Photo Scaling

    Everyonedealing with any sort of publication -- even a web publication -- mustunderstand the concepts of scaling and cropping (trimming an image to makeit more effective). This process involves using a technique to determinewhat space a photograph will occupy when it appears on a page, printedor electronic. 
    Historically, editors have received a collectionof news and feature photograph prints from a photo staff, freelancers andfrom one or more wire-photo services (i.e., the Associated Press). As editorsmoved through the page-layout process, they selected certain prints forpublication and determined how the photos should be cropped. 
    Typically, an editor received a photo print in somestandard size (i.e., 5 inches x 7 inches or 8 inches x 10 inches). So during the production process the photo usually had to be enlarged orreduced to convert it to the space provided in the page layout. Carefullayout techniques required the editor to calculate the reproduction dimensionsof the photo at the time the page dummy was being prepared. 
    At least four techniques are available for photoscaling (i.e., calculating the reproduction size). They are: 
  • Electronic picture editing terminals: the most common used today. 
  • The ratio method: An handy thing to know.
  • The rule of the diagonal: It's so simple, it's amazing.
  • The proportion wheel: a terrific little device that some of us old-timersstill use.
     We'll deal with two thatneed little explanation first:

      Electronicpicture editing terminals: Mostdaily newspapers are using the electronic picture editing terminals forphoto scaling (as well as for the several other tasks, including the abilityto make photos sharper, to make color corrections, etc.). However, manypublications still expect editors to crop photos manually, so in this coursewe will touch on the first three techniques mentioned above, which arevaluable and skills you can utilize throughout your career.

     Proportionwheel: A snazzy little device, much like a slide rule,except it's circular -- one flat plastic wheel atop another. You simplyline up the original size to the desired side and, voila!, the other desirednumber (for either height or width) 

TheRatio Method   |  TheRule of the Diagonal
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