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Old 12th Oct 2009, 23:19   #1
Stealth
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Picture Size - Printing to 6x4

I have a set of photos on my PC, around 100, and I am going to go through them and crop them to fit onto 6x4 prints which I'll order online. The pictures are for the most part different resolutions.

My question is, how can I figure out how to crop it down to the perfect size? If I use the crop tool in photoshop and set the width to 6inches and the height to 4inches, is that enough? This was my original plan.

Then, I saw that 1600x1200 photos would need to be cropped too. One of my digital camera's takes pictures at 1600x1200, so I thought this would be the standard size of 6x4 prints - but it looks like even those should be cropped according to the crop tool on photoshop, which when set to 6x4 takes a 1600x1200 photo down to 1600x1067. Is this correct?

This may sound kind of confusing, but I hope someone can help me. I just want to know how to crop my photos properly in order to get good looking prints - is the photoshop crop tool okay? I don't want to spend time cropping them, have them printed and end up with crappy stretched photos.
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Old 13th Oct 2009, 00:20   #2
syke
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You want to set the aspect ratio to 6x4, can do that in Lightroom pretty easily (is what i use primarily).
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Old 13th Oct 2009, 04:42   #3
Gaffer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth View Post
I have a set of photos on my PC, around 100, and I am going to go through them and crop them to fit onto 6x4 prints which I'll order online.
This probably won't work as you intend.

If the prints have no border, then the lab will enlarge them until they are slightly bigger than 6x4 and you will loose a small amount all round. If you have cropped precicely, then you'll find bits missing.

My solution is to print my own, and leave the smallest possible border - that way I know exactly what I'm going to get.

Andrew

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Old 13th Oct 2009, 16:22   #4
Stealth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaffer View Post
This probably won't work as you intend.

If the prints have no border, then the lab will enlarge them until they are slightly bigger than 6x4 and you will loose a small amount all round. If you have cropped precicely, then you'll find bits missing.

My solution is to print my own, and leave the smallest possible border - that way I know exactly what I'm going to get.

Andrew
What do you recommend? Unfortunately, I don't have the choice to print at home.

So you're saying if I crop my images to 6x4 exactly, then when they're printed they wont come out right? Shall I just leave the pictures as they are? I don't fully understand what you mean, because what will they do to make it bigger than 6x4? If I size them to 7x5 it'd still be the exact same size since it's the same aspect ratio, right?
Last edited by Stealth; 13th Oct 2009 at 16:26.
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Old 13th Oct 2009, 17:39   #5
Gaffer
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Originally Posted by Stealth View Post
What do you recommend? Unfortunately, I don't have the choice to print at home.

So you're saying if I crop my images to 6x4 exactly, then when they're printed they wont come out right? Shall I just leave the pictures as they are? I don't fully understand what you mean, because what will they do to make it bigger than 6x4? If I size them to 7x5 it'd still be the exact same size since it's the same aspect ratio, right?
Let me try to explain. Printing is an inexact science. Particularly when you try to print right up to the edge. When I was a lad, the only way that you got something printed to the edge was to print on over-size paper, then trim away the excess with a knife. Things have improved but even today, to get the image right to the edge, they actually throw away some of the image. Imagine that your image is projected. Project it to a size of about 6.25 inches by 4.25 inches. Now put a 6x4 card in that projected image. The image on the card is what is going to get printed. The card might be perfectly central but more likely it is closer to one side than the other. You don't know which side it might be close to.

Does that make sense?

Andrew

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Old 13th Oct 2009, 18:29   #6
asim18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth View Post
My question is, how can I figure out how to crop it down to the perfect size? If I use the crop tool in photoshop and set the width to 6inches and the height to 4inches, is that enough? This was my original plan.
Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool with a fixed aspect ratio of 3x2.


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Old 13th Oct 2009, 18:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaffer View Post
Let me try to explain. Printing is an inexact science. Particularly when you try to print right up to the edge. When I was a lad, the only way that you got something printed to the edge was to print on over-size paper, then trim away the excess with a knife. Things have improved but even today, to get the image right to the edge, they actually throw away some of the image. Imagine that your image is projected. Project it to a size of about 6.25 inches by 4.25 inches. Now put a 6x4 card in that projected image. The image on the card is what is going to get printed. The card might be perfectly central but more likely it is closer to one side than the other. You don't know which side it might be close to.

Does that make sense?

Andrew
Are you talking about bleed?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleed_%28printing%29


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Old 13th Oct 2009, 19:06   #8
Stealth
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Thanks for the replies and explanations. I guess I'll just crop them using 3x2 on Photoshop to be safe since I don't mind if a little bit goes missing, so long as the picture doesn't get stretched.

Thanks again!
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Old 13th Oct 2009, 19:26   #9
GWillow
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Depends where you're going to get them printed, some places allow you to upload the whole image and then crop online (photobox does)

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Old 13th Oct 2009, 21:19   #10
The_Abyss
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Even a basic service like Bonusprint does that too.
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Old 13th Oct 2009, 23:13   #11
Stealth
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Thanks a lot for the replies - I've got it all done now!
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