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Thread: Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

  1. #1
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    Yiannis Issaris

    Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

    Hello to all,

    I am new in this community, I just discovered you and I am quite amazed at the information available here - you are doing a great job!

    I am thinking about creating a photo book and I would like to know how large can my photos be printed, so that I can select the proper maximum size of it.

    My photos are 10.1 Mpixels (3872 by 2592), coming from a DX sensor - that's almost 33 cm in the longest dimension @300 ppi. What's an acceptable up-scaling percentage so that my photos look more than decent? 130%, 150%, 200%?

    Thank you in advance!

    Yiannis

  2. #2

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    Allan Short

    Re: Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

    Welcome to CIC, you may have noticed that we use first names here, which is a lot nicier than calling you grndbl, my name is Allan and go by POlar01. Now to your question, for me I need to know what you mean by book, as I was in the "book" production business for many years, we printed on a stock, bound those pages by many different means. Forgot location helps also if you ask where you can get something, I tell you a store I use here in Canada where you live on say a tiny island in the middle of the Atllantic does not help you,so location also helps. So if you can give me a better idea of what you are look for maybe I can help.

    Cheers:

    Allan

    PS: sorry did not read the whole post your name is at the bottom. use to looking at the left of the post for a name.

  3. #3
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    Yiannis Issaris

    Re: Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

    Thank you Allan for your prompt reply... I will edit my profile to provide my full name there too, I didn't notice that option on the left tab you mentioned!

    So, I am not into a lot of technical details on the process, but I am going to pitch for an underwater wildlife book to various publishers here in Greece, where I currently live. So, for the time being, I would just like to know how big a book can I produce, if I want to use double page full spreads...

    What I really want (normally from people with experience in publishing like you Allan) is advice on how much I can up-scale the photos to the point that sharpness and details hold. I have tried blowing up my photos in Photoshop using either Bicubic softer or FractalResize up to 170% and when viewing the photo in "print size" mode, they seem fine on my monitor. Are these files going to be fine in a printed book?

    Thanks again!

    Yiannis

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Allan Short

    Re: Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

    Yiannis: If you have good files very good quality prints anywhere 240 DPI to 360 DPI size really does not matter, inas much the large the image the less sharpping is applied as it is usually viewed from a greater distance. Books can be very expensive to make, what I would suggest is to look in selfpublishing a book as in "Blurb" books I have seen some excellent done books on a same print run. The way they work allowes you to have printed text and images that are done on a high end machine, which cost out of the reach of most small printer, they can do this because of volume (that is time in total the press is turning, it runs 24/7 whereas most printers 8hrs/day 5 days aweek). As for size go for standard size of approx: 8 x 10 remember people do not want to carry around something heavy now a days they download it to there phone. number of pages 40 pages or so to get your feet wet so to speak. Remember you are in Europe not North America (english print only) in Europe is it going to be in more than one. What I really suggest is you google 'Blurb" and really check them out>

    Cheers:

    Allan

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Yiannis Issaris

    Re: Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

    Allan, thank you for your input, but your answer does not answer my photo post-processing question:

    How big an enlargement can I get (in percentage of the original size) from my photos so that they turn out at least fine on a photo book?

    Either I did not make my self clear, or it is not advisable to upsample digital images to be printed on a book at all!

    Please HELP!

  6. #6

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    Paul

    Re: Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

    A 10mpix sensor can produce perfectly acceptable A3+ images as I used to print this size regularly from my D80 and even had a couple of A2s produced. Depends on the size of your book really, also how carefully you sharpen the image and obviously the quality of the image comes into play here.
    Perfect Resize does a pretty good job on upscaling but I've only used it once or twice in the past. A tip I read which I'm not sure is still applicable in the latest versions of Photoshop was to upscale the image using Bicubic Smoother to say 200% and then downscale by 10% using Bicubic sharper.
    If you've sharpened the image carefully then you should have acceptable results.

  7. #7

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    Allan Short

    Re: Maximum digital photo up-scaling for photo book

    Yiannis there is not need to up-scale your images, 360 dpi (dots per inch) at your 3872 x 2572 you would get an printed image of 10.75" x 7.2" at 360 dpi which is what a high quality mag would print at say National Geographic images that are printed at 240 dpi would could not see the difference. At 240 dpi your image would be 16" x 10.7" in size. As the size of the page I suggested is in the range of 10.875" x 8.375 to 10" x 8" your image is greater than what can fit, remember you also need some text on the paper with the image so that will reduce the image size. A good printer does not really want you to do those things,(the reason is you do not know what your are doing) you supply them with a high quality file, they will look at it to make sure that is is ok,( spots and correct colour) remember their systems and programs are more complex they we will ever know if the image needs to be increased or decreased they will do that better then we ever could.
    As stated above I suggested a page size and page count, that is to get you feet wet, if that goes over well, a reprint costs less per book (front end has been done).
    You say in your second post that you want to pitch it to various publisher, remember at one time they were the only way to get your material out they did everything from printing to disturbation, and you got a percentage not of sales but after all expensives have been recovered from sales. Today with computers the publishing industry is having a hard time as they do not make big money look at the numbers going out of business year after year.
    That is why you see a large number of pro photographers going the self-publishing route, they have control as it is their money, they have small print runs done, they sell over their web sites, local stores (store has to get a cut too) for the space and the bookkeeping of sales of that book workshops, studio tours sales book prints and books, photography shows, etc.. The thing is now it is up to you to make it work, you control your fate. The reality of it is unless you are the best underwater photographer in the world, they most likely will not look at you as they cannot see how they can make money to survive. Sorry to say that is the hard cold truth of the matter.
    You need to target you market, I would say tourist, what are they looking for, nice pretty book, small in size, light to carry and pack, larger print (bad eye as more on the older size as they can afford to travel), good price (to them). Give them what they want, which sells, not what you want which may not sell, but give them your best in images.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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