photography has put the process of developing photos into the hands
of the consumer. This also includes printing the photos -- anyone
with a decent printer attached to their computer can print out their
own photos. This page explains the aspects of digital photo printing.
photos are usually transferred to a computer where they can be edited
and processed with specialized software. Finally, the photos can
be printed out, but to get the best quality prints possible a few
guidelines should be followed in digital photo printing.
the process of transferring photos to your computer, some software
packages automatically downsize the photos to make them easier to
send by e-mail or post on web sites. For printing, however, downsizing
should be avoided. Always make sure you are transferring photos
to your computer at their full resolution.
at full resolution, however, some cameras do not have enough pixels
to make decent printed pictures. Photo processing shops print pictures
at 300 pixels per inch, and if you want that same kind of quality
you must have images that are at least that resolution.
(picture elements) are the individual dots that make up a digital
photograph. Cameras are usually rated in megapixels (millions of
pixels) - the total number of pixels a camera can record. A camera
which is rated at six megapixels, for example, can capture images
which are 3008 pixels high by 2000 pixels wide.
number of pixels in any digital image is fixed, so increasing the
size of a photo means there are fewer pixels per inch. If the image
is blown up beyond the standard of 300 pixels per inch clarity and
sharpness will be reduced. Photos from cameras rated at two megapixels
can be printed as large as 5.8" x 3.8" at 300 pixels per
inch. A four megapixel camera can print photos as large as 8.2"
first step in getting good-quality prints, therefore, is to make
sure your photos are at the correct resolution – at least
300 pixels per inch.
before the digital photo printing
of the advantages of digital photography is the ability to edit
images before they are printed out. There is a problem, however,
with editing photos as JPEG files -- each time they are resaved
they lose a little bit of data. This means that if you make several
edits to a JPEG file, and save the photo after each edit, the quality
of the photo will decrease significantly.
order to avoid this, try to minimize the number of edits to a JPEG
photo to one or two and save the edited photo under a new file name.
This will keep the original file intact. Alternatively, store the
photos in an uncompressed format like TIFF. This allows you to do
as many edits as you wish without any loss of quality.
it comes time to print out your photos you have two basic choices
-- print them yourself or send them to a photo processing shop.
Many photo shops have an online service which allows you to upload
photos to their server. When they are printed (which can take as
little as one-hour) you can pick them up or have them mailed to
you. Alternatively, do it the old-fashioned way – take your
pictures directly to the shop. Photo processing shops may have computers
that you can use for free to edit your pictures before they are
can also print your pictures at home with your own printer –
your own digital photo printing is explained in more detail here.