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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 05 Dec 2012 (Wednesday) 16:09
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Need to size for a 4x6 print

 
firme
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Dec 05, 2012 16:09 |  #1

I have been searching here for correct sizing of pictures to print 4x6. I stumbled upon many postings as one of them I read that if the width is set to 1800 I'm guessing px this will be acceptable for a 4x6 print. I also read the ration needs to be at 1:1.5 for a 4 x 6.

My current picture is at 3888 x 2592 at 72 dpi (which also read the dpi is not as important), so if I set to 1800 then the new size becomes 1800 x 1200. Will this work to print a 4x6 or should I go smaller to maintain good quality?

I know this a subject that has been asked consistently but still am a bit confused for correct resizing. Most photographs are rarely printed and only have online. But since I am doing this for an upcoming event (paying client) I will provide a cd that can be good for up to 4 x 6 prints (this is the idea). Anything larger than a 4x6 would be going through me at a separate fee. Am I missing something else?

If you can point me to the right direction or let me know what am I doing wrong/need.

Thank you in advanced.




  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 05, 2012 16:12 |  #2

4x6 is the native ratio of your image (2x3 actually) so you dont need to do any cropping. When you resize to whichever pixel count you choose just let the software fill in the short side as most will by default (unless you are cropping).




  
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LV ­ Moose
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Dec 05, 2012 16:17 |  #3

The 4X6 ratio can be 1:1.5, 2:3, 4:6... they're all the same ratio. I just go by 2:3

I alway print mine at 300 ppi. So a 4X6 would be 1200X1800.


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tzalman
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Dec 05, 2012 16:38 |  #4

L.J.G. wrote in post #15330610 (external link)
6"x4" is 2100x1400 pixels

? ? Where did you get that from?
300 ppi is the correct resolution for most commercial printers, Fuji Frontier or Noritsu machines, and according to the math that I learned in third grade 300 times 4 is 1200 and 300 times 6 is 1800, so 1200x1800 pixels is the best size.
However, firme, you should be aware that although 1200x1800 will make the highest quality 4x6 inch print, it can also be used by the client to make lower quality bigger prints. A 1200x1800 can be resampled by the print lab to 1800x2700 pixels for a 6x9 inch print that most non-photographers will find quite acceptable and it can be stretched even to an 8x10 or 8x12. So you will have no guarantee that the client will return to you for the larger prints.


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nathancarter
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Dec 05, 2012 18:41 |  #5

tzalman wrote in post #15330715 (external link)
. So you will have no guarantee that the client will return to you for the larger prints.

This is a good point.

Once the client has that digital file, it's completely out of your hands.

Give them a low-res file, and they'll be printing it big anyway, and blaming you for taking such pixelated and low-res pictures.

Therefore, give them the full-sized file (I usually just export at 3000x2000), a license to print up to 4x6, and accept in advance that they're not going to remember or follow that license. And when you see your photos on Facebook without any credit given to you.. just close your eyes and take a deep breath and go, "ommmmmmm"


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Dec 05, 2012 20:45 |  #6

nathancarter wrote in post #15331149 (external link)
Give them a low-res file, and they'll be printing it big anyway, and blaming you for taking such pixelated and low-res pictures.

That is if they print it at home. I think most commercial printing services will warn you about the poor quality if you print too large.

Then there's my dad, who downloads low resolutions pictures of my daughter off Smugmug, prints them on his color LED printer, and is happy as a clam. I see them and want to cry at how bad they look.




  
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Dec 06, 2012 00:32 |  #7

Back in the early '90s when desktop inkjet printing was just beginning, we had a lot of fun with the worst quality prints, but hey, we could print actual color photos, no matter what the resolution!

It was a blast, but my, how things have moved along!


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tzalman
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Dec 06, 2012 03:53 |  #8

mike_d wrote in post #15331629 (external link)
That is if they print it at home. I think most commercial printing services will warn you about the poor quality if you print too large.

Then there's my dad, who downloads low resolutions pictures of my daughter off Smugmug, prints them on his color LED printer, and is happy as a clam. I see them and want to cry at how bad they look.

