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How to resize or crop for prints

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  • How to resize or crop for prints

    Ok I'm finally ready to start printing out some of my photos. I want to print 8x10. How should I crop/resize to do this without causing them to be distorted? All of my photos are saved in the highest resolution I could do and are larger than 8x10. Do I have to crop them to an 8x10 ratio or can they be resized so that i don't lose any of the image?
    As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death.

  • #2
    Your choices here are limited. If you keep the original ratio, the print will either be distorted, or have bars on the sides. If you MUST have the entire photograph, 8x12 might be an option, though it is incredibly difficult to find frames for that size as it's not a standard photographic print size.

    If you let the print place/software (depending on how or where you have it printed) make the decision, the chances are that each end will be clipped off automatically.

    Your best option is to know what part of the image you would like cropped, and to optimize the image for the print size. It's typically recommended to have prints at 300dpi, though 250dpi and sometimes even 100dpi will work depending. So let's stick with 300dpi for the sake of simplicity:

    8x10 inches would be 2400x3000 pixels. If you just resize, the image will be distorted noticeably. So you must decide which end, or how much of each end, you wish to crop.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AdrenoJunkie View Post
      Do I have to crop them to an 8x10 ratio or can they be resized so that i don't lose any of the image?
      You either lose part of the image or you squish the image.

      The images your camera produces are 2:3, which is a fairly long rectangle. An 8x10 is a 4:5 ratio, which is almost square. You can't have both.
      I am responsible for what I say; not what you understand.
      adammontpetit.com
      Gear List
      500PX | Graphic Design

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      • #4
        I will offer one other suggestion. Maybe you could print in the ratio that you already have and go to the next higher standard frame size, which I think is 11x14, then mat the photos during framing. You would have to buy the matting material and cutter and learn to cut the mats yourself since pre-cut mats will also be in the standard photographic formats.
        Dan, http://www.flickr.com/photos/51890588@N08/
        My equipment: Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55 AF-S DX VR (Kit lens), Nikkor 55-200 AF-S DX VR, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Nikon ML-L3 IR Shutter Release Remote, Rocketfish RF-TRP65C Carbon Fiber Tripod, no name monopod, CS4, LR3, Photomatix Pro 3.2

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        • #5
          So what I'm gathering here is that the easiest way is to sacrifice some of the composition and crop it to 8x10 otherwise it's going to be distorted. So taking that one step further does that mean I should consider that when I'm framing up shots I'm about to take and leave some room for cropping?
          As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death.

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          • #6
            Use the crop tool in Photoshop, set it to 8 x 10; you can then move that window around for optimal placement.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AdrenoJunkie View Post
              So what I'm gathering here is that the easiest way is to sacrifice some of the composition and crop it to 8x10 otherwise it's going to be distorted. So taking that one step further does that mean I should consider that when I'm framing up shots I'm about to take and leave some room for cropping?
              If you don't want to sacrifice the composition try my suggestion. Then use a larger frame and a mat. Then you won't have to alter the composition. Here are some examples:

              How to Mat a picture - a set on Flickr

              How to Mat a Photograph | eHow.com

              Matting

              Several photos hanging on my walls are matted for this reason.
              Dan, http://www.flickr.com/photos/51890588@N08/
              My equipment: Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55 AF-S DX VR (Kit lens), Nikkor 55-200 AF-S DX VR, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Nikon ML-L3 IR Shutter Release Remote, Rocketfish RF-TRP65C Carbon Fiber Tripod, no name monopod, CS4, LR3, Photomatix Pro 3.2

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              • #8
                Scott Bourne just posted a blog about this...

                attention-photographers-dont-be-a-slave-to-aspect-ratio/
                Drkranger
                Kaymee Photography
                Sacramento Photography Examiner
                Nikon D300, Nikon D50
                Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dbevisjr View Post
                  If you don't want to sacrifice the composition try my suggestion. Then use a larger frame and a mat. Then you won't have to alter the composition. Here are some examples:

                  How to Mat a picture - a set on Flickr

                  How to Mat a Photograph | eHow.com

                  Matting

                  Several photos hanging on my walls are matted for this reason.
                  I like your suggestion, and will definitely use that for my personal prints. The problem is I'm gonna be printing out a whole bunch to sell at some local shops. That method would not be cost effective for me since I'm pretty broke. I'm doing this in hopes of selling some and being able to buy a light stand and umbrella. And since I'm not a professional by any stretch of the imagination, I don't think I could justify the prices I would have to charge if I took the time to do it your way. Basically I want to print some 8x10's, put them in photo sleeves/bags, throw them in a box on a shelf and cross my fingers.
                  As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death.

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