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Digital Photography 101 - How To Best Print Digital Pictures

With digital photography, there are lots of different ways to share your pictures (like email, websites, etc) but for those really important pictures most people want to have them printed and framed.

In addition to framing and displaying your best pictures, there are several other reasons that you may want to print your photos. Here are a few of the many ways printed photographs are used.

* Framed for the mantle, table and wall displays * Posters * Wallet pictures * Memory books * Greeting cards * Photo crafts * Photo competitions

Even in our digital day and age, we still have lots of interesting and beautiful things to do in print! But printing a photograph isn't as easy as selecting "Print" on your computer. Printing a quality print of a photograph is trickier than printing, say, a flyer. The following tips will make the process easier:

Digital Photography 101 - Pixels Matter

Before you resize a picture on your computer, figure out first if you may ever want to print it. If you do want to print it, always save the original.

When taking pictures, you always want to know if you plan to print the picture so you can take it with a high enough resolution to get a quality print in the size you want. Below are some figures to help. However, the best advice is to always use the highest resolution on your camera whenever you shoot!

High Quality Picture: 10x13 inches

2592 x1944 pixels (a 5 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)

High Quality: 9 x 12 inches

2272 x 1704 pixels (4 megapixel camera set for high resolution)

High Quality: 8 x 10 inches

2048 x 1536 pixels (3 megapixel camera set for high resolution)

High Quality: 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches

1600 x1200 pixels (a 2 mega pixel camera set for high resolution)

So, it's true that you don't need a camera with a lot of mega pixels in order to get quality photographs.

Using the proper settings on your printer is also important to getting a quality picture. Check with your manual or the manufacturers recommendations on their website. Then use a photo editor to resample the photos to the appropriate dpi. If you're new to digital photo printing, dpi stands for "dots per inch.". The more dots per inch, the smoother the picture grain and the better the image looks. Ink jet printers used today for printing quality pictures often have dpi resolution of around 1200 to 4800. This sort of dpi will produce quality prints of photographs that have around 140 to 300 pixels per inch.

The ppi (pixels per inch) is the measurement for the resolution of a digital picture and should not be confused with the height and width of a picture. For example a 200 pixel x 300 pixel photograph would be quite small, while a photo with a 300 ppi needn't be small because ppi refers to the quality not the physical size of the picture.

Digital Photography 101 ? Paper for Picture Perfect Prints

Make sure to use photo printing paper and if possible, use paper that is recommended by your printer's manufacturer for best results. Use special paper for projects such as greeting cards. You can find them online or at craft stores or office supply stores.

If you need high quality prints or extra large pictures, you can also go to your local photography store or order them online from a reputable retailer.

Have fun printing your digital images!