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Photography Question 
Jennifer W
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/26/2005

printing 4x6 - resolution requirements??

So far, I have simply been printing up to 8x10 of the actual shot that I took from my digital Rebel. They've come out nice enough for me and any casual photo-lovers, at least.

I now have a picture that I don't really like, but there's an absolutely adorable shot off to the side.

I'm not really sure I understand the resolution details of using my camera. :/ When I view on Photoshop they show as 42x28" at 72 dpi?? So I cut the section I wanted and copied into a "new file" sized at 4x6 200 dpi. Will that work?

Thanks so much!

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11/7/2005 10:10:28 PM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  When my daughter-in-law sends me pics of the grandkids taken with her Canon S230 point-and-shoot, I always check what she's provided. Usually, it's a 21" X 28" image at 72 dpi. That indicates she's shooting at low resolution but hte math confirms she's sent a 3 MP image, consistent with the size of he computer chip.

The first thing I do is shrink the file to a 4"X6" at 600 dpi. In so doing I'm assured of maintaining as much data as possible. in other words, don't crop the original file as you'll lose data.

I work at the 4X6 level; I crop for all kinds of reasons [straightening horizons, removing unwanted portions of the shot, etc.] Then, I check the size of the resulting file and, hopefully, I've retained some in the way of a 5-8 MB file [PSD or Tiff only] Then, I continuing other efforts [color adjustment, cloning, etc.] The alst step in the Unsharp Mask - needed with all digital pictures.

Then I change the size to the desired level. Since my printer is limited to 8.5" paper [less 1/4-inch on each side, I shoot for a shot 10.5-in. by whatever. I set for 240-300 dpi.

Generally, the "experts" say no less than 240 dpi and, more than 300 is wasted. I tend to agree - but, you need to check your preferences. Oh, you do know that experts are those folks "more than 50 miles from home!"

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11/8/2005 6:30:06 AM

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