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time to rethink some things // photos - Lograh — LiveJournal

Monday, 23.Oct.2006

9:58 - time to rethink some things // photos

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So, yeah, I took the picture of the sun rising over trinity lake (from a post or two ago, can be seen here) and had a local photo shop print it out. They said that it could have easily done 36 inches wide (or, in fact, wider; 36 is the widest they print, though) but with a long dimension of only 3817 pixels that would pull it down to 106 ppi. I remembered some readings from a few years back, where it was generally accepted that you'd not want to go much lower than 240ppi (360ppi being ideal) for good quality prints, so I shied away from the 36" and decided to go with a 24 inch size print. It was still a touch low, at 159ppi resolution, but was more affordable so I could handle the cost for what might wind up junked.

Also, at this size it was being printed on an inkjet instead of using an actual photo emulsion printer. I've not heard much good about inkjets when it comes to photo work. Questions of ink life, paper quality, print clarity, and various other concerns all conspire to give inkjets something of a bad name. So I wanted to keep near the smallest prints they used the inkjet for. The absolute smallest was a 20" option, but the price difference between 20" and 24" was minimal, so I decided to stick with the 24".

After looking at the result I must admit that I fail to see any qualities about it that might be somehow worse than a real photo print. It has just as good clarity, colour saturation and consistency is spot-on throughout the print, the paper feels like normal photo paper (perhaps slightly thinner, but nothing major). This could very well work out for a real photo option. And the picture has absolutely no pixelation from being printed at such a low res. Every line in it is smooth and crisp (at least, as crisp as the original file). I'll have to try a 36" (their largest) in a week or two, once I've finalized a picture that I'd want at that size (this was a test print from mid-workflow).