Book Design and Imaging

Need advice with photos

Hey there, I’m new at this whole photo book thing and just found out that my photos are only 180 DPI and the ideal is 300 with the minimum requirements being at 150. Is there a way to improve your photos to a better quality for printing? And will the 180 DPI produce a good print on an 8X10 full bleed layout? Thanks so much! Kristen

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Posted by
kljacobsen
Dec 20, 2009 4:52pm PDT
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kljacobsen
 

My camera shoots at 240 dpi. Here how I deal with this:

1) In BookSmart, mouse over the container for the image you are working on, and write down the pixel dimensions you see in the little box that pops up

2) Open your photo in an mage-editing program like Photoshop, change the dpi setting to 300 and the pixel dimensions to the size you got from step one

3) After the image has been resized, save and import into BS

In my case, the image container was a little taller (in proportion) than my camera shoots, so I set the width of the image to what was required, and let the height fall a bit short. For example, the BS image container was 2271 × 1588. My original photo was 3008 × 2000. So in order to preserve the original aspect ratio and not crop any of the image, I resized it to 2271 × 1510 at 300 dpi. This made the image a bit shorter than the container, so I just top-aligned the image in its container, although you could center or bottom-align it. I just top-aligned them all for consistency.

If you want to fill the container completely and you camera originals don’t match the proportions of the container, you can size and crop the image in Photoshop (or whatever program you are using), to match BS’s image container exactly, or resize your image to the shorter pixel dimension and click on the little box in BS which causes the image to fill the container. You will lose part of the image, but I think you can drag the image around to determine which parts show and which get hidden. I’m not sure about that because I have never tried it.

Posted by
jshook
Dec 21, 2009 8:01am PDT
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jshook
 

Did you scan photos or are they digital?  You could rescan to higher DPI, but if they are digital, it will be hard to increase the DPI.  Pictures that might look good online, will not always be good printed.

Donna

Posted by
pbird38
Dec 21, 2009 8:20pm PDT
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pbird38
 

There is a very good description of the issues associated with dpi, ppi, image size, etc in this post.

…..Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Dec 21, 2009 8:57pm PDT
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tfrankland
 

Thanks so much everybody!  This is all very helpful to a rookie such as myself :-)!  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Posted by
kljacobsen
Dec 22, 2009 12:01pm PDT
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kljacobsen
 

Hey Donna, I forgot to answer your question.   My photos are digital not scanned.  I was going to try and resize them in photoshop per the recommendations of the prompt that pops up over the container in Booksmart.   My Dad recommended playing around with it and doing a sample book for $20, recording the edits I made on each page, and then seeing what it looks like when I get it back before starting my actual "nice" book.  Have you tried resizing in Photoshop, increasing PPI and changing pixels for width and height?  If so, I’d love to hear what your results were!  Thanks!

Posted by
kljacobsen
Dec 22, 2009 1:37pm PDT
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kljacobsen
 

Maybe I’m too late here Kristen – as you may have ordered your proof book already. But this might still be helpful. PhotoShop has very good algorithms for resampling images. Going from 180 to 300 is pushing your luck though. I’d zoom in to at least 100% to check the grain, and probably print out a few at the new size, since it is so hard to judge graininess on screen. Seems like it always gets worse with ink on paper. If you loose too much quality then I’d suggest reconsidering those full bleeds…

Posted by
wiliamhoard
Dec 28, 2009 6:34pm PDT
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wiliamhoard