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Picture Size - Printing to 6x4

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Stealth, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Stealth

    Associate

    Joined: Oct 12, 2007

    Posts: 29

    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.
     
  2. syke

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 10,327

    You want to set the aspect ratio to 6x4, can do that in Lightroom pretty easily (is what i use primarily).
     
  3. Gaffer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 1, 2007

    Posts: 1,051

    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
     
  4. Stealth

    Associate

    Joined: Oct 12, 2007

    Posts: 29

    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: Oct 13, 2009
  5. Gaffer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 1, 2007

    Posts: 1,051

    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
     
  6. asim18

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 5, 2006

    Posts: 13,741

    Location: East London

    Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool with a fixed aspect ratio of 3x2.
     
  7. asim18

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 5, 2006

    Posts: 13,741

    Location: East London

    Are you talking about bleed?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleed_(printing)
     
  8. Stealth

    Associate

    Joined: Oct 12, 2007

    Posts: 29

    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!
     
  9. GWillow

    Hitman

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003

    Posts: 801

    Location: Romney Marsh, Kent

    Depends where you're going to get them printed, some places allow you to upload the whole image and then crop online (photobox does)
     
  10. The_Abyss

    Soldato

    Joined: May 15, 2007

    Posts: 7,212

    Location: Ipswich

    Even a basic service like Bonusprint does that too.
     
  11. Stealth

    Associate

    Joined: Oct 12, 2007

    Posts: 29

    Thanks a lot for the replies - I've got it all done now!
     


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