Photos are a way to retain the memories in print. When a photo is captured and made ready for printing it is important to know how to do it.
For ordinary printing, we go to professional printers and so do we visit professional printers when looking for better quality prints. But that involves taking a few steps.
When deciding what size to print, first find out what megapixel the picture is and that will tell you how large it can be printed. What looks great onscreen may not be so on paper. Before blowing an image check the suitability or else you may end up with a pixilated picture.
Some information about printing better quality photos –
Using Adobe Photoshop or the image properties find out the number of the megapixels of the image. Multiply the dimensions – the height and weight of the picture to know. Divide the dimensions by 300. 300 because that’s the number of pixels per inch (ppi) needed for good quality photos. Some also refer to ppi as dpi – dots per inch. They are technically different things but are used interchangeably. The numbers you get is what your photo size can be.
One may lower the resolution to get a larger print size but the quality will suffer. When clicking pictures, use larger megapixels. Instead of using the standard compressed JPEG, use uncompressed RAW images. When saving use smaller size to consume less memory but with high-capacity memory cards available for less this isn’t required any more. When clicking use as much resolution as needed.
When resizing a photo it is fine to decrease the size of a photo but do not increase it as that will turn the picture into something pixilated.
Before asking the professional printers to simply enlarge an image, it would be better to know a few more things.
Color Management – it is the procedure that maximizes the consistency of the colors and brightness in the photo from capture to output. Output is the final destination of the image – it could be a print, a smart phone or monitor.
Color Space, Color Profile, image resizing, etc are concepts to use when understanding how to resize a file for printing purposes. There is software available specifically for photo enlargement. SmillaEnlarger is an open source and available for free.
Cropping a photo should be done keeping in mind that the image size should be that of the final print size you want. Else you will have to find custom paper, mat and frames.
Some flatbed scanners or printers with built-in scanner function can enlarge a photo. For printing old photos that are low-resolution use a scanner but first adjust the dpi to 600. Save the file as a less compressed TIFF. Now print the file larger than its original size.
The last option however is to go to a commercial photo printer. They have the equipments to enlarge a photo to the desired possible and the output will be of high quality too. But the image file should be of high quality.