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Digital Photography 101 - The Digital Photo Printing Basics

If you love shooting digital images but don't know much about how to print out your pictures properly, then this article is for you. Learn all about pixels and how you can get a great quality photo the next time you want to print one out.

With digital photography, there are lots of different ways to share your pictures (like email, websites, etc) but for those really important pictures most people want to have them printed and framed.

In addition to framing and displaying your best pictures, there are several other reasons that you may want to print your photos. Here are a few of the many ways printed photographs are used.
  • Framed for the mantle, table and wall displays
  • Posters
  • Wallet pictures
  • Memory books
  • Greeting cards
  • Photo crafts
  • Photo competitions
Even in our digital day and age, we still have lots of interesting and beautiful things to do in print! But printing a photograph isn't as easy as selecting "Print" on your computer. Printing a quality print of a photograph is trickier than printing, say, a flyer. The following tips will make the process easier:

Digital Photography 101 - Pixels Matter

Whenever you resize a photo on your computer, think first if you may ever want to print it. If you do want to print it, always save the original.

The first thing to understand is how many pixels are needed when taking a picture in order to get a high enough resolution to produce a quality print for the physical size you want. Below are some figures to help.

High quality 10 x 13
2592 x 1944 pixels (5 megapixel camera set for high resolution)

High Quality Picture: 9x12 inches
2272 x 1704 pixels ( a 4 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)

High Quality: 8 x 10 inches
2048 x 1536 pixels (3 megapixel camera set for high resolution)

High Quality Picture: 4x6 or 5x7 inches
1600 x1200 pixels (a 2 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)

As you can see, you don't need a camera with tons of mega pixels to get quality prints.

Using the proper settings on your printer is also important to getting a quality picture. Check with your manual or the manufacturers recommendations on their website. You can then use a photo editor to resample the pictures to the right dpi. For those new to printing, dpi stands for "dots per inch". The more dots per inch, the smoother the picture grain and the better the image looks. Ink jet printers used today for printing quality pictures often have dpi resolution of around 1200 to 4800. This sort of dpi will produce quality prints of photographs that have around 140 to 300 pixels per inch.

The ppi (pixels per inch) is the measurement for the resolution of a digital picture and should not be confused with the height and width of a picture. For example a 200 pixel x 300 pixel photograph would be quite small, while a photo with a 300 ppi needn't be small because ppi refers to the quality not the physical size of the picture.

Using the Right Kind of Photo Printer Paper

Make sure to use photo printing paper and if possible, use paper that is recommended by your printer's manufacturer for best results. Use special paper for projects such as greeting cards. Both are sold at many office supply and crafts stores, as well as online.

If you're looking for an easier way to get high quality prints, say for a special event such as a contest or a large size photograph you want to frame and display, remember that a local or online printer is another option.

Have fun printing your digital images!

Article Tags: High Resolution)high Quality, Digital Photography, Photo Printing, High Resolution)high, Resolution)high Quality, Quality Picture

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Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames and to buy photo frames. Shop online and see our large selection of picture frames in a wide variety of styles and colors like our stylish black square picture frames and and chic white picture frames. Visit our website or call 1-800-780-0699.

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