Photography Tips | Image Resolution
So many people inquire about the difference between low-resolution images and high-resolution images, I thought I’d write a little posty on it.
First let’s talk about pixels. Pixels (tiny dots of color) are the unit of measurement for any rendered image. The computer monitor you’re reading this on most likely renders images at 72 dpi (dots per inch). In other words, a single line of pixels across a 20-inch monitor is going to have 1,440 (72×20) pixels of color. No matter how big or small the monitor, most screens render at 72 dpi.
Most professional printers use images that render at 300 dpi. There are way more pixels and the dots are much smaller, which is necessary for creating crisp, clean lines in the print process. Because of this higher amount of dots/pixels needed, it creates larger file sizes for the images.
Which brings us to resolution, which is the detail an image holds. Resolution is identified by the width and height of the image as well as the total number of pixels in the image. So a low resolution image has less detail, less pixels and consequently a much smaller file size than the high-resolution images we create to showcase all that beautiful detail in your eyes and smile. We shoot everything at high-resolution, and deliver high-resolution files to our professional printer to create beautiful prints for you.
The low-resolution images that are included with your session and available online are optimized for speedy and efficient device/computer/web usage. They are not suitable for printing. Technically you can ‘enlarge’ the image using Photoshop or an image editing program, but what you end up doing is enlarging the size of the pixels, which creates blurry images. Because the software tries to figure out which pixels to increase and make up the difference between 72 and 300, you get what we call ‘artifacts’ or blocks of color that look unnatural. No matter how advanced your software is or how good it may look to your eye, there is always a loss in quality.
And at Lovato Images we stand for high quality, awesome work! So if you must print larger than 4×6, please let us help you. We can order enlargements for you or help you purchase the few high-resolution image files that you need to make all your printing dreams come true.