Book Design and Imaging

Locked 72dpi... recieved from "Professional" photographer

I have been working on creating albums from our parents from our wedding.  The photographer we hired included "rights" to all of our pictures for personal use. 

I am about halfway through the books, and when I blow up the images most of them look "grainy".   I opened them up in a photo editor and noted they were approx 4368*2912, but only 72dpi.  After reading a bunch of these threads it makes me think that it is the 72dpi making them appear this way.

 Given that this is a "professsional" would you expect a higher quality of photos?

 

 

Posted by
ktbarker
Jan 28, 2010 9:58am PDT
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ktbarker
 

Have a read of this explanation of dots-per-inch, pixels-per-inch etc as it pertains to Blurb:

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/1/topics/3581

Posted by
SCorish
Jan 28, 2010 10:18am PDT
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SCorish
 

(sorry – i pressed "post" too quickly :-)

 What i meant to finish up with was to say that the post might give you some useful insight.  As i understand it, it’s more the number of pixels that you should be interested in rather than what your photographer used as his dpi/ppi when he exported them to create the jpegs. 

Your image of 4368 pixels x 2912 pixels would print, at 300 pixels per inch(ppi) or dots per inch (dpi) (which is a good pixel density for a printed page) as about 14.5 × 9.7 inches, so using blurb "containers" of this size or less should ensure you good quality prints – but as i understand, Blurb would warn you if you tried to put one into a container size that’s much bigger than this (ie if you tried to use a container you didn’t have enough pixels to fill at high quality).  Also, I understand that the previews that Blurb show you are lower quality than what will appear in the printed book – for speed of editing. So,  when you said you blew up the photos & they looked grainy, did you mean you magnified them in blurb, or in special photo editing software?

Bottom line is that i think you should be fine, in terms of pixel number.  If they look grainy blown up (in a photo editor which shows them at full resolution), then the photos themselves might actually be grainiy – eg if a high iso was used, or if  the photos were under exposed – but i’m sure that’s not the case. 

Finally – to reassure yourself, you could always take one sample photo, and get it printed just as a photo somewhere locally as a 10 × 12 or a 14 × 10 or something large – and make sure it isn’t unacceptably grainy, before submitting your book design to blurb?

 Good luck, and let us know how you got on?

Posted by
SCorish
Jan 28, 2010 10:30am PDT
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SCorish
 

If you are using Photoshop, go to Image>Image size  uncheck the "resample image" box, alter the resolution to 300 and OK. Lo and behold your 72 dpi image will no longer be 60 inches wide but will be 14.5 inches wide and at 300dpi without anything having been changed. More than adequate for a book.

Hope that this helps.

Posted by
robinsinton
Jan 29, 2010 1:48am PDT
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robinsinton
 

Tony also has some very useful comments here:

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/4/topics/5178

Posted by
SCorish
Jan 30, 2010 4:36am PDT
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SCorish
 

"I opened them up in a photo editor and noted they were approx 4368*2912, but only 72dpi." 

That’s a 13 mega pixel image (witch is a good size), fairly standard for a pro photographer. A lot of digital cameras default to 72 dpi, and photographers don’t bother to change it because they have no idea what your output resolution is going to be.

"I am about halfway through the books, and when I blow up the images most of them look "grainy".  "

Are they grainy looking in booksmart? or are they grainy when you open them in Photoshop? Looking grainy on your screen in booksmart is normal. If its grainy looking in Photoshop it depends. Excessive grain/image noise is not professional, however some grain/image noise is unavoidable in dimly light churches & reception halls.

“Given that this is a "professsional" would you expect a higher quality of photos?”

I would have to see a sample of the photos in question before passing judgment on another photographer work. Can you link a sample?

Posted by
chrisz170
Feb 1, 2010 3:17pm PDT
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chrisz170
 

It also depends on what size container you are placing your photos in on the page.

As an example, if you were using the template in the 10×8 books which allows for four photos on a page each of those containers is just 1117 × 742 pixels or just under 1 Mega pixel (Mp). Your images are roughly 13 Mp. so to get a 13Mp photo into a 1Mp container it is necessary to "throw away" roughly 12Mp worth of data. or roughly 90% of your photo’s pixels. It isn’t  done quite like that but shrinking a photo by such a large amount could well introduce pixelation which could make the photos look grainy.

…..Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Feb 2, 2010 1:03am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Sorry but when you say  "rights" to all of our pictures for personal use" you mean the photographer is the owner of the pictures ? If so,  he sent you the pictures in low resolution files on purpose, in that way no one apart from him will be able to do a decent print .

Posted by
sapata
Feb 9, 2010 12:18pm PDT
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sapata
 

Publishing falls outside "personal use."  You’re getting into Worldwide, First Publication and other areas of copyright.

Personal use would be make some 4×6′s and show them to your friends, post some low rez on Facebook, etc.

Posted by
seth99
Feb 13, 2011 8:54am PDT
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seth99
 

I am inclined to agree with sapata.

A pro photographer apart from charging clients the session fees make money by selling photos. If he/she is giving you full hi-res images, then why would you go back to him/her for prints? Hence you are receiving low res images or as some would market them as "Web Optimized" resolutions. Your file size (likely in kb) should give you an idea of the print quality. 

Posted by
Gamb1t
Feb 14, 2011 12:19pm PDT
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Gamb1t
 

The number of pixels clearly shows that those are not low-res images, and the file size is likely several Mb. The dpi is not an absolute measure of resolution intrinsic to the image. It is a relative measure and it only makes sense to talk about dpi at a given output size (in inches/centimetres). As SCorish explained above, at 300 dpi your images would still be larger than a 10 × 8 book.

If the images are in fact grainy, that has nothing to do with the resolution. Even a 50 megapixel Hasselblad camera will take grainy pictures in the dark, the point being that there are many potential sources of image noise.

@seth99 – Ordering a photo book for oneself doesn’t count as publishing. It is no different than ordering prints for personal use. A photo book is, after all, basically a stack of prints with some glue. If the book is meant for sale, then of course it’s a different matter.

Posted by
Revenant
Feb 16, 2011 7:30am PDT
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Revenant
 

I forgot to say that ordering a book for personal use still amounts to copyright infringement, if you haven’t got the photographer’s permission to use the images. But if you have permission, then I don’t see why it wouldn’t count as personal use.

Posted by
Revenant
Feb 16, 2011 7:39am PDT
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Revenant
 

Yes, you are correct about personal use.  I should have warned that if someone likes it and says make me a copy (and re-imburses you, etc.), or you put it on line for sale, you have crossed the line.

Posted by
seth99
Feb 16, 2011 12:57pm PDT
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seth99
 

Try using vector magic.com

Posted by
manu108
Mar 6, 2011 8:26am PDT
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manu108