Finishing My Photos

We’ve been back from our cruise for nearly three weeks and I’m finally finished working on the pictures. It was easier in the old school point-and-shoot film days when you brought your film in and walked out with prints.

Today’s tools are more versatile and the prints are simply better in the digital era – at least for me.

We ordered a ‘book’ of 60 – 4×6″ pictures from the 1,700 I shot on the cruise.

I know there are bound books you can buy, but we’ve chosen to have these pictures ‘loosely’ bound with a spiral binding. We did it last year with our California vacation and were very pleased with the result.

My panoramas went to, a company I found through a web search. They offer to print custom sizes, and my panos are anything but standard. I’m waiting to see how they turn out, because the photos (even enlarged) have lots of detail. Since they’re composed of many more pixels than can be displayed on my computer screen, seeing them there probably doesn’t begin to do them justice.

It’s my understanding uses a very high quality ink jet printer. That’s different from the process used on most photo prints and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one up close and personal.

A few nights ago, I was thumbing through “The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers,” by Scott Kelby and came upon his idea for creating a poster. His demo was individual photos of a baby’s face. I thought it might work for a few of my Mexican shots. My finished product is displayed on the left above.

I am really pleased with how it came out. Response from my friends (who as friends will compliment or say nothing at all) has been extremely positive.

This is more technique than artistry. It’s really not too difficult to do (though I did it three times until I got the spacing the way I wanted it). It was done with Photoshop, but it’s tough to believe Photoshop Elements, Paintshop Pro, GIMP&#185 or any other program that ships with digital cameras, don’t have the few tools needed to achieve this same result.

Like the panos, I am very interested in seeing this printed. There’s a lot of detail available, even for the 16×24″ size I specified. My finished product was created at 300 dpi (dots per inch), which I hope is enough to maintain the quality I think is there. It went to, who are also doing the 60 bound 4×6’s.

I’ll post my impressions when the prints arrive.

&#185 – GIMP is a very good photo finishing program. What makes it even better is, it’s 100% free. The prevailing wisdom is, it’s comparable to Photoshop, though not quite as good or robust. The user interface is obtuse and clunky and will feel unfamiliar to most Windows users. Did I mention it’s free?

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