how to preview "prints"

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by smn_xps, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. smn_xps

    smn_xps TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sturgis, Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I want to know the best way to preview a "print" so that i can tell if the resolution is sufficient for the intended print size.

    for example if i take a shot and the crop it down and now i want to print it in 8 x 10. how can i see it on the monitor so that i can decide if it will be sharp enough and have enough resolution?

    The best method i found is to do a save as (to change the file name so as not to screw up the original shot) and then use paint.net to resize to 8 x 10 at the highest resolution setting.

    there has to be a better way. perhaps this is the time for me to buy photoshop elements?

    thanks
    jerry
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The problem here is that a monitor's resolution is something like 72 pixels per inch...but for printing you want a lot more, ideally 300 pixels per inch of print size.

    To know if I have enough resolution for a print size, I multiply the print size by 300 (or maybe as low as 240)...so for an 8x10 it would be 2400 x 3000...and that's the size of the file I would need. If my image isn't that big, then I'll resize it to be that big.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can't compare it to the screen.

    What you need to do is work from one of the rules of thumb. 300ppi is the one most often used in photography where the basic definition if I recall correctly is a photo held at arms length, the pixels will not be seen by someone with 20/20 vision. Anything below that and the pixels start to appear at arms length.

    But the key here is it's a bit up to you how to do it. Obviously most wall photos are not going to be viewed at arms length so if you print a 20x30 print it will be perfectly acceptable to drop the resolution down to 150ppi as most people will stand hopefully a few meters away.

    Anyway total picture resolution is image size multiplied by pixels per inch, as Mike already demonstrated.

    2 more things:
    - Don't worry about too high a resolution. If 300ppi was the target and your software says you can get 640ppi (actually this is a 10mpx camera with a 4x6 print) then print at 640ppi.
    - If in doubt do NOT print at a lower resolution. A 100ppi print looks much worse than a 100ppi print resized to 300ppi, especially if some software or algorithm does a great job on that particular image.
     
  4. smn_xps

    smn_xps TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sturgis, Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for those two posts, guys.

    I think I get the basic idea of working with the pixel count to get a sense of how much i can enlarge. I have a couple of shots that i will try at 8 x 10 this week and see how they work out.

    Cheers
    Jerry
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

how to preview prints