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Resizing for Printing: Is it really that complicated?

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by vr6veedub, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Ok, can someone help me with photo resizing for print. If I print a photo with MPix or SmugMug I am asked to crop the image to fit the print. I do not want to lose any part of the image I want it printed excatly how I framed it when I took the original shot. I know you can tell them not to crop and they will print it as is, however, I want the photo to fit the size of the paper excatly (4x6, 5x8, 8x10, 11x14, 12x18, 16x20 and 9x12)

    I have searched many threads on NikonCafe and other forums, but I am getting a bit dizzy with the array of information out there (only parts of the step by step). I currently use Photoshop CS3 and CaptureNX 2. The images I want printed are 2848x4288 in size from the D300. If anyone has the time to put up some sort of step by step or even point me to a tutorial online that would be great. Thanks
  2. I'm no expert, and not familiar with the specifics of MPix or SmugMug -- However, if you don't want anything cropped and still want to fill the paper size, you need to make sure that the paper size that you want the image printed on is the same relative proportion as your image. For example, 4x6 is the same proportion as 12x18, but is different from 8x10.

    Doing the math, your image (2848:4288) is almost exactly a 2:3 ratio, so 4x6 or 12x18 should work.
  3. So if I wanted to print an 8x10 I wouldnt be able to do it correct? Without cropping that is
  4. Just set the dimensions in CS3's crop tool when you do the crop.
    If you want a full 4x6 proportion then don't do any crop at all.

    After you crop then resize the image to fit the pixel density that the printing company recommends.
    In CS3 you open Image Size, click down on Document Size, enter the size figures and the resolution then be sure Resample is checked.
    To check the results re-open Image Size and the dimensions should show 6", 4", 300DPI (or whatever DPI you entered).
    The pixel dimension at the top will have changed to the appropriate amounts.

    Keep in mind that you are likely to lose a small percentage of the image on borderless prints. On a 4x6 it will be ~1/8" or so.

    After the resizing check the sharpening and apply any that is needed as the last step. Remember that sharpening for print is
    usually more aggressive than for screen.
  5. Nope - wrong proportions.

    6x9 or 8x12 would work fine.

  6. If you use your marque tool and set it to the various sizes of prints that you might want you will see what proportion of the print will be cropped. As has been stated, 2x3, 4x6, 8x12, 16x24, etc. all fit the aspect ratio of your camera. 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, etc., do not fit the aspect ration of your camera and will need to be cropped before printing.

    When taking images that you want to print, it pays to keep in mind what the final aspect ratio will be and shoot accordingly. When I first talk to customers I try to steer them towards the 2x3 ratio but if this is not what they want I simply adjust how I am shooting the image in order to give room for croping.
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