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How to Crop Digital Photos to Specific Print Sizes for Photo Enlargement Printing using Photoshop CS:
Digital cameras produce uncropped full images right from the camera that are formatted differently than most standard print or frame sizes. This means that the photo you download from your camera will probably need to be cropped to produce a standard size. Some photo enlargement printing sizes will be produced with a digital camera’s full frame photo, but many sizes require cropping. If you want to crop your digital photo, there is a certain way the cropping should be done for the best print quality.
For the very best and finest quality photo enlargement printing from your digital photos, any cropping done to the original photo file should be done without altering the original pixel values. Your do not want to use software to increase the photo’s native resolution or resample the photo when cropping, as this digital photo processing will actually degrade the original optical quality of the image. The cropping methods described below are considering we will be processing and printing your digital photos. We utilize highly advanced photo enlargement printing software systems that will print your photo enlargements at 360ppi, and the image will print at any target output size with absolute original photo quality.
Cropping digital photos for photo enlargement printing using any version of Photoshop:
Open the original, native resolution digital photo in Photoshop.
TIP: click view > snap (if available) keeps the crop box within the bounds of the photo.
Decide the photo enlargement print size you want for the photo – example 20w x 16h.
Select your crop tool from the tools palette.
Note the 3 parameter fields at the top under the main menu – width / height / resolution.
In the width field enter – 20 in (need to include the “in” for inches)
In the height field enter – 16 in
IMPORTANT – leave the resolution field BLANK – do not enter a value.
By leaving the resolution field blank, you will not alter the original pixel values of the photo with the software.
Drag the crop box anywhere you want in the photo. You could drag to the edges or anywhere within the photo, and the crop box will make a 16×20 print format.
Apply the crop when you like it, or cancel the action and start again.
After you crop the photo to your satisfaction, save the file as a new file name so you don’t overwrite your original photo file, and this is the file you would send for photo enlargement printing at the 16×20 print size.
Do not be concerned if you check the cropped digital photo’s image size window and see it may be a size of 15.898 x 20 or some other fractional dimension, and it may have an odd sized resolution like 117.566ppi, our software systems will fine tune the photo to an exact 16×20 at 360ppi resolution.
If you want to artistically crop a digital photo producing a custom size print, the instructions above will still apply, except do not enter any values in the 3 crop parameters for width, height and resolution.
If you are not using Photoshop for your photo editing, but some other image editing software, there should be some way through the application crop functions to set your output print size and enable or disable resolution changes. To get the function details for your software may require accessing and reading the software help system.