Help with printing!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kellylindseyphotography, May 14, 2008.

  1. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    I'm really bad with the math part of photography. If anyone can help, greatly appreciated.

    OK the largest picture size print I offer is 11x14. So I need to know what specifications are needed for great quality from that size down to wallet size.

    If, when uploaded, my image size is only 72 ppi for resolution, and the w X h is 23x34, how does this translate in prints? Of course, best to order the prints and see for myself, but its just not possible right now.

    If I change the PPI to say 150.. how will this change my picture? Will PS try to fill in those pixels appropriatly (but badly?) or is it a good thing? I cannot see a difference when I do it. How does that translate to the print?

    Also, I don't need a 23x34 size image, so if I change that to 11x14, how much quality am I loosing? Since I am cutting it in half, am I losing that much quality also?

    I am so confused about this stuff, any help is really appreciated and sorry for being such a noob.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The standard is that you want to have 300 pixels per linear inch of print size.

    So if it's an 11x14 print, you will want a file that is 3300x4200.

    For other sizes...just do the simple math. Print size X 300 pixels.

    You can use Photoshop to increase or decrease the size of your image. When going down in size, you won't have a problem with quality.
    When going up in size, the software has to make up the extra pixels...so the image quality will go down...but with a nice sharp image and a good file, you can easily go up to 23x24. (at that size, you may not need 300 PPI...maybe 240 would be OK but you should ask the printer/lab first.)
     
  3. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    So if my camera is shooting at 72 ppi (which is what it says when I open it in ps, that it is 72 ppi, and 23x34) I should shoot in a different setting then? I'd like to keep the 23x34 but have the ppi at 300.
     
  4. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

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    Well, it might help by separating the idea that it's an internal setting in the camera that ps reads to get 72 ppi at 23x34... Let's just take my camera for example. The file size is 3888x2592. When the computer opens the file it automatically assigns the file a printing size, if you will. So lets say it arbiterially (cause is basically does (you can modify this in camera raw)) chooses a 24x16in. sized print. However, a printer doesn't "think" in pixels but rather dots per inch. So, computer takes the file length print length (24) and divids it into the file length (3888) to get the dots per inch (162). If you wanted to print a picture at a certain size, I would first determine the dpi (usually 300) then the size in inches. So in your case, you want the picture to be 11x14 and probably want it printed at 300 dpi then as Mike said your file will have to be 3300x4200 (13.86 MP). That means that in order to get 11x14 shots right out of your camera you will have to have a camera that can shoot 13.86 MP; otherwise, you'll have to resize the shot in ps.

    Here's another conversation I had with another member on another forum if this still is a little unclear.

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=492669
     
  5. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    That is exactly what I'm so confused about. Why does PS open my images as only 72 PPI? And obviously if I increase it to 300, it "makes up" those pixels resulting in poor quality.

    HOw then do I set PS to register as 300 ppi as default? (thanks for that reading by the way.. very good but I"m sooo not good at mechanically interpreting that in my brain)
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You are getting there...but you are still a bit confused.

    Try to forget about the PPI number...it is practically meaningless. Photoshop (or whatever) will default to 72 because that is for monitor viewing.

    The numbers that you need to be concerned about are the actual size of the image, in pixels. Take those numbers, divide by 300 and there is your print size.

    If you are resizing for a specific print size, those are the numbers that you need to change.

    In the photoshop 'Image Size' box, you can also change the PPI number to 300. This will mean that when in Photoshop, the viewing magnification will change.

    Remember, the important thing is the size of the image...not the PPI resolution.
     
  7. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

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    Well said.
     
  8. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    hmm ok. so why change it to 300 then?? if it it unimportant ? Why is there an emphasis on that number?

    ok so if ihave an image that is 1664x2496 in pixel dimention.. I should divide those #'s by 300? Even if ps tells me that my resolution is 72?

    By that logic, the print will be 5.5 x 8. Correct? And thats at 300ppi.?
     
  9. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

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    that is correct. If you had an image 1664x2496 and divided those numbers by 300 ppi then you could get a 5.5x8 inch print at 300ppi. 300ppi is considered standard for a high quality print. You could probably get away with 72ppi if you were say 10ft away from it, but if you were arms lenght you would defenaitly see a degrade of quality.
     
  10. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    OK so that would be set by ME correct?

    I could leave the pixel dimensions, set the "document size" as 5.5 x 8 and the res (ppi) at 300 and that would be considered "Very high" quality image at print stage?
     
  11. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

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    for that 5.5x8 yes that is correct
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One thing that we are missing here...is the 're-sample' check box, in the 'Image size' dialog box.

    When you open the image size box...you should see the 'Pixel Dimensions' then the 'Document Size' (with the resolution). Below that, you should see the 're-sample' check box.

    If you uncheck that box...you can change the resolution to anything you want...and it won't affect the pixel dimensions. It's just changing how the image will be displayed on your monitor.

    So...to make things easier and more clear for you. Open the image size dialog, uncheck the re-sample check box, then change the resolution to 300. Then recheck the re-sample box and click OK.
    You won't have added or subtracted anything from your image...but then the number might make more sense to you.

    Now if you do want to change the size of an image. Open the image size dialog and first go though those steps to change the resolution to 300 (without changing the pixel dimensions). Then recheck the re-sample button and change the pixel dimensions to what they need to be for the print size. This time, when you click OK, the image will be re-sampled to the size that you have chosen.
     

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