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The Pixels Underneath Your Photos

Ever wondered about the pixels that make up your images? Today Jodi Friedman from MCP Actions dissects an image to shed some light on them.

I often get asked why resolution is important and what it all means. Since a “picture says a thousand words” maybe this can help you understand it better – rather than getting too technical. Below is a crop of my daughter’s eye (and part of her hat). I cropped it, than resized it (throwing out pixels). My end result was 30px wide and 72ppi. So when zoomed in at 3200% – this is the result. Your photo is made up of tiny squares as you can see. The bigger the photo and the higher the resolution, the smaller the squares. For excellent quality images, you want more pixels per inch and you want larger sizes. The more pixel dense a photo, the larger you can print.


Next is the full photo resized for my blog (so it fits) 900px wide. And the resolution of 72ppi (which is considered appropriate for web).


If I wanted to print, here are two examples of numbers that work. Both mean EXACTLY THE SAME THING!!!! Go under image – image size – in photoshop. You will see the size of your photo. Photos come off your camera as digital files at 72 pixel per inch (at least all my cameras do). My photo started at: 72ppi and was 33.3×50 inches. 2400×3600 pixels.


If we want the photo at 300ppi since some labs ask for that and some people feel they need 300ppi resolution, here is the result: 300ppi and 8×12 inches. Note that the pixels are the same 2400×3600 as the prior one! This is the exact same quality as 72ppi and was 33.3×50 inches.


Hopefully this photograph helped you start understanding the pixels beneath your photos.

This post on The Pixels Underneath Your Photos has been submitted by Jodi Friedman of MCP Actions. MCP Actions offers customized photoshop training and online photoshop workshops, photoshop actions, and other photoshop resources for photographers. To see more Photography and Photoshop tips and tutorials visit her blog at http://www.mcpactions.com/blog.

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