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Do I need Photoshop?

Do I need Photoshop?

Do I need Photoshop?

I have Adobe Indesign -- have sent a book to the printers with about 75 images. I had scanned them on a cheap printer. Apparently some of them were at 72 dpi, which I changed to 300 dpi. I used Microsoft Picture It. Then they were grayscaled in Corel PhotoPaint. I sent them to the printer/publisher as a PDF. We have had five different printings of drafts. They come back at varying quality. Some were good, others were too light, etc. Advice from a kind person on the Indesign forum who looked at my images via email, said I needed to get them professionally scanned even though I have a new printer with a scanner that is quite good, in my opinion. It is an HPL7590. (I rescanned a few on my new machine, and they all came up as 300 dpi.) He says the texture of the paper is causing the problem. Some of the photos are quite old. What are my options? Having them scanned professionally locally? Try to do them over on my newer scanner? Buy Photoshop or Photoshop Elements or the free GIMP? My author is on a barebones budget, so Photoshop may not be an option unless I download the trial. The book is a book of memoirs; my author wants the pictures to be a good quality, and we are going to have to make a decision soon. Thanks to anyone who can help.     

RE: Do I need Photoshop?

...you cannot simply change a 72 dpi image to 300 dpi as this results in loss of quality, sometimes prepress have to, with artwork such as line art that needs to be at 600dpi and converted to 1 bit...

...if the image is 72dpi, then it can be reduced in a page layout app until the effective res is about 250 to 300, at this range the print will be OK. However when I say OK, that depends on the image itself, as 300 dpi doesn't always mean a good image...

...for continuous tone images you can't have a 72 dpi image being forced to 300dpi, especially when quality is paramount and the images are particularly large when lithographically printed. If they are pretty small images then perhaps detail won't be so important if resampling is required...

...if your originals are bad, then the best your scanner will do is replicate all that is bad, if not more so than you can see with your own eyes, such as paper grain, scratches, dust...

...the only way is to retouch digitally the bad images, gimp is capable of photo retouching, but whether you choose gimp or photoshop you still have the learning curve to go through...

...your HP has an optical scan res of 2400dpi, with an 8.5 x 11.7 in flat bed. So all in all pretty good scans can probably be achieved, but depending on the scanning software (if any) is involved with this device then it probably won't produce scans as well as done professionally. Now if the budget won't allow professional scanning, then use your HP 2400dpi scanner, open them in GIMP, check they are 300dpi (at actual print size, so scan in larger than you'll need), check if they need any cloning out for scratch/paper dust removal...

...depending on how good your monitor is (if calibrated well) then you might end up seeing images darker/lighter than they really are. Monitor calibration is a different game, can be done by eye, but is better done with a calibration unit you stick to the monitor. Realistically this will likely be out of your budget, so the only method is by eye, more here on that side of things:


...color management and profiling of monitors and scanners is to big an area to discuss in a forum really. More on profiling scanners here:




RE: Do I need Photoshop?

Thank you so much for answering, Andrew. I will definitely take your advice. I will try the GIMP and see if this will help, and I will look at the websites. I will answer later as to how this all worked for me. Thanks again. Arlene

RE: Do I need Photoshop?

...the other area to consider is converting from RGB/CMYK color to greyscale...

...in photoshop there are many different approaches to this, a popular method is to go from RGB > LAB > and using the lightness channel convert to greyscale, then adjust the curves to bring back contrast if needed. CS3 now has the option to use a layer adjustment instead:


...and more on here for converting to black and white from color:


...I imagine gimp has similar functions and varying options to convert color to black and white too, but just keep in mind that one way isn't always good for all images, depending on how fussy one might be...



RE: Do I need Photoshop?

...for GIMP, there are a few very useful pointers here to perform certain tasks:



RE: Do I need Photoshop?

Andrew, Wow, thanks for all the info. I won't be able to get to it right away because of family obligations, but am anxious to see what I can do. Arlene

RE: Do I need Photoshop?

I use both GIMP and PHOTOSHOP, I prefer PHOTOSHOP but with that said, GIMP does get the job done once you get use to it and figure it's opening windows and layouts and commands. For a free program it's worth the download. You can spend a lot of $$ of Photoshop, I would suggest getting 7.0 and upgrading it with free add-ons and filters and other .exe programs.

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