Digital photography and the ease of sharing have made it super easy for one quality snap to be printed multiple times. Families with relatives overseas can still get quality prints, professionally framed and delivered to their doorstep. Perfect for sharing all those great photos of the kids on their first day at school or their first day back with relatives overseas or even right here in the UK.
There’s only one problem that can get in your way of ordering and that’s the resolution of the photo, or in the case of many that’s sent via social media, including Skype, those images are optimised for digital viewing, as in on your computer screen, smart phone or tablet and not intended for print purposes.
If you want to get a quality print from a photo someone sent you online, you’ve a couple of preparation steps to take before it can be uploaded, ready to be printed and framed.
What will happen is this, and it may have already happened if you’ve tried with a small image…
You get an error message reading:
“File too small
The file you uploaded is too small. Our minimum print size is 150 mm x 150 mm. The maximum quality print size for the image you uploaded is (No.) mm x (No.) mm.”
If that’s happened to you, chances are you’ve went to alter the image size to make it whatever size is advised.
Since most computers come with Paint pre-installed, that’s where you’d head to resize the picture. Once there, you’d quickly find you can’t quite as easily adjust to the size dimensions to what you want because it’s resized in pixels or percentage and not in millimetres.
Resizing made simple
There’s only two numbers you need to remember for resizing digital photos for printing…
These refer to the pixels when you’re resizing digital photos.
Take for example a copy of a photo you’ve been sent via Facebook. That’s going to be 960 x 540 pixels, which is far too low to get a decent print of any size. If you were to try to upload that to have us print and frame it, you’d get the error message with the dimensions you need to resize your photo to.
2400 pixels is at the lower end of the resolution scale but it’s still good enough to get a decent quality print. 3000 pixels is higher quality, and will give more detail.
To get to that part, you need to use an image editing program. If you’re using a computer, you’ll likely have a program called Paint or the Windows Live Photo Gallery. Both of which work the same. They let you resize using percentages or pixels. If you only have access to a smart phone or tablet, you’ll need to use an online image editing program. A few of the ones we found online include:
For the width of the picture, you can insert either 3000 pixels or 2400 pixels. If you’re using Windows Live Photo Gallery or Paint, make sure to keep the check box ticked to maintain aspect ratio. If you’re using an online editor, do the same but most will default to that option anyway to prevent your image becoming distorted.
Once you’ve changed the image to be either 2400 pixels in height or 3000 pixels, you’ll notice it’s a much larger image. When you upload that to have it printed and framed, you can then select the ideal size of print you’d like. The only thing you can’t do is make it any larger than the size indicated in the height and width of the image size you upload.
To get to the stage of uploading photos that need digitally blown up in size, use either Paint, Window Live Photo Gallery or an online image resizing service and increase the pixel size, which will in turn increase the size of your photo.
If you notice the picture becomes pixelated, which is when you can clearly see dots on the screen, lower the resolution until it looks crisp.
Start with 3000 or 2400 pixels, and gradually lower your pixels until you find a good quality and then upload that to print and frame.