Have you ever been disappointed by your prints at pickup because they are either pixelated or blurry? By understanding a few of the technical basics behind producing high-quality pictures, you can kiss the days of disappointment goodbye!
Here's your step-by-step guide to high-resolution digital photography:
Become a resolution master
Printing from your phone
To ensure your photos are not pixellated, it is best to know how many megapixels your camera has. This will determine the quality of photos taken on your smartphone and how big you can print your picture. Check out our article "How Big Can I Print a Photo?" to determine just how big you can go.
Printing from your computer
You will want to target a resolution of 300dpi or above for maximum quality. The difference in the pixelization of a print is clear when you compare the images below:
"Dpi" means "Dots Per Inch" — But how do I know the resolution in "Dpi" of the picture that I took? Simply measure the width of your image in pixels on your computer and divide it by the width of your intended print in inches.
Example: if you want to print 12x10 inch photo and the image on your computer is 3000 x 2500 pixels: 3000/12 = 250. Your print resolution is 250dpi.
Note: Photos with a Dpi below 200 will likely result in a degraded print like the one shown above. If the Dpi is not big enough, making the picture larger won’t improve the quality. It is better to print a smaller size instead or choose a different photo.
You can easily resize your picture on Photoshop to give them better resolutions. Here is a tutorial to help you resize your images. It also goes without saying that having a good camera will help you get higher quality pictures.
Crop it like a pro
Cropping is not only one of the easiest ways, but also the quickest for you to improve your photo prints. You can crop unwanted parts of the photo to tighten the composition.
Keep in mind that photo prints have a fixed ratio that won't include the entire picture that was taken with your phone. Cropping in the app is, therefore, a good idea so that you can better understand what print size best fits your photo. Resizing your photos may also be possible directly on your phone.
For tips on how to get the best photo print crop, check out this article: Crop it like it’s hot
To learn how cropping works on the Photo Print app, read more here: How to Crop Your Photos
A cropped picture with good proportions
A cropped picture distorted by editing
Editing tools & filters:
Most phones already have integrated editing tools that you can use to spruce up and crop your shots such as the Photos app for iOS or Google Photo. Want to know how to edit from your phone? Read more here.
There is also plenty of apps available on the App and Play Store that can be used for editing your pictures. When editing, keep in mind that over-edited photos tend to have a poor print quality. Less really is more when editing your photos for print.
If you just want to add a little fun to your prints by adding text, we suggest trying the "Compo" website. Here is an example of what you can do with it:
You can create beautiful invitations, birthday cards and way more! Get them printed on your Photo Print app and pick them up within an hour in your nearest Walgreens.
Avoid dark prints
Sometimes prints come out too dark, but why? Your smartphone screen artificially brightens your photos, but once printed the luminosity just isn't the same.
If you want to make sure your prints don't come out too dark, check out this article.
We hope that these different steps will help you in your journey printing beautiful photo prints... And, remember, the best way to hone your skills in photography is to practice 😉.