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Thread: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

  1. #1

    New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Hi everyone! I'm new here and new to photography. I'm trying to start a small photo business online to supplement my husband's income. I'm trying to learn all I can, and even have had my father in law give me photoshop elements 9. I was just uploading my pics from Iphoto to Costco to have them printed which seemed to be working fine....although Iphoto is not ideal for editing! Anyways, I'm having trouble uploading my pics from Photoshop to Costco and having the ! warning icon about low resolution when I try to order any pic uploaded ONLY from Photoshop above 8x10s. I thought Photoshop would be a great way to edit/resize my photos, but I just don't understand. I try resizing the photos under image/resize and then changing the ppi or height/width to what I need. So, when I do order pictures the have been cropped with a lot of my image on the sides being left out. I want to know how to upload a photo that WON'T be cropped and will be able to stretch up to 16x20 in size, and not lose any of the resolution. Also, my webite is bigskycountry.yolasite.com if anyone would care to give me honest critiques/advice!!!! Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Hi Melissa,

    Can you tell us a bit more about what camera you use, do you shoot RAW or JPEG, if JPEG then what resolution do you shoot in-camera? If you can ell us the size of the files you are trying to output it will also help?

    I have a quick look at your website and (on my screen) the images look a little soft as presented there. I am not sure what post processing you do. If you added sharpening to your images then when you downsize them for the web they lose some of that sharpening and you need to re-sharpen at this point.

    Also I am not sure what Colour Space you shoot in. Adobe RGB is a larger colour space but not suited to posting on the web or for that matter getting prints done by commercial label. You need to use sRGB.

  3. #3

    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Hi there! I have a Canon digital rebel xti 18-55mm zoom. The pics are all showing a 72ppi and I use Jpeg. They range from 1.7 to 5 mb. I'm new to a lot of this stuff, so it gets very confusing to me. I'm just confused as to why the pictures uploaded from Iphoto have the resolution to print up to 16x20 and some 20x30 and from Photoshop they can't even be printed as 8x10's?

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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Hi Melissa,

    In Photoshop - when you click on Image and Image Size, make sure that RESAMPLE IMAGE isn't ticked. That's probably the cause of your problem.

    I'm guessing that you're doing what a lot of people do - they have the default resolution set to 72 DPI and then they plug in the new image dimensions, and it down-samples the image to the new dimensions, but at 72DPI, which is too low for printing.

    Basically, ignore DPI and ignore the image size in Photoshop if you're not doing your own printing; the only thing that's important to you is the number of pixels in the image you send off.

    While I "have you", the other thing you MUST do is click on Edit -> Convert to Profile (not assign profile), and make sure that your target profile is sRGB for each image.

    Edit: Oops - just realised you're using PSE and not PS. What I described will still be the problem, but what you need to do to fix it may be slightly different. If you can't firgure it out, just let us know, and we'll get one of the PSE users to give you some step by step instructions.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 11th March 2011 at 12:57 AM.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Hi Melissa,

    Colin is the 'Master Guru' (that's one higher than just a Guru) on this stuff so listen to him and ask more questions as you need to.

  6. #6

    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    I've made sure that RESAMPLE is unchecked when I try and change the ppi, but no matter what I do when I upload it to print to Costco I get the ! icon. I've tried changing the width/length too and still get the same results......low resolution! Is DPI different from PPI? Because it's the PPI that's 72. Thanks for all your help!!

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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Hi Melissa,

    DPI and PPI are different, but neither apply to you. PPI is simply the number of pixels wide/high in the image divided by the length in inches - it's really just a quality indicator for a given size, but if you're not resampling and you're not doing your own printing then it's really irrelivant.

    What we really need to know is how big a file is - in terms of pixels, and nothing else.

    Would you do a quick test for me - right click on one of the problem files - choose properties - and tell me the pixel dimensions of the image. If you haven't cropped it excessively then it should be in the region of 3500 x 2500; I'm guessing that yours will be way lower for some reason.

  8. #8

    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    The particular picture I looked at is showing 7892 in width and 4800 in height and shows channel3 RGB color, 8bpc. Not sure what this means exactly, but I did change the color profile to "convert to sRGB Profile". I then tried connecting to Costco photo directly throught the Photoshop Organizer like I've been doing......it prepares the files and uploads the photo and I go to order a 16x20 and it still shows ! icon....feel like giving up on photoshop and just sticking Iphoto.
    Last edited by melissa; 11th March 2011 at 02:23 PM.

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    Sonic4Spuds's Avatar
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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    That image should be just barely large enough to print at that size (the recommended print size is 300dpi) but the uploader may be automatically down-sampling the resolution. I don't use any adobe products so I can't tell you for sure on this.

    -Sonic

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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Hi Melissa,

    Here begins a journey

    First up, a little primer on image resolutions ...

    PPI (or Pixels Per Inch) is the number of image pixels per liner inch of printed image. It's easy to calculate; just divide the number of pixels you have (in your case 7892) by the size (in your case 20). So 7892 pixels / 20 inches = 395 PPI. Easy huh?

    The next issue is "what resolution do I need?" The more you research this, the more answers you'll get; some will say 720 PPI - some will say 360 PPI - some will say 300 PPI - some will say 180 PPI. In reality though, all of these are pretty much a moot point because regardless of the size you want to print, the photo only contains so many pixels of information ... if you want to print something exceptionally large, you just have to accept a lower PPI because there's no way to add additional pixels of information to the file*; you can only work with the information you've captured, so it's a case of either "run with what you have" or "don't print it at all".

