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A very new user needs help with basics (hopefully will help others too)

Greetings to all within Dreamstime. I have really basic questions which I hope some-one can help me with, please. I know the problems with re-sizing (well, enlarging anyway) images and so I have downloaded a couple of starter images to play around with. I have not got photoshop yet as I need to make sure I can get a good quality reproduction first without. But should I need this programme if what I am downloading is not to be played with or re-sized anyway?
I have tried to print images to the sizes quoted on the download size I requested. For example, a 6"x 9" image. When I save this and then attempt to print it the image seems to choose its own sizing and I can't seem to alter it. Should the images print to the download size or am I truly too new to be asking?! ~Alternatively, do I actually NEED something like photoshop and manually readjust the image to the size I downloaded in order for it to print that size? I fear that this programme is very complicated to use and as I don't want to alter anything in an image I would be paying only for the ability to resize it to the size I purchased.

I must say, all I get is pixellated images, which are really no good at all. A dark background image which printed almost to spec. lost so much detail compared to the stock image I was disappointed. I wonder if someone could help me please - in layman's terms!

Many thanks.
Posted: 04/25/2012, 05:29:27 AM
If you need images for printing, then you need the images @300 dpi.

Images with @72 dpi are good for web & computer display, but they are too small for printing.

You don't need any special software to print them, you just have to take into account only the sizes with @300 dpi at the end.

If you accidentaly downloaded a wrong size and wish to download a different size, please contact support providing all the details.
Posted: 04/25/2012, 05:53:18 AM
thank you Dudau. That helps a little. I didnt download a 72dpi - it was 300. So - if I can tell the printer to recognize this size presumably I should gain the right quality of print directly from this image without the need for any other programme ?
Although, having said that, I have a modest kodak printer - not the most suited to the job. I need to change this (I was told to at least a 5,000 resolution one) and then hopefully I should be able to reproduce the same quality as the downloads. (fingers crossed)
Thank you for your kind response.
Posted: 04/25/2012, 10:29:37 AM
I think you bought the medium size one, wich cannot cover an entire A4 sheet of paper. If the program or printer is making it cover the hole A4 page, it will get pixelarted, no matter the printer.
Check the print info screen to make shure you do not aloud the printer or program to resize it and print it larger than it is.
Nikon D3100, Inkscape, Imagination, Hands
Posted: 04/26/2012, 15:59:53 PM
Many thanks celiaak. I discovered I had not clicked a certain instruction for the printing size. This done, it will come out as suggested, although the quality is frighteningly poor; with smaller detail often lost. Much can be attributed to a cheaper printer, I know, but it seems images will still need to be played with to make them better, and the idea of trying to learn a complicated prog. to do this would certainly take time. Besides which I would need to alter each image downloaded. Phew, sounds like fun.
Thank you Celiaak for your kind help. Best wishes
Posted: 04/28/2012, 13:19:15 PM
Hi Claneath,

First, could you specify here the actual resolution of the image(s) you bought, in terms of pixels, for ex., 4200x2800 would be a 12 Mp image. From what you describe it seems that you bought image(s) at too small resolution for your printing purposes. Because you say that the picture(s) get pixelized in print(s). So, to answer your questions, it is important to know both (1) the actual resolution bought and (2) the print size you are trying to achieve.

Second, regarding your problem with printing a picture of a particular size, in the printer dialog window of the program you are using for printing you must be able to select the way the printer deals with the image. Often the default behaviour is to fill the entire page by rescaling the image accordingly. This means that by default (if you did not check/select the actual print size manually before pressing "OK" for printing) the printer driver (or the program from which you print) will apply its internal interpolation algorithm to upscale or downscale the image to fit it in the default paper format (I assume you print on A4 paper, then the image will be scaled to the A4 size). However, if you check the "printer options/parameters" tab in the printing dialog window, you should find the way to set the print size either explicitly (mm or inches) or implicitly (in % of the actual image size).

