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Topic # 85411 18-Jun-2011 12:43
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I've made a picture in photoshop .JPEG to the size i need and when i went down to the local print shop it looks "grainy"

If I made the photo larger say twice the size (the original background was shrunk so i can do this without effect that). would that resolve this issue?

How much bigger should I made it?

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  Reply # 482515 18-Jun-2011 13:01
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You want 300 pixels per inch, so for a 12" print you want 3600 pixels. The embedded ppi is irrelevant, so long as there are enough pixels. Even 150 is ok.

What size print do you want, and how many pixels in your current image?




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  Reply # 482520 18-Jun-2011 13:10
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Okay my image size is 215mm high and 105wide.

In photo shop how can i ensure i have enough pixels per inch?

my background imaged was cropped from a photo taken with my 10 mega pixel camera and is 2592x1944 in size.
 

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 482523 18-Jun-2011 13:15
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215 x 105 is your print size? That's a really unusual, not standard size.

Just save the image to a jpeg with all those pixels and take it to the print shop, do any cropping there. The print should turn out good. If it doesn't it's the labs fault, or you've given us incorrect information.

I'll PM you my email address, email it to me and i'll check it for you. I'll probably reply in a couple of hours, i'm going out now.




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  Reply # 482524 18-Jun-2011 13:16
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Save it as a PDF,Will keep a much higher quality than saving as a Jpeg

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  Reply # 482527 18-Jun-2011 13:22
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boby55: Save it as a PDF,Will keep a much higher quality than saving as a Jpeg


I don't think this is correct. I don't know how PDF's encode images but it's probably as jpeg or tiff, and you have less control, and photo labs probably won't print a pdf. They're fine for documents, or books with illustration, but not for images.

Images sent to a lab should be jpeg, or TIFF if you're really anal about quality. I've done tests, I can't see the difference between a tiff and a Q10 jpeg in print.

For reference i'm a professional photographer and an engineer. I've had 50" prints done from jpeg that look fantastic.




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  Reply # 487200 28-Jun-2011 23:15
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Anything that's going to be printed should be at 300 DPI (dots per inch).
You can check the resolution of an image in Photoshop, by going to Image -> Image Size.
It will show the resolution. For print, the ideal is 300, and for screen 72 is enough.

It's possible to resize images in this section, but if it's only 72 DPI to begin with, don't bother - increasing the res won't increase the quality of an already cr*ppy image.

@kiwis, if you're going to create a picture in Photoshop, it's best to start out with the size you want it to end up and at the correct resolution.

eg, if you want to end up printing an A4 size image of good quality, in Photoshop, go to File -> New, and from Preset dropdown, choose 'International Paper'. Now from 'Size' choose 'A4'. Set Resolution to 300 DPI. If it's a professional printer, it should be CMYK mode, but RGB is fine for The Warehouse etc...

Then click OK.
What you'll notice now is that if you drop low quality photo images into your new file, they'll end up being smaller than you think, because their resolution is not enough. Again, don't try to resize these types of low quality images by dragging - they'll only come out looking sh!tty. Only drop in hi-res images.


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  Reply # 487203 28-Jun-2011 23:25
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timmmay:
boby55: Save it as a PDF,Will keep a much higher quality than saving as a Jpeg


I don't think this is correct. I don't know how PDF's encode images but it's probably as jpeg or tiff, and you have less control, and photo labs probably won't print a pdf. They're fine for documents, or books with illustration, but not for images.

Images sent to a lab should be jpeg, or TIFF if you're really anal about quality. I've done tests, I can't see the difference between a tiff and a Q10 jpeg in print.

For reference i'm a professional photographer and an engineer. I've had 50" prints done from jpeg that look fantastic.



He is correct. PDF is far better for saving images than jpg.

these days jpegs are good for the web and thats about it. Not only are they limiting they also reduce image quality far worse than other compression types for the same size decrease.

Even saving at 100% quality with a jpeg reduces quality so you lose some data.

And in terms of T-shirt printing a PDF is far better as the printing company can manipulate it onsite wereas with a jpeg their isn't anything they can do to the image if the ratio is slightly off or their is a spelling mistake on the image.

Being a photographer i suggest you look into it, just because you get a good print with jpeg doesn't mean you can't get a better(probably far better) print with something else.

Edit: Also PDF is extremely common these days and even DIY photo booths will print PDF so a photolab will for sure.





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  Reply # 487211 29-Jun-2011 00:00
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There's a lot of misinformation in this thread, you really do need to be careful whos advice you take on the internet. I'm an NZIPP qualified professional photographer, and an engineer with a special interest in imaging.

First up, dpi. It's actually ppi that's relevant, which refers to the resolution of the source file. dpi talks about dots per inch, which doesn't even apply to a traditional photographic process. But really both are irrelevant, if you're talking about the number embedded in the image. What's important is that you have enough pixels for the size of the image you want to print. This usually means 300 pixels per inch of paper, so 1800 pixels for a 6" print. My pro lab only accepts 250ppi, because of the machines they use, which are very high end, if you send 300ppi they downsample and charge you for it. They do something crazy like 40,000 large prints a week, as most of their prints goes overseas. This is a lab that can only be used by registered professionals, not consumers, one of the best in Australasia.

