based on some questions and comments. Also check the comments for additional information.

…or What settings should I use? …

A recent Facebook discussion made me realize that there is a lot of misinformation and confusion out there regarding outputting your photographs. This is not a one-size-fits-all process, so this blog is intended to be an overview with some guidelines, no more. There is plenty of in-depth information on the Internet, such as at The Luminous Landscape site.

Let’s start with the Web and e-Mail. You will need to make sure you have a proper copyright notice on all your images. I am continually amazed at even long-time professional photographers who do not have a legal copyright notice. For a discussion on that, please read © Is for Copyright. In this day of what’s mine is mine, and by the way, what’s yours is mine, too, many of us do not want to make it easy for people to steal our images. Personally, the idea of someone else making money off a photograph I have made is offensive and to me, unethical.

One way to help combat this is to lower the quality of images posted on the web. Arnie and I then add a watermark to let people know we own all rights to our respective photographs. Can someone remove the watermark? Yes, but does it put people on notice that the photographs are ours? Yes again. Further, it slows them down a bit. We take protection a step further and add a digitally-impregnated watermark done through Digimarc.

For sharing images by e-mail, it is not a kindness to clog someone’s inbox with a humongous file. Unless you know they are going to print out your image, treat it as a web-based one.

For print, we do not watermark our images at all. Instead, we sign our prints in the white space just below the image and again on the mat above. That way, if our print is ever reframed/rematted by an owner, our information remains with the image.

From there?


The web can only register a limited 72 pixels per inch (ppi). That means, there are only 5,184 pixels in each square inch. Sound like a lot? Not really, when you figure that printing out a 4″ x 6″ photo at a modest 240 ppi (pixels per inch) affords over ten times that amount.

I have read in several places that you do not want the output quality for the Web to go over 76. Many people set the quality of their images at 70. I compromise at 75.

The image below has been prepared in this manner and was a 48.4KB file before I added the Digimarc. Processed at 100% quality, it grows to 100KB.© 2014 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved.  For usage and fees, contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278.  919-643-3036 before 9 pm east coast USA, GMT-5, or by e-mail at TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com.

If I were to print it out as a 16″ x 24″ image, I would select 360ppi at 100% quality. Some printing services only offer 300ppi, and that probably works for most situations.

For a 4″ x 6″ or 8″ x 12″, 240ppi suffices quite well.

Please also see Dave Robertson’s additional input below under the Comments section

To show why pixels are so important, I took the image above, grabbed it off the Internet, changed it to Continue reading 

Virus Warning – DNSChanger Malware – 2012

8 Jul

Sometimes, we just need to warn our followers about something that is pretty nasty regarding computers, so this blog will be very short…

It’s been all over the news. I had my head buried in catching up with reconciling statements, so I missed it until talking with a friend this evening. Arnie had heard about it. And the FBI has a pdf document on it all.

That said, we both checked our computers for this really nasty DNSChanger malware, and we’re happily fine. If you have not heard about this, it is for real.

You can check your computer by going to Check-Up Ours came up with a healthy green background.

This has been verified by both and

Be sure to check your computer before midnight July 9th! Otherwise, check with your computer guru!

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The Glory of Black and White 2012-01

23 Jan

Over the weekend, I took time off from our regular work to do some black-and-white images.

Some people see in color, and some people see in black and white. Arnie and I see in both.

What it really is all about is seeing values. You know, that range from lights to darks. As did Arnie, I started out in black and white, but for me, it was with my trusty Brownie Hawkeye. Some of those images that I made when I was eight stand the test of time today. But that’s not the point of this blog except that I have been around black and white for a very long time. Even when I was shooting mostly color, I was also admiring the black-and-white photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Curtis, J. Walker Evans, and a plethora of others.

© 2011 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail BC (at) ZAPphoto (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at  919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time.There were some images from Death Valley that I knew at the time would make good black and whites.

As those of you know who follow this blog, we ran into the sand/dust storm of all storms in Death Valley last month. Locals hadn’t seen anything like it in decades. While it was challenging to keep the camera safe, it was also great for photographs. The one above was made when the storm was beginning. The valley floor was still clear, but the mountains and hills were being obscured as the storm got lower and lower.

I didn’t want to lose that feeling of the storm lurking above the desert floor. I had already processed my color image, but after I took it over into nik Silver Efex Pro*, I brought it back into Lightroom to complete my tweaking. In this case, I wished to maintain the subtle outline of the mountains across the desert floor, so I darkened the exposure in that upper part of the image and brought out a little more detail in the salt ridges in the foreground to contrast with the storm.

Very often, I vignette by darkening the edges to draw the eye into my subject, but in this case, I actually lightened the edges a tad to lessen the impact of the salt lines as they drifted out of the frame.

© 2011 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail BC (at) ZAPphoto (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at  919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time.In the next image, there were signs of the storm in the distance. The “scooty” rock in its setting was my subject, which meant that I could not allow the mountains to intrude too much.

Again, I took my image over into nik for my base black-and-white conversion, did my normal tweaks there, then Continue reading