Preparing Digital Pictures For Print


Resolution

Pictures that look sharp and pristine on a screen may not necessarily print out that way. This page will help you understand how to get the best prints from your digital images. The quality of a print is directly related to your digital image's resolution.

Understanding Resolution

Resolution is a lot like grain in a traditional photograph. Photos appear more "grainy" when enlarged. The grain in digital images is in the form of pixels. Digital images appear increasingly "pixelated" or "blocky" as they are enlarged. This distortion is called aliasing and it's not charming like a traditional photograph's grain. It is important to take your digital photos at the highest resolution possible.

Resolution is measured as DPI or dots per inch. The dots in the case of digital images are pixels which are translated to dots of pigment when printed. The image size of a digital image determines its print resolution at varying sizes. Image size is measured in pixels as the total number of pixels wide to the total number of pixels tall. For instance an image that is 800px x 600px is 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall.

Determining the Best Resolution

File size and resolution are related. It can be a little tricky to find the best image size and DPI for your print. You will have a wider selection of print dimensions based on your image's size . We allow a minimum of 150 DPI which will allow for a decent print in most cases. Below is a chart that will help you determine the best print size for your digital image.

Megapixels Image Pixel Dimensions High Definition Fine Standard
3 2048px × 1536px ~ 7″ × 5″ ~ 10″ × 8″ ~ 14″ × 11″
4 2464px × 1632px ~ 7″ × 5″ ~ 12″ × 8″ ~ 12″ × 16″
6 3008px × 2000px ~ 10″ × 8″ ~ 14″ × 11″ ~ 20″ × 10″
8 3264px × 2448px ~ 10″ × 8″ ~ 16″ × 12″ ~ 20″ × 16″
10 3872px × 2592px ~ 12″ × 8″ ~ 20″ × 10″ ~ 24″ × 18″
12 4290px × 2800px ~ 14″ × 11″ ~ 20″ × 16″ ~ 24″ × 18″
16 4920px × 3264px ~ 14″ × 11″ ~ 24″ × 18″ ~ 28″ × 22″
35mm film, scanned 5380px × 3620px ~ 16″ × 12″ ~ 24″ × 18″ ~ 36″ × 24″

 

Color

Our printers at MyDesign Museum Quality Framing are able to reproduce high detail, rich prints with excellent color stability. The technicians edit, and proof your prints in an optimum viewing environment on industry standard high gamut color calibrated monitors.

Prints will never look exactly like what you view on your computer monitor because your monitor and environment greatly affect perception of color. There are some precautions you can take to help though.

 

Monitor Calibration

Consumer monitors tend to have a limited color and brightness range. In addition they tend to "excite" the color and contrast. By calibrating your monitor you can get your monitor a little bit closer to the accuracy of a high end monitor. To learn more about calibrating your monitor visit this page. Simply viewing your images in a dimly lit room and avoiding reflections will help as well.

Color Space

Digital images often have an attached profile called a color space. These profiles limit the color range to better represent how the image will look like in print.

Our Epson printers use 11 different archival inks best suited for RGB color space. For MyDesign Museum Quality Framing prints we recommend you upload your images using the sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces. If you have taken your image on a phone or digital camera, your color space is most likely sRBG. If you are concerned about about your image's color space simply upload an image into My Design. If your image contains a color space that does not convert well you will easily see color shifts in the image preview.

We do not recommend uploading images using CMYK or gray-scale color spaces in order to avoid heavy color shifts.

 

Imaging Terms

  • Pixels: These are tiny squares of color that make up your image on a screen. A pixels unit of measurement is px.

  • File Size: A measurement that determines the space a file occupies on a disk. Size is usually measured in kilobytes (kb) or megabytes (mb). 1,000 kb = 1 mb.

  • Image Size: The number of pixels for the width and height of a digital image. Width is always the first measurement. I.e: The image is 800px x 600px.

  • DPI:

    Stands for dots per inch and is used to measure the resolution of an image. In the digital world these dots are represented by pixels. In the printing world these are dots of pigment. 300 DPI is equal to 300 dots per linear inch or 90000 (300 x 300) pixels per square inch.

    * Note that most monitors display at 72 or 96 DPI and is not an accurate representation of how your image will look in print, but you can safely save yourself the math and assume your uploaded image will look decent.

     

  • Resolution: The resolution of a digital image determines the size that it can be printed.

  • JPEG, JPG The most common method of saving a file. JPG files are small and highly compatible, but suffer a marginal amount of quality loss.

 
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