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Photography Question 
Jennifer Collins

8x10 Prints Cut Off

Hi. I just had some pics developed at Walgreens on 8x10 paper and the image is cut off! My camera was set at the highest megapixels for my 6 megapixel camera when I took the pic and I thought with a 6, it was possible to have 8x10 images printed without compromising the original image, but perhaps that is not the case. The 4x6 developed picture looks great. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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3/4/2008 2:20:44 PM

John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Jennifer, This has nothing to do with the megapixels of your camera. What you have here is a difference in the aspect ratios of the two sizes you had printed. Your camera likely produces a 3:2 ratio, which matches to the 4 x 6 you successfully printed. However, 8 x 10 is not in the 3:2 ratio, thus some cropping is required. You can't leave it up to Walgreens to decide how to crop, so you need to crop the images with your photo editing software before having them printed. Just set the crop to 8 x 10 (or 10 x 8, depending whether it was a vertical or horizontal image), and decide what you want to keep.

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3/4/2008 2:33:42 PM

Jennifer Collins   Thank you, John. That is helpful. I learn something new every day when it comes to photography. My response to your response is what if I don't want to crop any of the image, should I then just not develop on 8X10. How do I determine what developed images on what sized paper will jibe with the 3:2 ratio? Many thanks for your help.

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3/4/2008 2:45:08 PM

John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Jennifer, the sizes that correspond to 3:2 are 4 x 6, 8 x 12, 12 x 18. I print almost all my images to 12 x 18. If you need an 8 x 10, just remember to leave room to crop the long dimension by 2 inches if you start with an 8 x 12. Keep in mind, for 8 x 12s, there is no standard frame size, so either custom framing or the metal frames you put together.

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3/4/2008 3:17:33 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  Hi, Jennifer. Anything with an aspect ratio of less than 3:2 and you will lose data along the longer axis. More than 3:2 and you will lose from the shorter axis. 4x6 turns out fine. 5x7 and you will lose a little on one of the shorter edges. 8x10 and you will lose even more beacuse that evens out to a 4x5. You lose 17 percent of the image on the long axis. If you want to print in 8x10 specifically you might want to leave some extra expendable space on one of the short edges. Otherwise, best to print in sizes as pointed out by John.

Thank you

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3/4/2008 4:48:39 PM

Jennifer Collins   Thanks to you both!

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3/5/2008 10:17:57 AM

Robert Mann
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/17/2003
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Robert's Gallery
  Jennifer you can get 12 x 16 frames with a 8 x 12 mat opening. They are made by Nielsen Bainbridge and I purchased them through a local art supply store.

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3/11/2008 4:45:49 AM

Curt Morris
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/31/2007
  Jennifer, When you order photos at Wallgreens, or any other photo processor, be sure to look at the preview. I just did that at and once in the preview mode, there is a crop feature. you just drag your photo to get it centered as you would like. As you have been told, each print size has a different aspect ratio so any time you change the size, you need to be sure you are getting what you want.

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3/11/2008 6:44:37 AM

Courtney Lawyer   Question about John R.'s response - what are the "metal frames that you put together"???

Jennifer - For all my clients (I'm a portrait photographer) and for myself I crop my 8x10s in photoshop or with my ordering program so that I can control the cropping. Not having standard frames is a big issue for my customers so I have to offer standard and just try to make sure I shoot with enough clearance or border around my shots. It took me a while to be able to gauge the space I need and sometimes I forget, but leaving that space has really helped me.

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3/11/2008 6:48:10 AM

Donna L. Jones
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  Jennifer, I had this problem constantly when I began. Now I just remember to frame the picture the way I want it in the camera.....and then back up and leave extra space for cropping before I take the photo. It's habit now and I seldom get a picture without enough room to crop and still get what I want...hope this layman's answer helps!

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3/11/2008 7:10:30 AM

Floyd Lawrence   There's another option that I often use. I have a lab make an 8x12 print, buy an 11x14 frame and an 11x14 mat with a pre-cut 8x12 opening (available at photo stores or online). I like the fact that I get my full frame with its increased horizontal area. I've never liked the 8x10 ratio for its boxiness. And I'll never understand why photo paper isn't sold in 8x12 sizes. On some occasions, I have hand cut 13x19 paper into two 8x12 pieces and made prints on my home printer.

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3/11/2008 7:22:12 AM

Jill Odice
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2005
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Jill's Gallery
  I agree with Floyd! I do the same thing. I order my mats cut at Logan Graphics in the 11x14 with an 8 x12 opening. You have to order 50 at a time.Or you can buy your own mat cutter and cut them yourself. I have found that Logan's prices are about the same as buying matboard and cutting them yourself, so you might as well let them cut them for you :-)

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3/11/2008 10:16:42 AM

Jennifer Collins   Thanks, everyone. Now, I'm a bit averse to the idea of cropping for the time being, so where might I be able to develop 8x12 or 12x18 prints? I don't think Walgreens is an option, how about Wolf or Ritz Camera, Costco? I live in San Francisco so any suggestions for one of these chains would help. Jennifer

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3/11/2008 10:32:13 AM

Floyd Lawrence   Serving the masses as they do, the big chains aren't set up for 8x12 printing. Try to find a smallish camera/photo shop instead. Just call a few in the phonebook. Such places also may sell mats with an 8x12 opening. If you can't find one, you should know that you can upload images to Adorama in New York, which charges $2.49 for an 8x12 (as opposed to $1.99 for an 8x10). I don't know what postage runs. Take a look at the price list here:

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3/11/2008 10:55:14 AM

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