300 PPI
300 PPI
200 PPI
200 PPI
180 PPI
180 PPI

Photoshop; A Photographers Dream

If you are into the creative side of digital photography then you know that most professionals use Photoshop for image processing. This wonderful program takes the worry out of making the best possible print. The other side of this is the struggle in learning how to use it. I am self-taught and boy, what a journey that has been. Just when it feels like, ah ha---I got it! I realize I have just scratched the surface of Photoshop. There are endless possibilities with this program.

My son recently surprised me with a new plug-in program for Photoshop called Nik Software/Color Efex Pro 3.0. Plug-ins are filters which enable a completely new level of creativity. It provides traditional filters which give you the ability to color correct, retouch, spot enhancement, and more. My all time favorite is the flood filter. You can take a run of the mill photo and turn it into something out of the ordinary. I could spend hours playing with this program.

I also use Picsa, a "free" photo program for my basic fixes and it does a very good job. Actually, I was quite surprised with all the new capabilities that are continually added to it. One day, it just might grow up to be a Photoshop Jr.

Mega-Pixels--Whats That?

Resolution, mega-pixels, ppi, dpi, sizing, and printing are confusing to many who cross over into the digital world. Believe me; you are always learning something new here. Take mega-pixels for example most people when they hear that word think of resolution. They would be partially correct; mega-pixels are termed input resolution.

Simply put, it is the file size of the image or picture taken. A 3-mega-pixel photo will contain 3 million pixels, which gives you an approximate file size of 2,048 x 1,536. That file size, using 300 ppi, will render a printed picture size of 6.82 x 5.12; at 200 ppi a 10.24 x 7.68; at 180 ppi a 11.38 x 8.53.

The higher the ppi, the smaller the print. --- The lower the ppi, the larger the print. Let me give you a warning here---stay at least between 100 to 300 ppi. Anything below 100 and you’re flirting with a print that will show a noticeable pix-elation and lack appeal. They claim the human eye cannot distinguish the difference between a print made with 240 ppi from one made with 300 ppi which, is considered to render the optimum in clarity and appearance.

Here's a simple tip; To up size your print you must reduce your ppi, or switch to a camera with a higher mega-pixel rating!

Most photo software adjusts the ppi or allows you to adjust that setting when you select the size you want to print out. To see how this works go to image>re-size image>select and type 300 in the resolution field. The top field will automatically reset the file size and printable picture size. Then change that resolution to 180 ppi and notice the increase in the size of your print.

The printer will determine the output resolution when the image is down loaded for printing. This is where the dpi comes in and that simply means the amount of dots per inch. The printer lays down a specific number of dots to represent the pixels (ppi) in a square inch. This number depends on your printer’s dpi capability and cannot be altered.

The other day I printed out three 4 x 6 photos; one in 300 ppi, one in 200 ppi and one in 180 ppi. I could not detect a difference in any of the pictures for this size of print. Color, clarity and sharpness appeared to be the same.

The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE. ~~Ernst Haas

Comments 24 comments

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 6 years ago from USA Author

Lady_E, always a joy to hear from you; I'm happy that I was able to clear up some of the mystery concerning Mega-pixels. Understanding its role in good photography is a worthwhile investment of one’s time...Blessings to you and yours. xxx

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

I hear of Mega-pixels all the time and every year that I upgrade my mobile, but I haven't got the foggiest what it means. (except that it relates to photo's)

This Hub has enlightened me. Thanks, I enjoyed it. xx

mike1242 profile image

mike1242 6 years ago from London

Nice informal hub, thanks

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Tony your comments are always appreciated...I'm glad you found this helpful.

Love & Peace


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Wonderful, clear explanations of some things that I was not aware of. Especially the clarity issues around pixels, etc.

Thanks for writing this. Bookmarked!

Love and peace


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I have hobbled along with the discount and free photo editing software, but I tell myself one day I will buy the higher end stuff. I really promise I will!

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

Paraglider, I agree with your assessment of the poor quality in compact and phone cameras. Although, compacts are improving with each new edition the real problem is in the combined optic and digital lens. So, for quality shots, you have to turn off (if your camera allows) the digital lens. Then you will be shooting with the optical lens. The optical lens is where the clarity and quality resides in any camera. I carry both a compact and DSLR and have achieved very good results with my compact once I turned off the digital portion of the lens.

Thanks for visiting my hub and taking time to comment…

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Nice detail about the resolution and print quality areas. Now that image sensors are nearly all at least adequate in pixel count, wouldn't it be nice to see improvements in the optics? Digital SLRs can have wonderful lenses, but all too many compacts and phone cameras are ruined by cheap soft lenses.

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

GiftedGrandma, thanks for visiting my page and you nice comment...

GiftedGrandma profile image

GiftedGrandma 7 years ago from USA

Great information!

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

RT, I appreciate your visit and comment.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

Woo hoo is right. Thanks again!

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for your comment Duchess and yes, photography is a constant learning process… What use to be done creatively with film can now be done a digital camera and Photoshop right at home…Nice!!!!

Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

A great hub full of very good information. I'm happy to see so many others who are learning this stuff on their own.

Bookmarking this one

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

Quicksand, photography is fun and rewarding. Thanks for the tips on each photo program you have used. I will have to read up on them. I love Photo Shop; it is a challenging program to learn but, quite rewarding once you master it.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

I am self taught too, in Photo Shop and other similar graphic programs. Once you teach yourself how to use one program, the rest of them just comes easy.

I had a versatile software called Print Artist with which I used to create JPEG and GIF images. However I used to create the images which I used for the 30 day hub challenge.


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

dayzeebee, Thanks for you comment and sharing your experience with PhotoShop. I marvel at all it can do and like you, I continue to find many new way's it can be used too. Have fun with PhotoShop and enjoy... :-)

dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I'm a self-taught photoshop user too and I love discovering new ways of using them for my needs. I recently used it to make video backdrops for a musical production and it came out beautifully. Thanks for sharing. Be blessed:)

waynet profile image

waynet 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

I agree! capturing images through the camera just makes you appreciate the world around us and with a digital camera even I look like a professional photographer woo hoo!

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

Thanks again Linjingjing--I watch Erin Manning (see the video) on tv every Sunday. She is a professional photographer and shares a great deal of information on taking the pictures and processing them.

linjingjing profile image

linjingjing 7 years ago


Good article

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA Author

Thanks mulberry1 and Lgali for visiting my page. You see the wold around you in a whole different way when you view it through a camera...

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 7 years ago

Good advice here. I do print some photos at home and every tip helps!

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

nice info

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