I have had 20x30 inch (50x75 cm) prints done by an outfit in Tel Aviv that also specializes in ultra large posters. I resize in LR and send them approximately 6000x9000 (300 ppi) images. They have a feature on their web site that after the image has been uploaded tells you the maximum size they can print it. It always tells me that I can have a 500x750 cm. print, 5x7.5 meters. That means they will print from a source as low res as 30 ppi. Of course a print nearly 25 feet long is billboard size and will be viewed from far away and might even look good at that distance, but the point is that if I gave them 1200x1800 pixels they would probably print it 40x60 inches without blinking.


Elie / אלי

  
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Dec 06, 2012 06:01 |  #9

Elie, I personally think that most non photographers are going to be perfectly happy with a print at around 100ppi. A good proprtion of those will be happy down as far as 72ppi and that while viewing from really close up.

Like others have said, us as photographers have hugely higher standards and expectations then the average chap on the No9 Bus, as they say.

Alan.


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tzalman
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Dec 06, 2012 06:36 |  #10

Does the No. 9 go to Clapham? :)


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CameraMan
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Dec 06, 2012 06:41 |  #11

Does it really matter how many pixels are on the long edge? I've always printed photos at the maximum size on the long end. If you do 3200+ pixels on the long edge isn't that better than 1800? Have I been doing it wrong all these years? :)


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Dec 06, 2012 07:53 |  #12

tzalman wrote in post #15332831 (external link)
Does the No. 9 go to Clapham? :)

Not from here it dosen't, about 150 miles from Clapham.

I think the No 9 is the bus from the City out to Clapham though. We've dropped the full Omibus bit as well.

For those that don't know the City of London is about 1 square mile in area, and is the part of London where most of the financial institutions are based. There is also the City of Westminster as well, to the west of the City of London. Westminster is also pretty small compared to the Greater London conurbation. Most of modern "London" isn't actually in London, but then there is a couple of thousand years of history involved. I know thats not much history for some areas of the world, but not too shabby all the same.

(appologies for the constant desire to educate about such trivia)

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tzalman
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Dec 06, 2012 09:22 |  #13

CameraMan wrote in post #15332835 (external link)
Does it really matter how many pixels are on the long edge? I've always printed photos at the maximum size on the long end. If you do 3200+ pixels on the long edge isn't that better than 1800? Have I been doing it wrong all these years? :)

No, not wrong at all, but also not better. The print lab's RIP will resample whatever you send them to (usually) 300 ppi. So either you do it or they do and in some cases (dial-up connection, for instance) it might be desirable to avoid sending unnecessarily large files. If you print at home, the printer talks to your computer and tells it what resolution it wants (for Epson 360 ppi or in some cases 720 ppi, for Canon 300 ppi) and the OS resamples to that. In either case, if you use Lightroom there is probably an advantage if LR does the resampling and subsequent output sharpening.


Elie / אלי

  
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firme
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Dec 06, 2012 09:58 |  #14

Thank you all for the responses. Has really helped me alot.

Tzalman, thanks for your explanation. That is what I was thinking, but was confused as many posts here were mentioning the ppi/dpi was not important.

Nathancarter, yes I agree with you and am guessing every photographer here that once they have the file it's out of our hands.

I guess knowing this, I will try to provide smaller pictures than 1200x1800 so they can print an acceptable 4x6. So when they do try and print a much larger print they will "HOPEFULLY" call me to get a larger print. But know this will still be a long shot.

Thanks to all for your replies. Really appreciate it.




  
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dmward
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Dec 06, 2012 18:21 |  #15

If client wants to make their own prints, I make a digital file that is 300 per inch of print. name the file with the output print size and then give them a file on the DVD or thumb drive with a license to make prints up to the specified size. Some labs, at least around here, when they see the file is from a professional photographer will ask the customer for the right to use statement. Costco does which was a pleasant surprise.

That's one thing that is so nice about Lightroom, I prepared a customer's order today to send to one of my labs. One image they wanted three sizes, 24x30, 11x14, 8x10. So two crops and three sizes. About 30 seconds to make the virtual copies for the crops, then used the print module to out put to specific file size in inches, with resolution set to 300. clicked the sharpening to paper surface and strength (I tend to use standard) and saved the files with the print size in the file name. Easy to tell which file was for what size print in ROES. And each image is optimized for the printing size and the RIP isn't messing with my image. :-)


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Need to size for a 4x6 print
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