Now, pdf as an image format, I can tell you for a fact this isn't something that's regularly done by professional photographers for loose prints. As I understand it pdf is just a container, the images inside it are usually jpeg compressed anyway, but pdf supports multiple image formats. I know when I generate pdf previews of books or albums for my customers they images are jpeg compressed. I'm happy to be educated about this, but I know how this works in practice in the industry. I'd love to see a link to some kind of reputable information source about this. I can't think of any good reason to put an image inside a pdf container.

My pro print lab doesn't accept images for printing as pdf, only jpeg and tiff. The only time i've seen photos printed from a pdf is when a photographer designs a book and sends it for printing, for example asukabook, and in that case the photographer saves their images as jpeg (maybe TIFF I can't remember) and their file maker turns them into a pdf that you ftp up. The quality of the books made from a pdf isn't as good as photographic, mostly because of the printing process and papers used, but it's quite decent.

Try taking a pdf, jpeg, and tiff of the same image set up for a 6x4 to Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, or frogprints, report back which they can print and which looks best. I suspect all formats they can print will look identical, and I wouldn't put money on them being able to print a pdf. I've compared a print from tiff and from jpeg, there's no difference at all. You don't even need a Q12 jpeg from Photoshop, Q8 is plenty. If anyone can show me a print made from a pdf that's significantly better than a print from a jpeg i'll eat my hat! I've done tiff vs jpeg print tests btw... no difference.

For things like tshirts sure a pdf might make sense. A layered TIFF makes just as much sense for that, more than a jpeg for sure. If the ratio is off the image is probably stuffed anyway. Saving a jpeg over and over does reduce the quality, but it takes a lot of saves to be noticeable. Standard practice is to have your jpeg encoding as the final step of your workflow, and you only ever save as jpeg once. If you edit the image again it's from the raw, tiff, or psd source file.

Any consumers wanting prints should have their images in jpeg format.




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  Reply # 487212 29-Jun-2011 00:04
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Incidentally i've posted a question onto a pro photog forum asking if any of the technical guys knows about using pdf as an image format. If I get any useful information or links i'll post them here. I'm just curious.




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  Reply # 487215 29-Jun-2011 00:26
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timmmay: There's a lot of misinformation in this thread, you really do need to be careful whos advice you take on the internet. I'm an NZIPP qualified professional photographer, and an engineer with a special interest in imaging.

First up, dpi. It's actually ppi that's relevant, which refers to the resolution of the source file. dpi talks about dots per inch, which doesn't even apply to a traditional photographic process. But really both are irrelevant, if you're talking about the number embedded in the image. What's important is that you have enough pixels for the size of the image you want to print. This usually means 300 pixels per inch of paper, so 1800 pixels for a 6" print. My pro lab only accepts 250ppi, because of the machines they use, which are very high end, if you send 300ppi they downsample and charge you for it. They do something crazy like 40,000 large prints a week, as most of their prints goes overseas. This is a lab that can only be used by registered professionals, not consumers, one of the best in Australasia.

Now, pdf as an image format, I can tell you for a fact this isn't something that's regularly done by professional photographers for loose prints. As I understand it pdf is just a container, the images inside it are usually jpeg compressed anyway, but pdf supports multiple image formats. I know when I generate pdf previews of books or albums for my customers they images are jpeg compressed. I'm happy to be educated about this, but I know how this works in practice in the industry. I'd love to see a link to some kind of reputable information source about this. I can't think of any good reason to put an image inside a pdf container.

My pro print lab doesn't accept images for printing as pdf, only jpeg and tiff. The only time i've seen photos printed from a pdf is when a photographer designs a book and sends it for printing, for example asukabook, and in that case the photographer saves their images as jpeg (maybe TIFF I can't remember) and their file maker turns them into a pdf that you ftp up. The quality of the books made from a pdf isn't as good as photographic, mostly because of the printing process and papers used, but it's quite decent.

Try taking a pdf, jpeg, and tiff of the same image set up for a 6x4 to Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, or frogprints, report back which they can print and which looks best. I suspect all formats they can print will look identical, and I wouldn't put money on them being able to print a pdf. I've compared a print from tiff and from jpeg, there's no difference at all. You don't even need a Q12 jpeg from Photoshop, Q8 is plenty. If anyone can show me a print made from a pdf that's significantly better than a print from a jpeg i'll eat my hat! I've done tiff vs jpeg print tests btw... no difference.

For things like tshirts sure a pdf might make sense. A layered TIFF makes just as much sense for that, more than a jpeg for sure. If the ratio is off the image is probably stuffed anyway. Saving a jpeg over and over does reduce the quality, but it takes a lot of saves to be noticeable. Standard practice is to have your jpeg encoding as the final step of your workflow, and you only ever save as jpeg once. If you edit the image again it's from the raw, tiff, or psd source file.

Any consumers wanting prints should have their images in jpeg format.


