How Photos from LC Nationals Were Processed: The process by which photos for the Top Ten Photo Gallery are being produced was developed over the Labor Day weekend. Our reference point (our standard) was the photo of Chester Miltenberger scanned by Vickie Stewart. The first attempt was to put all the photos from LC Nationals on a Kodak CD-ROM at a photo processing lab franchised to use the Kodak CD-ROM process. This resulted in files in .pcd format which were each about 4MB in size. Colors seemed weak and the photo as presented on the computer screen were not nearly as attractive as our standard. Next we produced 12 photographs at a local home-based service which used a Mustek 600 2E scanner and Corel Photopaint software. Colors were good, but the service used an image resolution of 72 ppi rather than the 130 ppi we requested and they produced photos too small in screen size. So we decided to try it ourselves using an HP 4C with Photoshop 4.0 at Kinko's. Our first effort was not very satisfactory, possibly because we hadn't yet figured out how to set image resolution and were getting only 72 ppi. We continued to experiment with the HP 4C at Kinko's, and finally got to where we were able to produce satisfactory .jpg files from our photos by a tedious process involving a great deal of pointing and clicking. Then, with help from technical support at Adobe, we created an "action" whereby the process for each photo was automated and then we ran the automated process on all 138 photos from LC Nationals in batch mode.
Reminders for next time: Crop the image before importing into Photoshop, but don't adjust brightness or contrast in Desk Scan II (the HP software); make any image enhancements in Photoshop 4.0. It was necessary to "customize print path" in order to get close to our desired resolution of 130 pixels per inch (File, Import, Custom, Print path, 600 dpi printer gives 150 pixels per inch). "Type" was selected automatically by Photoshop to be "sharp, millions of colors". Save files in the native Photoshop format (.psd) and later convert to .jpg files if you're paying rent for the scanner. If there is no hourly cost for using the scanner, then save as .jpg while scanning to reduce errors and time. You may wish to keep the .psd file as "original art". On the first save, you must be careful to select the correct device and path, and, if you are saving in .jpg format, to select the correct compression (we used medium (3) image quality or compression in creating .jpg files). These settings will hold until changed so you don't need to set them again during this scanning session. Once the preferences were set, the process is:
Two persons with commercial experience in creating web sites were especially helpful in this effort. Thanks very much to Marcus and Angela Zepeda. Yvonne Katechis, a Kinko's employee, was helpful at a critical moment and seems to be very capable. The six photos below show each step in the process described above. Jorge Gonzalez was the swimmer in the test photos shown.
In comparing these images, remember that the color controls on your monitor may need adjustment. See Tips on Adjusting Your Monitor.
a) Chester Miltenberger (mbg51i5.jpg) -- the standard by which we judge photos on the web.
b) .psd file from Kodak CD-ROM (goz49ae9) -- weak colors.
c) service using Corel (goz49ae8) -- too small and only 72 ppi resolution.
d) first test HP 4C process (goz49ae7) -- weak colors
e) final hand HP 4C process (goz49ae6) -- OK
f) automated HP 4C process (goz49ae) -- OK
a) b) c) d) e) f)