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Enlarging to 30x40

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  • Enlarging to 30x40

    I did a portrait session for a family a few weeks ago, and the mom just contacted me asking for a 30x40 of one of the images.

    She does have a disc of the images, but I only give authorization to print up to 11x14, so she contacted me for the enlargement. So, I've got an honest client who wants to spend a lot of money! It's really important that I do this right. The problem is, I've never printed anything that big before, so I have no idea where to begin. She wants it for her dining room wall, so it's probably going to be about eye level, and relatively close viewing. The image she wants is 3200x4900 pixels at 300 ppi. I'm going to have to crop it a bit to go from the 3:2 ratio to 3:4 ratio, which is going to make enlarging that much harder.
    I know the printing labs have resizing software, but I don't have a lot of experience in big prints, so I'm not sure if their software is sufficient for this. I've also done a little research on Perfect Resize 7 and Alien Skin Blow Up. It seems like either of those would be able to enlarge the image too, but I'm not sure which one to go with.
    Anyone have experience enlarging this big? Or with either Perfect Resize or Blow Up? Any tips or tricks? Thanks!
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  • #2
    I can't speak to the capabilities of the plug-ins you're looking at, but have you considered doing the print on canvas? The texture of the fabric gives a very nice look to a print and also does an excellent job of hiding any resizing artifacts.


    • #3
      What she has is a file that is 3200x4900 at 300DPI. DPI is for editing. PPI is a factor of the number of pixels and the size of print. Cropped to 4:3, you end up with a 3200x4267 (call it 4300) image.

      What that means is that you'll end up with a 30x40" print at 107PPI. Assuming she won't be examining it from less than 12-24", that's plenty. I've done 24x36 prints with 2400x3600 pixel files (100PPI) with no problem.

      Ask her if she wants a canvas: it'll mask any issues if you do have any. But you won't. A lot of people, when printing, get too worried about PPI/DPI: the trick is that viewing distance is a huge factor that everyone ignores.

      Want to test it? Crop a section of the image to 800x1000 and print yourself an 8x10 with that cropped version. See what that looks like at arm's length/a step or two back.
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