Image Cropping and Resolution
There are several common aspect ratios cameras today shoot in. Most Point-and-shoots have a 4:3 aspect ratio, most DSLRs have a 2:3 aspect ratio, and most medium format cameras have a 4:5 aspect ratio. This effects how much information you will lose (if any) on certain print sizes. For instance, if you shoot with a medium format camera (takes images at a 4:5 ratio), then an 8x10 crop will have no loss. If you tried to make the same crop to an image taken by a DSLR with a 2:3 ratio, you'll lose about two inches of information (2:3 ratio [2*4]x[3*4] = 8x12 print, cropped to 8x10). While doing the math is always a possibility, we provide you the customer with a Web based cropping tool that allows the user to view the effects of aspect ratio and show possible crop loss in real time while you order.
When framing your print, the frame has a "Lip" that covers the edges of the image. Because of this lip, anything framed may lose up to 0.25" behind the lip of the frame, mat, or liner used. We recommend giving all prints at least a 0.25" buffer zone with no vital subject matter (yet still image detail, don't just add white space) all the way around to avoid any risk of loss.
Several products here at Art and Photo Framing require a little more head-room than just the 0.25" for print bleed and frame lip. Products we see the most issues with are our Plaqs and Canvas Wraps. In our plaqing process, the 0.25" bevel along the edge of your plaq is cut from the image as well, so it is advised you keep any images going to plaq with a 0.5" buffer zone around the edge so as to not lose important information. Our canvas wraps actually extend the last inch or inch and a half around the edges. Because of this, it is easy to lose heads or other subject matter over the edges of a gallery wrap. We have several different edge options that deal with the edges slightly differently, but in general it is advised to not have any vital subject matter within about an inch of the edges.
On-Screen and Print Resolution
Printing requires a certain resolution to maintain a good quality result. While something may look fine on the screen, printing it is usually another story altogether. What most people don't realise is that the average monitor represents images at 72 pixels per inch, while our printers at The Photo Touch represent images at 300 pixels per inch (thats over 4 times the resolution!) Because of this difference, it is not always possible to print any image at any size. Fortunately for you the customer we utilize industry leading software to increase the resolution of your images in order to offer you a wider range of size options for your photo prints and presentations. We can reach print resolution (300 pixels per inch) from prints containing as little as 72 pixels per inch, allowing you twice as many size options from your images. This means that from the newest iphone (~5 megapixels), instead of being stuck with 11x14 as your largest size, you can now go to 16x20 or more. For a list of MegaPixel requirements for common print sizes, See Below.
Warning: Using Images from Facebook
Most Social Media sites, including Facebook, will automatically reduce the resolution of any images added. Because of this, you should watch out when submiting facebook or other social media images for print. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this issue. First, always keep a copy of the full-sized image. Treat this as your Digital Negative. Second, check that the resolution meets the minimum requirements using the Table Below before uploading it for print.
How to check image Resolution
Unfortunately, image resolution is represented in several different ways. It can be represented as a MegaPixel count (ie 5MP), Pixel Dimensions (ie 1200x1800), or Inch Dimensions with a Pixels Per Inch noted as well (ie 4"x6" @ 300ppi). We've provided a table of common print sizes and their required Pixel Dimensions / Megapixels required. The MegaPixel count is often advertised by the camera manufacturer, and can probably be found on their website or in the manual that came with your camera. You can check the Pixel Dimensions by:
- Windows XP: Right Clicking on an image and selecting Properties and browsing to the Summery Tab, then clicking Advanced. The pixel dimensions are under the Width and Height sections.
- Windows Vista / 7: Right Clicking on an image and selecting Properties and browsing to the Details Tab. The pixel dimensions are under the Dimensions section, as well as the Width and Height sections.
- Photoshop CS2-CS5: Open your Image, go to the bottom left, just left of the bottom scroll bar. Click the black arrow, and select Document Dimensions. Click and Hold down on the box just left of the black arrow.
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