With digital photography, there are lots of different ways to share your pictures (like email, websites, etc) but for those really important pictures most people want to have them printed and framed.
In addition to framing and displaying your best pictures, there are several other reasons that you may want to print your photos. Here are a few of the many ways printed photographs are used.
* Framed for the mantle, table and wall displays
* Wallet pictures
* Memory books
* Greeting cards
* Photo crafts
* Photo competitions
Even in our digital day and age, we still have lots of interesting and beautiful things to do in print! Unfortunately, printing a picture isn’t as simple as clicking the print button on your computer. Printing a quality print of a photograph is trickier than printing, say, a flyer. These photo printing tips will help make the process easier so you can get better quality prints.
Digital Photography 101 – Pixels Matter
Before you resize a picture on your computer, figure out first if you may ever want to print it. If so, be sure to hang on to the original.
When taking pictures, you always want to know if you plan to print the picture so you can take it with a high enough resolution to get a quality print in the size you want. Below are some examples to help you know how many pixels are needed for different sizes of prints.
High quality 10 x 13
2592 x1944 pixels (a 5 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)
High Quality Picture: 9×12 inches
2272 x 1704 pixels ( a 4 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)
High Quality: 8 x 10 inches
2048 x 1536 pixels ( a 3 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)
High Quality Picture: 4×6 or 5×7 inches
1600 x1200 pixels (a 2 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)
So, it’s true that you don’t need a camera with a lot of mega pixels in order to get quality photographs.
Using the proper settings on your printer is also important to getting a quality picture. Check with your manual or the manufacturers recommendations on their website. Then use a photo editor to resample the photos to the appropriate dpi. If you’re new to digital photo printing, dpi stands for “dots per inch.”. The more dots per inch, the finer the grain of the picture and the better it looks. The ink jet printers on the market today that are used for quality photo prints often have dpi resolution of around 1200 to 4800. This sort of dpi will produce quality prints of photographs that have around 140 to 300 pixels per inch.
The ppi (pixels per inch) is the measurement for the resolution of a digital picture and should not be confused with the height and width of a picture. For example a 200 pixel x 300 pixel photograph would be quite small, while a photo with a 300 ppi needn’t be small because ppi refers to the quality not the physical size of the picture.
Digital Photography 101 Paper for Picture Perfect Prints
Make sure to use photo printing paper and if possible, use paper that is recommended by your printer’s manufacturer for best results. For projects like greetings cards, use special card stock paper. You can find them online or at craft stores or office supply stores.
If you need high quality prints or extra large pictures, you can also go to your local photography store or order them online from a reputable retailer.
Have fun printing your digital images!