Finally, the 72/300 DPI resolution dilemma seems to be confusing for many people, although when it comes to printing it is very simple to verify the actual size of a print-out, based of the actual pixel resolution. DPI stands for "dots per inch", which is the same as "pixels per inch". So, for my example above, 4200x2800, the actual (maximum!) size in printing at 300 DPI is calculated as 4200/300 = 14 inches by 2800/300 = 9.333(3) inches, no matter what DPI setting is set in the image properties. This is the actual non-interpolated (by up/down-scaling) size of a 4200x2800 pixels image, when you print it at 300 DPI, which is the most common setting for "normal" mode of printing. Note that if the printer is set for printing at 600 DPI, then the actual print-out will be reduced in sizes by a factor of 2, i.e. down to 7x4.666(6) inches and so on. On the other hand, if the printing resolution would be set to 72 DPI (often corresponding to "putative" 100% for 72 DPI images), then your print-out is really blown-up and pixelaized accordingly => 4200/72 = 66.66(6) x 2800/72 = 38.88(8) inches.

To clarify the 72 vs. 300 DPI setting in the image properties, it is merely a convenient way of stating the preferred default DPI resolution, so that if the DPI setting is not set explicitly in the printer dialog and you choose to print at 100%, then the image DPI setting (from its properties) is used by the printer, with whatever pixelization it may result in.

As for the Adobe Photoshop software, for your printing and DPI setting purposes you can simply use GIMP, which is a free alternative and has all the means. You can download it and install in a few mins.

Hope this helps. :)
photos), Canon PS-A610 (rarely, very good at macro with ada...
Edited: 07/15/2012, 18:28:58 PM
To print a 6"x9" you would need to download a large size file, around 1800x2700 pixels.

To print a 300 dpi file not only you need a file with the proper resolution, but also photographic paper otherwise you wont get the results you wanted.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 07/15/2012, 22:12:34 PM
Perhaps, the final advice should be to go printing to the local photoshop with printing services :)
photos), Canon PS-A610 (rarely, very good at macro with ada...
Posted: 07/16/2012, 07:07:48 AM
Depending on the type of printer, you can also download Printer software to assist "rip" or "spool" what needs to be printed. Most of them have a nesting set up which will ask you what size you want to print the image. Some of the software I am talking about is called Wasatch or Poster Pro , etc, but thats for advanced large format stuff.

When you print, an options window usually comes up first, and you can re-size the image there before printing. There are also different setting to adjust to get the print as best as possible for that particular printer. The printer may also have quality restrictions, so if you do go to a print shop ask them to show you some of their samples and compare them to your prints, even the material or paper that they are using make the finish a much better quality.
There are many different ways to print, there is PVC, canvas and lots more.

If you enjoy printing and editing images, then Photoshop is a good program to get, there are loads of basic tutorials and is also fun to learn when you start getting into it.
A never resting mind turning millions of ideas
Posted: 09/06/2012, 09:45:14 AM
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has responded to my thread. I am so grateful. Well, I had decided to let it drop as I was getting too many head pains trying to follow this hobby!!
However, with all the kind support I have seen posted I will definitely take up where I left off. Over the next weeks I will keep referring back and follow all the kind help I have been given.
Thank you all very much. I hope the basics above will help other users who are still stumbling around, like I was.
Kind regards to all
Posted: 09/14/2012, 06:28:38 AM
Claneath - what is it that you are trying to accomplish? Knowing your end goal might actually help us point you in the right direction.

In regards to size, not every file in the 6xp category is going to be exactly 6x9. Think of those catagories with an "ish", they are 6ishx 9ish. This is simply because most photographers will crop their image in different ways in order highlight aspects of the image, or exclude unwanted aspects.

If what you are looking for is a way to just manipulate size and do basic functions, you might want to take a look at a program called GIMP. It is Photoshop"ish" and free. It's a good way for you to get a better idea of whether or not your venture is feasible without having to make a large financial investment.

You can also download a free 30 day trial of Photoshop from the Adobe website. Gather your images and play to your hearts desire for 30 days and then see what you think.

Good luck to you!
Posted: 10/31/2012, 20:35:08 PM