Digital Photography

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Why are parts of pictures getting cropped off when printed??

Welcome to the brotherhood of freeform croppers - and the things we have to deal with. Doing your own printing someday will be freeing to you - in the mean time while you have to live with someone else doing your printing for you -

A 4x6 is a certain shape rectangle - 4" to 6" ratio. An 8x12 is the same shape - same ratio. To get from 4x6 to 8x10 the shape & ratio of the sides of the rectangle have to change. Think of it as having to crop 2" off a 8x12 to get to 8x10.

Some print places also crop some off when the white edges become part of 4x6 for them. Some people plan the white edges into their 4x6 so if their picture gets cropped off they loose white edge not part of their image.

Another thing that can mess up here is not having all your images at the same resolution - ppi - pixels per inch. Usually you want from 250 to 300 for this number. A minimum pixel count for a 4x6 would be 1024x768. You can have a higher pixel count than that but don't go lower. If you don't watch your resolutions the printer will make adjustments that throw off sizing of the image. When you crop you wack off pixels and if you didn't keep the ratio right the printer will blow it up some and then do its own cropping.


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