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Old 02-08-2012, 09:30 PM
PattyC PattyC is offline
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Reproduction of Photo of painting?

I am curious about the reproduction of a photo of a painting. For example, I take a picture of a 12 x 14 drawing with a good camera. When I load the image into the computer and look at the image size, it says the print size is very large. Let's say 60 x 40 (raw or large jpg). It might be smaller than that, but the point is, it says the print size is larger than the actual drawing size. If I were really to print that image out at the size it says it is, what is the quality of that image? Is it a high quality image? The camera is an EOS Canon Rebel Ti 1 I believe. And if it is high quality, does that then mean I can paint small, but produce high quality reproductions at a larger size?

Thank you in advance for your advice and info about this?
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:40 AM
archivalarts archivalarts is offline
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Re: Reproduction of Photo of painting?

Hi Patty,

Digital camera's can be a little deceiving when dealing with print quality.
Although the size says 60x40, that is only giving you a very small part of the information you need. What is more important than the size is the DPI or pixel count.

Almost all digital cameras create a file that is 72dpi.
You say your file is 40x60, so your file is 2880x4320 pixels.
If you print this file using 72 pixels for every inch of the print you will get a 40x60 print. Unfortunately 72 pixels for each inch is not good print quality.
You actually need about 300 pixels for each inch to make the image look good.

If you open your file in Gimp or Photoshop or another image editing software and go under file/resize or file/image size, you will find all of your pixel, dpi and size information. If you uncheck "resample" in this window you will be able to change your DPI setting without changing the number of pixels in your file. This is very important because your prints are only as good as the pixels that the camera originally made.

I did this in Photoshop and changed my dpi setting to 300.
This gives you a good print size of 9.6" x 14.4"

Since your 12x14 size is not the same proportion as your camera, you probably have to crop a bit which is going to decrease your pixels a bit also. So if you crop to 12x14, that gives you a resolution of 240dpi, which is still reasonable for printing.

In a nutshell, you can print up to about 14" wide with good quality from your camera.

Photographing art is much different than photographing reality because art has much more fine detail so there really isn't much flexibility to print larger. If you plan to sell prints, I would strongly suggest finding an art reproduction studio with a Betterlight scanner. These scanners give much more resolution in terms of file size and make for a much higher quality print.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:29 PM
PattyC PattyC is offline
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Re: Reproduction of Photo of painting?

Very helpful. Thanks.
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