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David67David67 Member
edited December 2012 in general photography
Hi Folks, I am at the stage now where I need to start marketing myself properly and I need to get some of my best shots printed and framed to show my clients. If, for instance I decide to enlarge my prints what would be the best settings for my image to get the best results, i.e. dpi .........should I increase from 280 to lets say 400?? or would this not make any difference.

Many thanks in advance.


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited December 2012

    Those are very odd resolution sizes, most prints are done 240 or 300 and a lot of the labs I deal with want 300 dpi because they think it's the best resolution but more importantly that's how their printers are set up.

    You can easily print at 240 dpi or even 180, depends on how big.

    Perception is key here and larger prints don't necessarily need the larger resolution sizes simply because they are viewed at a distance and not close up.

    Those giant billboards you see on the roadside which look crystal clear and complete are printed most of the time around 72 dpi or 120, since viewing distance is a deciding factor.

    The larger the dpi, the larger the file size an image will become.

    So for all intents and purposes, check your lab you print with, and almost for sure they want sRGB Color Profile and 300 dpi.

    It's the Pixel Dimensions which are important, as some, like Canon images come in 72 dpi but with huge pixel dimensions, so to check your actual image size in inches for a particular image @ 300 dpi.

    Photoshop Menu: Image/Image Size
    In the 'Document Size' panel, check you are using 'Inches' for both width/height
    UNcheck Resample Image box
    Change the 72dpi to 300 dpi and it will now change your image to inches @ 300 dpi.


    It's important to UNcheck Resample Image otherwise, it will keep that huge inches dimension but change resolution to 300 dpi and file will be enormous, and at least not to say, incorrect for upsizing in one huge jump, like this:


    If the lab requires all images to be correctly profiled and 300 dpi, it's easy enough to create an action and do a batch on a folder, if you have not converted to 300 dpi from your RAW converter as most probably do first up, saves going to the trouble of converting later on.

  • OK Trev, that's definately cleared things up for me, thank you so much for taking the time on this to reply, I really appreciate it.

    Many Thanks again
  • If you open raw files in ACR change the DPI settings to 300 dpi then save the setting. ACR will open everytime with 300 dpi as the default. Like Trev said, create an action for in Photoshop for different dpi outputs to save time.
  • Tangent: On the topic of ACR opening with a given preset, mine has been opening every time with some settings I used once, weeks ago. Lightroom also opens everything with these settings, then I have to apply Develop settings to return everything to zero.

    How do I determine the settings that ACR and lightroom will use when I import RAW (CR2) files? I've saved newer, zero'd out settings since then, but it always reverts to the same settings I don't want.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited December 2012

    When you 'saved' the settings in ACR, did you do a 'Save New Camera RAW Defaults' or merely 'Save Settings . . . '

    You need to set up what you want in ACR, then choose to save those preferences as the new camera raw defaults and they should take place upon opening.


    In LR, it will take on ACR defaults if you don't apply job settings during import, which you can do by doing up your preferences, save it, then apply during import.


  • A little off topic but here is another thing to remember which is save you a step. If you put any images on a website, etc you do not need to change the DPI as some say to 72. DPI has nothing to do with screen resolution. It is for print only. You can set it at 10 or 1000 and it won't make a difference. So any 300 DPI files for prints just need to be resized for web.
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