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Frustrated with photoshop; photo editing question

I need help with photoshop, I am scanning b+w negs on a minolta dimage scanner resulting in around a 20meg file. I then open in photoshop cs2 and then i crop slightly, the crop takes a very long time and the image ends up being 1.5 to 1.8 gig?? What am I doing wrong?? 
Are you certain that you checked the resolution that Photoshop is set to when cropping your scan? 

Use your scanner to scan the image 
watch what resolution setting you have. Dont let it go too much past 100 dpi for an A4 scan. 

If you scan as a B/W setting this will also reduce the file size. 

When cropping in Photoshop again make sure that your width, height and resolution are of a managable proportion.

Adobe Gamma for photo editing

Ok I spent alot of money of my camera (alot for me) and it would be a shame if it was all for not because I couldnt produce quality prints. 
I have decided that senting out my digitals for printing would be the most economical method at this time (factoring in price of paper/inks/printer and amount of prints that I do) so I have a few questions on the best setup for my laptop. 

As of right now I have calibrated my monitor using Adobe Gamma, I do plan on getting the Spyder2 to do the job right, but right now Adobe gamma is gonna have to do the job. 
When I shoot, I shoot RAW then choose ProPhoto for the color profile and up the DPI to 300. At the present time I have CS2 colour profile set to AdobeRBG 1998 in work space (because it doesnt offer ProPhoto in the settings). When I open a file with the ProPhoto profile I just tell PS to use enbedded profile. 

Now for the questions, 

1) When I tell PS to use the embedded profile (Prophoto) is it actually using Prophoto and if it is, why isnt ProPhoto in the Workspace settings? 

2) Getting ready for the net: I know that when I orginally edit a photo (straight from RAW) I should use ProPhoto, then switch the colour profile to sRBG then tweek the colours again to look there best. Is this right? 

3) Asumming that I was right for question 2, what profile should I switch to and edit in when Im ready to print? (as stated above I will be sending out to print) 

and as a bonus question: what format is best to send to the printshop Jpeg, Tif or something else. 

Picture Window Pro is a complete, full featured advanced image editor
Picture Window Pro is a complete, full featured advanced image editor that delivers the power you need to handle just about any photographic situation. It gives you multiple ways to control tonality and color, including curves and histograms. Advanced cropping, sharpening, up sampling, perspective correction, cloning and many other tools to let you get the most out of your digital images. You can make web slide shows and multi-image layouts. A built-in browser lets you pick images by sight and do keyword searches. And all this power is organized in a clear, highly usable way so soon you become quick and efficient at getting just the results you want. 

Adobe Acquires Technology Assets of Pixmantec ApS

LONDON June 26, 2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced it has acquired the technology assets of Pixmantec ApS, makers of digital imaging software that provides advanced workflow management and processing capabilities for digital camera raw files. The acquisition strengthens Adobe's leadership position in raw processing.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

"With high quality digital cameras now within reach of every photographer, customers are gravitating to raw file formats that allow them to get more control over final results," said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions at Adobe?. "By combining Pixmantec's raw processing technology and expertise with our own, we're continuing to deliver on the promise that even your existing raw files can be processed with increasing quality as our software technology evolves."

Pixmantec is a privately held company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark and currently ships the RawShooter? line of digital photography software products. Adobe plans to integrate Pixmantec raw processing technologies into Lightroom? and wherever customers will be working with raw files. 

In preparation for this integration, the Pixmantec RawShooter Premium product is being discontinued, though the free RawShooter Essentials product will continue to be available until the Lightroom public beta program is completed. Existing Pixmantec customers will continue to be supported by Adobe and will be provided with an upgrade path to the Adobe digital imaging product family.

Adobe believes this acquisition will not have a material financial impact on the company.

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