I have a question regarding how I should prepare several photos for a professional printing lab. Photoshop is not entirely new to me, but there are still several concepts I am still mastering and or trying to fully comprehend. I am going to provide the details pertaining to the project I am working on, and hopefully that will help answer my questions at then end...
I am trying to create some poster-sized images of some co-workers to hang up around the workplace here. They will replace some older out-dated photos that we already have on the walls. The older, framed and mounted photos are right at 24"(W) x 36"(L). That size includes a thick black border around the actual photo. The actual photo measures approximately 15"(W) x 23"(L), for the portrait orientation.
What I am looking to do is get some new photos printed to the same specifications as 24" x 36". My question is, should I change the image size of the photos I took within Photoshop to match those specifications, or allow the lab to use their "Blow-Up" software?
I've used Lightroom 4 to crop, and make minor edits to my photos. Now I am stuck as to how I should continue with my photos in Photoshop, in order to create the same black border around the photos as well as add a "Motivational Poster-Look" to a couple... All while not losing resolution when planning to print to such a large size.
I know I may have missed some important details. If so, please let me know, and I will gladly respond back. Thanks in advance for everyone's time and patience. I look forward to learning a bit about this process!
The quality of print depends on original size of your photos. You mentioned what the older frames are. But you haven't mentioned how big your source photos that you're trying to print currently are.
For achieving the black border, the simplest method is to create a new PS canvas to desired size, insert your image into it, resize as desired, select the image layer, Edit > Stroke, Select inside stroke and choose Width as desired. You can also give width in 'in' or 'cm'.
To check if your photos will pixelate in print on bigger size, once you import them into canvas, click on View > Print Size. This will give you an idea of how it will look like when printed. If it pixelates badly here, your print will definitely pixelate.
Thanks for the quick reply...
I apologize for not providing as much detail as possible from the start... My source photos are around 3840 x 5760.
Should I create a PS canvas that is 24" x 36" or would it be more beneficial to create a canvas closer to the original resolution of the photo itself, down-size the photo to allow for a black border, and then allow the lab to take the entire product (photo with black border) and blow it up to the size required.
Again, thanks for the quick reply. I appreciate you taking the time to provide your input. Every bit is truly helpful!
If you're unsure of how to use PS to optimize image quality while resizing, you could just ask the Photolab to blow up the picture. They do this day in and day out and they wont go wrong. Moreover, it is their responsibility even if the picture gets pixelated, unless they've already stated they wont be responsible!
On the learning front, you could go ahead and try it out in PS. Doesn't cost anything! Create the canvas of desired size - 24x36 inches. REsize and fit your photo as desired. Then follow the steps I had mentioned earlier to add your border. View Print Size to see how it will look like on print. If you're happy with the output, you could then give this file to your lab. Or, let them handle the blow-up for you!