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05-16-2013, 05:28 AM   #1
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Printing Help

I am having a disaster. I need to print an image for an exhibition ASAP. My problem is that I need the image printed out at A2 (23x16inch). BUT after setting the resolution to 300ppi, the size estimate is 15x10inch. WHY?

I'm dealing with this size estimate straight after RAW conversion and I'm thoroughly confused. What am I doing wrong?

05-16-2013, 05:56 AM   #2
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You're doing nothing wrong, what you're seeing is your total pixels divided by your ppi.
To print larger and have 300 ppi you'll have to resize the image in your editor. If you plan on having it printed at a shop, they can probably
do that for you. If not search for some tutorials on the best way to resize.
05-16-2013, 06:03 AM   #3
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Well its simple, your image has a certain number of pixels. PPI= pixels per inch. So if you have more pixels per inch, you get a lower number of inches. But higher "quality" of the print. So if you have the dimensions in inches (or cm), and a photo with a given number of pixels, you need to leave ppi (resolution) to "automatic".
Print stores (and websites) will ignore your "ppi" either way and make the image fit the size you want it to.

edit: also, you should mention which camera you are using and what software
05-16-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Well its simple, your image has a certain number of pixels. PPI= pixels per inch. So if you have more pixels per inch, you get a lower number of inches. But higher "quality" of the print. So if you have the dimensions in inches (or cm), and a photo with a given number of pixels, you need to leave ppi (resolution) to "automatic".
Print stores (and websites) will ignore your "ppi" either way and make the image fit the size you want it to.

edit: also, you should mention which camera you are using and what software
I'm using a Pentax K20D, and then Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and then Photoshop CS6.

If I put in the size scale I want the ppi is set to 198, which wouldn't be a high enough quality for print.

Am I going to have to simply print smaller?

(Apologies for any misunderstandings, I've never had images printed before, so this is all new to me!)

05-16-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ayefaye Quote
Am I going to have to simply print smaller?
One of these:
a) Print smaller
b) Print at lower resolution/quality (198 isn't terrible btw, just not "perfect" for very close viewing. At a normal distance it will probably be fine)
c) Enlarge image (this can also lower quality quite a bit, though. Depends on how its done).

Are you printing this yourself or are you going to take it to a print shop? You can just print a couple versions, one small at 300ppi, one big at 198ppi, and one enlarged to be big and 300ppi. And then you just choose the optimal one. Just don't get them mixed up
05-16-2013, 07:08 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
One of these:
a) Print smaller
b) Print at lower resolution/quality (198 isn't terrible btw, just not "perfect" for very close viewing. At a normal distance it will probably be fine)
c) Enlarge image (this can also lower quality quite a bit, though. Depends on how its done).

Are you printing this yourself or are you going to take it to a print shop? You can just print a couple versions, one small at 300ppi, one big at 198ppi, and one enlarged to be big and 300ppi. And then you just choose the optimal one. Just don't get them mixed up
RIGHT. I'm with you (I think). I'm getting them done at a print shop. I think I'll just get them printed at the lower resolution and see how it comes out. I've been advised that 200-300ppi will be okay, although 300 would be the ideal. The actual ppi for the scaled image is 203ppi, so I'm hoping it'll be okay! I'll probably go into the shop and manage to stress out the guy who works there, as usual.

Thank you for all of your help!
05-16-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ayefaye Quote
I'll probably go into the shop and manage to stress out the guy who works there, as usual.
Ah yes. Print shops usually have their own way of doing things, so just ask them about that and then maybe suggest them your own instructions. I'm sure it will work out, even with ppi around 200
Oh, and some print shops like to change colours and contrast a little! So if you don't want that, tell them about it. And the print will still look a little different from the digital file on a computer screen. Good luck!
05-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Ah yes. Print shops usually have their own way of doing things, so just ask them about that and then maybe suggest them your own instructions. I'm sure it will work out, even with ppi around 200
Oh, and some print shops like to change colours and contrast a little! So if you don't want that, tell them about it. And the print will still look a little different from the digital file on a computer screen. Good luck!
My experience with print shops is, that there're two kinds: those that just don't care, and no matter what you do they'll apply their mechanical junk-process to what you give them - and then those, who care.

The latter tend to be staffed with people who find it interesting when somebody who knows something about what they want, and what goes behind getting it, and are happy to work with you, let you in on their processes, and try to adjust to yours (& help you adjust to theirs). In a previous life, I stumbled into one of these shops with a print-job, and one of their guys spent the better part of 2h discussing with me, working with me to get things right. I learned a lot in the process....I also came back many times, even though they did not practice rock-bottom prices, since they really cared to get the result I wanted.

I guess that my best suggestion is to go talk to the print shop, and find out if they're of the first or second category....and either run away, or spend the time building a relationship with them

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