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How to Resize Photos to Exact Print Sizes

Al Robinette , Dec 09, 2007; 05:12 p.m.

Hello Everyone,

I am looking for some help. I am trying to find a cheat sheet or simple formula to figure our resizing. I have several programs for resizing my images but I am not sure what size by what size I need the photo to be for the various print sizes such as 4x6, 8x10, 11x14, 16x20, etc. I don't want to crop the image and lose half the picture.

Is there anything like what I am asking for or can someone explain it in laymans terms for me.

I appreciate any feedback I can get on this.

Thanks AL

Responses

Remco Jan Woldhuis , Dec 09, 2007; 05:30 p.m.

You can use the Image Size function in Photoshop:

Set the width and height to the required sized (in inches) and set the DPI to 300.

E.g. if you want a 4x6 print, you'll end up with a 1200x1800 pixels image.

You can also leave the sizing to the lab, but I prefer to keep control and deliver the right size before printing.

Hakon Soreide , Dec 09, 2007; 05:45 p.m.

Another advantage to resizing for output is that you can perform sharpening at output size. Also, if you like adding photo grain or other textures to your pictures as some photographers do, myself included, adding that at output size also increases the perception of sharpness in the print as well as adding life to it.

Ronald Moravec , Dec 09, 2007; 06:14 p.m.

Do what Remco said except that when you enter both the width and length, the program will distort proportions to make it come out that way if it is not originally the same length/with ratio as the requested size.

Example, if you have a 6x8 and want a 4x6, the program will squeeze the 6 side to make it 4 more than it squeezes the 8 side to get a 6.

Crop to the proper proportion first before resizing, using the crop tool. Make it .66x8=5.28. You will have to trim off some of the width.

Now when you go to image-resize, just put in 4 OR 6, not both. Check the box that says constrain proportions and you will get a perfect 4x6.

Most printers can use 300 ppi for best quality.

If you send a 6x8 off to a printer requesting a 4x6, you will have to accept the cropping their machine makes. So do the cropping first.

Jeff Spirer , Dec 09, 2007; 06:23 p.m.

You don't have to use image resize at all if you are using Photoshop.

You can set the crop dimensions to the print size you want. Then when you crop, you have the right sizing done. When you bring up the crop tool, there are boxes at the top for crop size. Enter the dimensions in there and then use the crop tool. You will be able to move the box around so you can use the crop that gives the best results.

Jeff Owen , Dec 09, 2007; 06:47 p.m.

As Ronald says 'you cannot change the image size without distortion or cropping unless the pixel ratio is remains the constant'. Only two of the sizes you mention, 8x10 and 16x20 are the same ratio.

Jeff Spirer , Dec 09, 2007; 07:32 p.m.

That's why you don't use "resize" and instead crop to the correct dimensions.

Al Robinette , Dec 09, 2007; 09:09 p.m.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I will give that a shot and see how it goes.

Geoff Francis , Dec 10, 2007; 01:03 a.m.

Frist you need to know the HxW ratio of you pictures. DSLRs typically produce a 2x3 image, will most points and shoots use a 3x4 ratio.

A 2x3 image can be coverted to a 4x6, 8x12, etc image without cropping by just using the resize function in photoshop, while preserving the aspect ratio.

To convert a 2x3 image to an 8x10 you will either have to crop a bit of the side to maintain the aspect ratio, or convert while not maintaining the aspect ratio which will give a stretched look.

Geoff Francis , Dec 10, 2007; 01:04 a.m.

First you need to know the HxW ratio of you pictures. DSLRs typically produce a 2x3 image, while most points and shoots use a 3x4 ratio.

A 2x3 image can be coverted to a 4x6, 8x12, etc image without cropping by just using the resize function in photoshop, while preserving the aspect ratio.

To convert a 2x3 image to an 8x10 you will either have to crop a bit off the side to maintain the aspect ratio, or convert while not maintaining the aspect ratio which will give a stretched look.

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