So why can’t my printer or framer print nice clear images when they enlarge my photo? How can I send that image to someone without sacrificing quality? Whats with the ‘pixelation’?
Here are a few things you should know about sending and receiving digital images that you wish to have printed. In the past, we have had many issues due to client’s sending inferior quality images (unknown to them) as well as over-expectations as to the printing quality of small images which may look great on a computer screen.
SENDING FILES: First, a couple comments to help you send us your files. For us to get the best quality image printed for you, it is best that we receive an exact copy of the original image as captured via the camera. Usually this means the file is fairly large in size, and many methods of sending the data from the camera or storage unit involve compressing the data to speed delivery. This effects the quality of the final image. Here are some hints as to how you should send photos, according to the device:
DESKTOP COMPUTER: we recommend you find the file in its original form, and determine its size. If it is under 1.5MB or 1500kb, just open up your email program and compose an email and click on ‘attach’ and select your file. If the program asks about re-sizing the file, select ‘keep original size’ if possible, else the largest option available. If the file is larger, send via dropbox link. Please be advised that if you use our dropbox link, we do our best to remove the images as soon as we can, however, others may have access to the image, and we cannot control, or be liable for someone else using, or misusing your image!
MOBILE DEVICE: we recommend just opening up your email app and compose an email and click on ‘attach’ and then locate and select your file. If the program asks about re-sizing the file, select ‘keep original size’ if possible, else the largest option available. Avoid sending via the share feature of the camera or pictures app as that usually limits the quality you can send.
A FEW COMMENTS ABOUT SIZING! While an image may look perfect covering your entire computer monitor, it may only be suitable for most end-users printed on a 4” x 6” glossy photo paper. There are a few different reasons for this, but generally we accept lower quality images on the monitor. We have attached a pdf file that is essentially a table giving you an idea of the size of file and the expected quality of it’s printout. There are as many variables involved in establishing acceptable levels, as there are differences in personal preference. Not all images are taken under ideal lighting, motion, or with equal camera specifications. Perceived quality is effected by the type of printing media as does the intended viewing distance. In addition, we can do some editing that usually increases the accepted printing size. All this to say – ya, it varies.