    * You'll notice that I've said "there's no way to add additional pixels of information" - I'm not saying you can't add more pixels (as it appears that you have as I don't believe an XTi has a 37MP sensor! - But although you're adding pixels, you're really not adding information (or detail) because you can't add what wasn't captured in the first place. By the way, adding more pixels is what we call "up-sampling" - it has it's uses, but it's beyond the scope of what we're discussing here (kinda).

    The thing to remember about PPI is - in real world terms - there isn't a fixed value that's "best"; basically, for a given number of pixels that you're working with, the lower the PPI, the bigger the print - BUT - (and as you can see, it's a BIG but), the bigger the print, the greater the viewing distance. And the greater the viewing distance, the less detail our eyes can resolve at that distance - so a lower PPI (say less than 100) is only a problem if an image is being viewed "up close and personal" (and only photographers ever do that) (the standing joke is that the minimum viewing distance for a photographer is limited only by the length of their nose!). So the question we're often asked is "how big a print can I make from an image with x by y pixel dimensions" should really be put "what would be the minimum viewing distance for an image x by y pixels" (bill boards sometimes have a resolution close to about 5PPI, but they still look great because they're viewed from far away. I could make an image from paint tin lids that would still look sharp if viewed from the international space station).

    In the case of your XTi camera - assuming that you haven't cropped significant amounts from the file - and assuming you haven't down-sampled the file - will give you a PPI of 3888 / 20 = 194 PPI, which will be just fine (194 PPI is equivalent to up to SIXTY tone/colour changes in every single square millimeter - something that nobodys eyes will be able to resolve in a 20 x 16 print at normal viewing distances.

    Unfortunately, low-end print shops never seem to understand this - so they pick an arbitary resolution - perhaps 300 PPI? - and give you "the warning" if the image drops below this. So long as you're sure that the image you're submitting really isn't down-sampled - then you can safely ignore the warning. Alternatively, you could tell PSE that you want an image "X" inches wide @ "Y" PPI and it'll up-sample it (if the resample dialog box is ticked), but - although it'll keep the online program happy - you've only "fooling it" as you're not adding any additional information.

    I should add that none of this really has anything specifically to do with PSE as opposed to any other program; the online service you're uploading to won't be able to tell what program the file came from - so if you're getting the warning with PSE, and not with your previous program, then it can only be because there's a difference in the files.

    Usually what happens is - when people resize an image - they often leave resampling checked - and they leave the PPI set to the default of 72 (which is an obsolete default monitor resolution) and as a result, the program chops the file down from it's native size of 3888 x 2592 pixels down to (for a 20 x 13 @ 72 PPI) 1440 x 960 pixels (or the equivalent of a 1.3MP shot).

    So - in summary - deselect resampling - plug in whatever size you want - and just let the PPI adjust to whatever it happens to be. If it's 180 or above then all is good; if it's below 100 - and it's a fairly small print - then it's probably going to look soft - if it's between 100 and 180 then how it's going to look is going to depend on how big the print is (and thus how far away it's going to be viewed). I print up to 88" wide at resolutions down to about 100 PPI - and the only comment I ever get is "WOW".

    Does this help? Work through what I've written and let it sink in - then if it still doesn't get you the result you're after, just come back to us, and we'll keep plugging away at it. Please don't give up on PSE though - it's not your problem, and it's really your best friend (you just don't know it yet). If you want a 2nd opinion, eMail me one of the files you're submitting, and I'll take a look at it for you.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th March 2011 at 08:15 PM.

  11. #11

    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Thank you SO much for your help...in LOTS of detail too!!! I'll need to read this a few times and when I get back home Sunday, try again......THANKS!

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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Quote Originally Posted by melissa View Post
    Thank you SO much for your help...in LOTS of detail too!!! I'll need to read this a few times and when I get back home Sunday, try again......THANKS!
    No worries Melissa - not a big deal for me, as fine art printing is one of the things I do for a living

    If you're keen, send me one of your RAW files, and I'll process it and send it back to you in a "guaranteed to be good" format (a bit hard to tell, but I suspact that your online shots could be improved with a better sharpening workflow).

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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Colin,

    The 300 dpi is a resolution that any modern inkjet printer can produce in full color, making it the resolution that is most often required for publishing anything. That said many printers will advertise resolutions of something like 2400x1200 dpi, this is the resolution for black ink and it is significantly lower for full color.

    -Sonic

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    Re: New here and to Photoshop and need to print large sizes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic4Spuds View Post
    Colin,

    The 300 dpi is a resolution that any modern inkjet printer can produce in full color, making it the resolution that is most often required for publishing anything.
    Agreed - the problem is though that people latch on to the figure as "gospel"

    Additionally, DPI and PPI are different; the "D" in DPI should really refer to "Droplets" of ink, with each one being a single colour ... and it takes more than 1 to make a pixel - so to produce 300PPI output, an inkjet printer has to be capable of producing a considerably higher DPI (as you point out).

    Anyway, I digress. So for printing a photo of a model in a glossy magazine, absolutely, 300 PPI all the way ... but for an 18 x 24 print that's going to be typically viewed from around 30 inches away, 300 PPI (a) won't be able to be resolved by human eyes (it's around 144 tone changes per square millimeter), and (b) is unontainable by current DSLRs anyway (although fingers crossed for the Canon 1Ds4 )-- so my advice to those folks is "just don't worry about it". I've got a wall full of canvases in my gallery (probably about 50 at the moment) that are all printed around 100 to 180PPI - and not a single person in the last 5+ years has ever commented on the "lack of quality" -- in fact, only a handful have ever looked "up close". So my suggestion to the world is - in terms of real resolution - you may as well do with whatever you have; sure, if it's well over 300PPI, chop it back to make a smaller file if you want, but apart from that, don't worry about it.

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