Image Resolution And Print Quality
Have you ever downloaded an image from the internet and then printed it, only to get results that were, well, less than you expected? The image looked great on your computer screen, but when you printed it, it either printed at the size of a postage stamp or it printed at a decent size but looked blurry or "blocky"? The culprit is image resolution.
Actually, that's not really fair to say. Image resolution didn't purposely set out to make your life miserable when you printed your internet photo. The problem was simply that most photos on the internet have very small pixel dimensions, usually in the neighborhood of 640 pixels wide by 480 pixels high, or even smaller, and that's because images don't need to be very large in order to appear at a decent size and good quality on your computer screen, and also because smaller images download much faster on websites than larger images do (which is a whole other topic that we don't need to get into here).
So what can you do to make photos you download off the internet appear just as high quality when printed as photos you took yourself with your digital camera? The answer - absolutely nothing. There simply are not enough pixels in most internet images to allow them to print at high quality, at least not without printing them at the size of a postage stamp, that is. Let's find out why.
Download our tutorials as printable PDFs! Learning Photoshop has never been easier!First of all, let's get off the topic of downloading images from the internet, since we really shouldn't be doing that anyway without permission from the copyright owner, and look at image resolution in general. I cover it in much more detail in the Image Resolution, Pixel Dimensions and Document Size tutorial, but let's do a short recap.
The term "image resolution" means how many of your image's pixels will fit inside each inch of paper when printed. Obviously, since your photo has a fixed number of pixels, the more of them you squeeze inside each inch of paper, the smaller the image will appear on the paper. Likewise, the fewer pixels you print per inch, the larger the image will appear on paper. The number of pixels that will be printed per inch is known as the resolution of the image, or "image resolution". Image resolution has everything to do with printing your image. It has nothing to do with how your image appears on your computer screen, which is why images you download off the internet usually appear much larger and higher quality on your screen than they do when you print them.
Let's use a photo as an example:
How Image Resolution Affects Print Quality - Photoshop Tutorial
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