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Thread started 24 Jul 2017 (Monday) 06:02
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Mount Washington Cog Railway - Which Medium / Size

 
Allagash
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Rhode Island, United States
Jul 24, 2017 06:02 |  #1

I hiked Mount Washington and few weeks ago and the trail I hiked crossed the Cog Railway train trestle. While on the trestle, I took this shot. I'd like to get it printed in a large format and have a few questions. What medium do you recommend I print on? I want to display it on my fireplace mantel. Keep in mind that some smoke comes out of the fireplace over the course of the burning season as is evidenced by the dark spots on the ceiling above my fireplace. I'm sure the photo would be subjected to that as well. What size should it be based on the pixel width x height? I'd like to keep this aspect ratio and I don't want to loose any of the photo by having it cropped. Based on the DPI how large can I go without loosing any of the resolution? I've taken a screen shot of the picture info and uploaded it as well....

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BigAl007
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Jul 24, 2017 15:19 |  #2

Well f you want to be able to walk up real close and inspect the photo at "nose" length, then your existing pixel resolution will allow you to print it at 13" on the long edge at 300 PPI. My personal view is that I think you should be able to get away with using the resizing algorithms in Photoshop to double the pixel resolution. That would allow a nice print at 26" long.

Depending on the lab you choose you may well have to put the image on a canvass that matches one of their standard print sizes, and then trim the image to size. The other option is to find a lab that offers custom sizes. For your use I would think something like this from Whitewall.com (external link) would be good. I know the link is to the UK site, but they also operate in the USA.

Alan


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Archibald
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Jul 24, 2017 16:13 |  #3

BTW, ignore the DPI reported in the screen shot. It is an arbitrary number. What matters is the pixel dimensions.

As Alan says, you can print to 13 inches if you want the print to be 300 dpi. The math is just 3901/300.

However, we usually stand farther back from larger prints. Therefore you can print it to any size you like.


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Allagash
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Jul 24, 2017 19:59 |  #4

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'm over at Whitewall.com seeing what they've got...


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tim
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Jul 24, 2017 20:48 |  #5

Print it any size you like. Larger prints are viewed at a greater distance so lack of resolution isn't a problem. I'd probably stay below 1m / 3ft across.

Printed on photo paper, block mounted, with a protective coating might preserve it. With digital photography prints are pretty much disposable, if it discolors just print another one. Canvas might not do so well over a fire.


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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 3 months ago by Wilt. 2 edits done in total.
Jul 25, 2017 10:40 |  #6

Be aware that although a number of folks said 'Print it any size you want', that a lot of commercial printers insist that you provide them with a file which would permit 300 pixels per inch of final size...so if you wanted a 40" tall print, you would need to resize in postprocessing from starting with 1718 pixels to 40*300 size...1718 pixels is resized to 12000 pixels in the file provided to them...7X as many pixels as you started with!


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BigAl007
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Jul 25, 2017 13:44 |  #7

Wilt wrote in post #18410856 (external link)
Be aware that although a number of folks said 'Print it any size you want', that a lot of commercial printers insist that you provide them with a file which would permit 300 pixels per inch of final size...so if you wanted a 40" tall print, you would need to resize in postprocessing from starting with 1718 pixels to 40*300 size...1718 pixels is resized to 12000 pixels in the file provided to them...7X as many pixels as you started with!


I think you might struggle to print that image at 40" high mind, since at that size it would be 90.8" wide!;-)a That would be some impressive chimney breast to hand the print on too. But Wilt does have a point in that a lot of commercial labs will want you to provide them with a file that will allow production of the image at a minimum of 300 PPI, regardless of size. The other issue with large photographic prints, that doesn't seem to happen with other similar forms of art, is that instead of just standing back at the natural viewing distance, which is usually about the same distance as the diagonal size of the picture, they will try to move in close to "see the detail".

So yes you can sometimes get away with a big print at a lower effective resolution, but you really had better hang it somewhere that will make it impossible for a viewer to walk right on up to it and as I said before, view it at "nose" length.

As I said in my first post in this thread I think the image will look really nice printed at 26" wide, and actually you would probably get away with up to around 36" on the long edge. What I would do however if I were considering going that large is to the image enlargement process so that you have a file that is the required pixel dimensions at 300 PPI, and then I would crop out a couple of sections that are 1800×1200 pixels, and print them, they will be 6"×4", using a finish that will be similar to your chosen finished work, so for the acrylic I linked to I would just use glossy paper. Then just see what you think of that print at a range of viewing distances.

With that large file, if you have a monitor with an average resolution, then viewing the image at 30% or 3:1, will give a rough approximation of the size that a 300 PPI print will be. This is because the average resolution for a monitor is right around 100 PPI.

Alan


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tim
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Jul 25, 2017 14:07 |  #8

Wilt wrote in post #18410856 (external link)
Be aware that although a number of folks said 'Print it any size you want', that a lot of commercial printers insist that you provide them with a file which would permit 300 pixels per inch of final size...so if you wanted a 40" tall print, you would need to resize in postprocessing from starting with 1718 pixels to 40*300 size...1718 pixels is resized to 12000 pixels in the file provided to them...7X as many pixels as you started with!

Resizing is trivially easy. If you use a lab that won't upsize (many will) just do it yourself, single step upsize in Photoshop, then do a SMALL amount of sharpening.

I think people around here are a bit conservative about prints. Sure you might not have a print that you can inspect with a magnifying glass if it's 1m across, but it'd look great at any reasonable viewing distance. I have a 50" / 1 meter prints made from a cropped 5D Mk1 file, I think it came out to 6MP. It looks awesome, even up close. I have several 1m prints made with older DSLR cameras, they all look great.


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davesrose
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Post has been edited 3 months ago by davesrose.
Jul 25, 2017 15:50 |  #9

I've worked with companies printing 30x40" posters for malpractice juries. Since the intended audience isn't going to be viewing up close, they'd even print below 150ppi. I've got a 19x13" capable photo printer at home, and have made good prints from old 5Dc and XTi files (even viewing up close). However, looking at your picture's resolution...it would be 13x5.7 at 300ppi (26x11.5 at 150ppi). If you want to print large, and want to be able to see the image up close...you can try out different resampling algorithms (Photoshop lets you do so in the image resize window). Print services may accept your current image and then automatically resample to what your print size. If you do it yourself, you're going to be increasing the delivered file size, but you'll have fine control over how you want it enlarged.


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Mount Washington Cog Railway - Which Medium / Size
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