Digital photographs are actually mosaics of millions of tiny squares called pixels. Each pixel holds color information, so stretching in size can create a “pixelated” or jagged appearance if you aren’t careful. Enlarging requires the program to add pixels—a process called interpolation. The computer analyzes adjoining pixels to determine the color of the new ones it inserts.
Since image sizes are described in pixels and photographic prints in inches, you sometimes have to convert between these units. To do so, you divide the image’s dimension in pixels by the resolution of the device in dots per inch. For example, to order a 4 x 6 print you will multiply by 300 and see that you need a size of 1200 x 1800 pixels.
Often the images from your camera will have a different aspect ratio than what is needed for a 4 x 6 print (mine comes out to 4.5 x 6), in which case I then have to decide which side of my photo remove the half inch from (cropping). You also need to constrain proportions so you don’t stretch your photo.
- Cropping is cutting a photo with a scissors to change its size and/or cut away it’s background. In digital photography, this is done on a computer to achieve a desired shape or remove some of the background.
- Resizing is stretching or shrinking a digital photo. Many programs offer the option to “resample” your image — there are different formulas built in but it relates to the pixels, and you want to have 300 pixels per inch for the printed scrapbook pages you send to MyPicTales.
- Image Size when referring to digital photos is done in pixels (as 1200 x 1800 pixels).
- Print Size is how big a photo will be when printed (as to fill your 8 x 10 frame).
- File Size is the amount of hard drive space used by your file in kilobytes or megabytes.
I used a TaylorMade template for this layout and wordart found at the Suddenly Artistic blog. The paper and elements come from the September Digital Scrapbook Artisan Guild’s kit, True Blue Heart of Gold. There was a lot of resizing of photos here, but they were all resized at 300 pixels per inch.
When using Taleweaver to create your pages, the program will let you know if a photo you are using is too small (in pixels) to give good print quality to your finished project.