Totally agree about the whole DPI/PPI thing.

as far as jpeg goes this outlines the reason why it isn;t so good anymore: http://technicallyeasy.net/2010/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-jpeg-files/

This is were PDFs are handy - they are just a container but they handle many different encoding formats.

They can use lossless encoding so not to lose information.
They can handle upto 14 bits against jpegs 8.
They can handle seperate layers.
They can handle transparency.

I agree that a TIFF is better than a pdf but a pdf has the advantage of being opened on almost any computer without photo editing software and can be saved to be almost any program.

I agree that for an average consumer a jpeg is fine but for t-shirt/poster/professional printing jpegs should be avoided.


I haven't done printing test but with the clear restrictions of a jpeg in some situations you will get a better print with TIFF or PDF.

Edit: also doing a print test at Harvey Norman or Dick Smith is like doing a blue ray player test on a CRT monitor.



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  Reply # 487258 29-Jun-2011 09:10
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That link just gives basic information about jpeg files. Yes, they're lossy, but a Q12 jpeg from Photoshop is close to lossless. Try the save, close, open test a dozen times and see what happens. After a dozen saves the eye can't tell the difference. Put it on a layer above the original image and change the blend mode to difference, that will show you the difference in the files.

On the pro photographer forum I asked the question about pdf as an image container. Most people said yes it's good for books or commercial work, but that there was no advantage for printing photos. Also, no-one knew of a print lab that accepts pdf files for individual prints. It's all jpeg. Some might be able to manage it, but I doubt many would like it.

RA4 printers (ie commercial labs) can't really print more detail than you find in a jpeg anyway, in terms of gamut and bit depth. High end inkjets have a wider gamut and can probably print a little more detail. If you're in Wellington you're welcome to borrow my book on color, it's an interesting read, and is relevant to this discussion. It's a bit technical though.

In theory pdf files could potentially have a higher quality image inside them. Because of the way they work, just a container, it could also be inferior. I doubt pdf will ever become a standard for printing images, jpeg2000 or similar is more likely. Why would you put an image inside a pdf container when it can just go in a file? That's just complexity for no reason. Most of your advantages above apply more to design work, and for photos are just a theoretical advantage, not practical. pdf's stands for Portable Document Format...

For design work, pdf or lossless files can absolutely be used, jpeg is a poor choice. For some niche work, yes, pdf.  For any printing photos, consumer or professional, jpeg is currently the only practical option.

Edit - I suggested a print test at a consumer lab/store because it's easier. Most use the same machines, so it doesn't much matter where you go. In practice I find consumer labs are mostly fine, especially given the price. I use them for proofs sometimes. The pro lab I use has more accurate and consistent color, uses a much higher quality paper, and uses better printers, but cost me many times more than consumer labs charge. You can get a 6x4 for 10c from some places, I pay more than ten times that. The prints definitely look better, and more robust, and given what I charge for them it doesn't much matter anyway.




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  Reply # 487293 29-Jun-2011 10:06
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The owner of a Australia pro lab replied to my question

(Aussie pro lab) would only accept .pdf files if the file contained text (fonts) and then only if the photographer provided the licensed typefaces involved, due to copyright law in Australia. An image only in .pdf format would not be printed, there would be a request to the photographer to supply the files in either Jpeg or Tiff.




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  Reply # 487298 29-Jun-2011 10:11
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It appears to come down to the application. Cheaper home photo-print Photolabs tend to be 3 colour ribbon printers (warehouse,snapfish,1hr machines) and don't give a damn. But get varied results that often never look like your screen/how you want. But most consumers are happy with.

Labs.. can colour match and often the printer use the embedded colour zone outright.

The last run of posters and business card sized runs I did required PDF formatting (saved from photoshop). With bleed lines for their equipment.
To do with the laser colour matching their unit does (apparently it does better than CMKY/RGB/sRGB conversions), and then auto searching of bleed lines for trimming.

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  Reply # 487302 29-Jun-2011 10:16
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Yeah business cards are a perfect example of what pdf's are good for.

Labs don't really color match, unless you pay for the service. Generally the best approach is to have a calibrated monitor, soft proof to the printer profile, and send it for printing without adjustments. If I can't be bothered doing that I just pay my lab to do it for me.




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  Reply # 487573 29-Jun-2011 21:55
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OK to TL;DR on most of that but saw a lot of 300dpi mentioned.

I can happily say that i've printed up to 800mm x 300mm at 150dpi and it is perfectly viewable. I'm pretty anal but hardly a discerning viewer. And considering the OP seems pretty green at the whole PS side of things I don't think he'll notice. Also 150dpi allows him to get a larger image if he can get the image at a lower size but higher dpi. If that makes sense heh.

Also, why pdf? When you save pdf's they compress the images don't they? You can even save as an optimized pdf to compress them further... I'm also assuming there are no text layers on the image which would need embedding?

When I get my work printed at the guys in town here in wgtn I don't go over 150dpi and print up to A0 in size for architectural presentations which have viewers pretty close to them. No complaints so far. I just feel that 300 is overkill and can make life hard, or be pointless, if the image is poor to begin with.

*shrug*

If the OP wants someone to look at the file i'm happy to poke around and produce some files which would be able to be printed.

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