Paint Shop Pro/jpg quality

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Question
 Hi,

How are you? Thank you for taking questions.
I recently had Walgreens turn my predeveloped film into digital images. I had previously used Target and everything was good. Now all of the files Walgreens made look very light and extremely high contrast. I tried to use Adobe Photoshop and make them better and sometimes I suceeded, sometimes not. My question is: Is it possible that when Walgreens digitalized my pictures they used such settings that some of the information was lost and I can never make perfect pics? Or is it so that once the picture is digitalized, the file always contains all of the information that was on the film, it is just that I do not know what Photoshop settigs to choose to make the picture nice? The same question reworded: Is it possible that Walgreens did a bad job scanning my pics and I can not correct them with any graphics program because the files do not contain all the information the film had?
 Thank you very much indeed.
 Tom


Answer
Hi Tom,

I'll answer the last question first. Yes, it is absolutely possible that Wallgreens did a bad job of scanning and that no amount of correction will ever make them right.

The key issue here is that it is only in theory that the information in the digital pictures comes from the photographs. It reality, the information comes from the scanner and there is no reason to assume that the scanner is going to always work correctly or that the person using it has any clue of what they are doing. In other words, if you have bad scans, you are sunk. You can never put quality into an image. You can adjust things like brightness and contrast and color saturation to improve the look of an image but you aren't revealing hidden information when you do that stuff, you are really just playing mathematical tricks on the pixel values.

Ok, here's the deal. If the pictures don't look right in a browser window just as you got them from Wallgreens, then they are bad scans. Don't let anyone try to tell you any mumbo-jumbo nonsense that is any different. You can trust me completely on this. Commercial film scanners are a completely different beast from the flatbed scanners most people are familiar with and they must be calibrated carefully to give good results.

I hope this helps! Please feel free to ask followup questions as needed.  

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Richard Moose

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I can answer any question about using Paint Shop Pro including, but not limited to, how to make fancy lettering, how to use layers, how to use gradients and textures, how to make 3D effects, how to make animated gifs, how and when to use vector graphics, how to choose the best format for your graphics, how to understand all the options and tools, how to retouch photographs, how to find and use filters, how to correctly understand resolution, dpi, and display size. I can answer all questions about graphics for different applications such as logos, magazines, the web, newspapers, flyers, brochures, and I have extensive knowledge of high resolution 3D graphics for posters and other types of promotional materials. I`ve used Paint Shop Pro to create video and film titles and credits as well as using it for "post production" fine tuning of graphics made with other applications like Bryce, Poser, and Maya.

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I've been using Paint Shop Pro for ten years, starting with version 2.0 and continuing through all releases up to the most current release. I've used it to create graphics for many personal and commercial websites as well as for print publications and film and video titles. I've been helping people use Paint Shop Pro and answering questions about it for over 8 years in my capacity as a Community Leader at a well known web building site and as an expert at question and answer sites on the web. I love helping people use this excellent program!

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