You probably have a camera full of pictures waiting to be printed. When it comes to printing photos, it consists a little more than just hitting print on your printer. Read these simple printing tips to help you get high quality photos every time you print.
PPI -vs- DPI
First thing First, do you know the difference between the image and printer resolution?
Every picture you take consists of tiny dots called pixels. Each pixel, of an image, represents a single color. The image resolution is measured by the number of pixels an image has vertically and horizontally in a square inch. The more pixels a photo has, the more detailed it will be. The pixels per inch or PPI will determine the maximum print size and quality of any photo.
To calculate the maximum amount of pixels needed, for an image size, follow this simple formula.
Width x PPI
Height x PPI
Example based on a 2 megapixel camera:
|4 x 6||1200 x 1800 ||300|
|5 x 7||1500 x 2100 ||300|
|8 x 10||2400 x 3000 ||300|
If you try to print a photo larger than the number of pixels allows, you will decrease the print quality and you will be able to see each pixel. So remember the larger you print the more pixels your photos will need.
Measures the number of dots a printer can print in a square inch. For example if your printer has a DPI of 800, then it can print 800 dots horizontally and vertically for 640,000 dots per square inch. The DPI will not affect the page size of the image and you cannot increase or decrease the amount of dots a printer can print. It is a fixed number for that printer.
When it comes to printing photos, you want to make sure that your DPI is higher or equal to the PPI to print images with the same details.
No matter how great a picture looks on your computer monitor, if you are using the cheap photo paper you are better keeping your photos on you computer. To get photo lab quality photos each time you print you need to choose the right paper for your printer and project. To learn more about photo paper, and how to choose one that will work for you click here.
More Printing Tips
Always print on the "Printable" side of photo paper. It may not always be clear which side is which but if
printing on the wrong side could be a waste of ink and paper. Ink can smear and run or your pictures can be
Place printed pictures away from direct sunlight. No matter what paper or ink you use direct sunlight, over
time, will fade your prints.
Save all your digital pictures you print. It will come in handy when replacing ruined or faded prints in the
When handling photo paper don't touch the printing side especially with glossy photo paper. You can leave
finger prints that might show up on the printed page.
Glossy paper doesn't absorb ink as quickly as regular paper. Let the paper dry for about 24 hours before
placing in frames or albums.
The printer driver has different settings for various types of papers. Depending on the setting, the printer
will shoot out different amounts of ink and will print at different speeds. To get the best images possible
match the paper setting with the paper you are using. Choosing the wrong setting may cause you to use too
much ink and it will overload the paper. Using too little ink can cause your prints to look washed out