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In order to get good prints of your images or output them properly for on screen display, it's important for you to understand how image resolution works. With this movie I would like to explain how resolution affects the output quality of your images. I'm currently in the Elements' Editing workspace and I'm viewing the two images that are in the Chapter 6 Understanding Resolution folder in your exercise files. The top image is named tree_03_lo_res.jpg. The bottom image is named tree_03_high_res.jpg and that's because the top image is a low resolution image that's intended for display on the web or to be sent in an email or to be displayed on any kind of device like a cell phone, maybe a photo frame, something like that. It's a smaller file size containing fewer pixels.
The image on the bottom is a high resolution image, which means that it's made up of more pixels. Okay. So we know that this is the image that's intended for print and this is the image that's intended for web. Now, how can we determine this? If you look in the bottom left corner of the document window in each image, we can see then at the top where it says, 4" x 6" at 72 ppi. Whenever you're saving images to be displayed on screen or on the web or an email, or on any small device like a cell phone, it should be saved at 72 ppi. That's a low resolution value; that's the standard for displaying on the web. And at 100% of its viewing size, that's 4 x 6 at 72 ppi.
In the bottom image, this image is also 4" x 6", but contains a lot more pixels, 300 ppi. So we need a lot more pixels in order to output a high resolution image. And the standard for that is 300 ppi. You can go lower but you don't want to go any lower than 220 ppi. So the standard is 300 ppi. That's the recommended high resolution value to maintain high quality output when you're going to print an image like this.
All right, so these are both the same dimensions but one contains more pixels than the other. Images that are being printed should have 300 ppi; images being displayed on the web, 72 ppi. Because one contains more pixels than the other, that's why our zoom values are different, one is 250% and one is 500%. That's the difference. So the thing you need to understand here is that you need to have your images saved at 300 ppi and contained more pixels at their intended print size, 4 x 6 is the instance here in order to get a high quality print.
72 ppi at their intended display size, 4 x 6 in this instance for web display, on screen display. All right, so a good safety rule when you're taking your pictures with your digital camera is that always shoot them at a larger file size. If you think you might want to print those images, set it up in your camera to shoot your images at a larger file size. That will always ensure that you will get a high quality print. As long as you have the room on your media card to fit larger images, because they will take up more room, I would say go ahead and do it. It's a good safety rule.
So now that we understand how resolution works, now we can go about working with our images and preparing them for specific types of output either print or web display.
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