The DPI setting in a digital image has no meaning at all. You need to learn how to calculate what you need in your exported image. The only measurement in a digital image that has any meaning is the number of pixels in each direction. It doesn't matter what you set that DPI to (actually it's PPI or pixels per inch). The image will have the same number of pixels regardless of the setting. If you need an image that is 5 x 7" (for example) at 200 PPI then you would want an image that measured:
5 x 200 = 1000 pixels
7 x 200 = 1400 pixels
So you would need an image that is 1000 x 1400 pixels to have a 5 x 7" image at 200 PPI. The reason your exported image had such a high PPI setting is because you specified the number of inches you wanted the image to be. And there were enough pixels in the image that it calculated out to be that high PPI setting.
I apologize, I don't explain this very well. But you need to learn to do the math to determine how large you really want your exported images to be.
Thank you so much for your response and explanation! It does make sense and I thought that about the dpi or ppi rather too. Thank you for listing out the formula so to speak, ding ding! So if I am wanting my exported images to be printable up to size 5x7 but not larger than that the nfumbers you listed is what I would need to do? Just want to make sure I understand correctly, thanks again!
I'm not understanding how it's automatically selecting the dpi/ppi? If I'm selecting a certain number for that during export shouldn't it stay at that? In fact it used to I've only just discovered this change now.
If I wanted to provide images to someone to be printed 5 x 7", I would do the following:
1. Crop the images to the 5 x 7 aspect ratio.
2. Do the math as I outlined previously. As a review:
5 (inches) X 200 (PPI) = 1000 pixels
7 (inches) X 200 (PPI) = 1400 pixels
3. In the export dialogue I would specify in the size to have the long edge be 1400 pixels.
4. The number that you put in the PPI setting has no bearing on anything. I would probably set it at 200 just for reference sake.
If they want smaller images printed then there might be a little bit of cropping necessary, but not much. This wouldn't prevent your customers from printing larger images, but if they do the quality would drop significantly. In reality, there is no way for you to provide an image file that would limit how large a customer might try to print it.
True but I do want the quality to be lower on the higher sizes so they will order from me. Thank you sooooo much!!:) Just to clarify when you say crop the images to the 5x7 aspect ratio, doing the steps below will acheive that yes? Or do I need to physically crop each image before exporting?
Ok so I just exported a new set of images and I set the pixels to be 1400 on the long edge and the dpi/ppi to be 200 for reference sake. My final result is 3200x2134 at 457 dpi. I'm confused as to why these numbers aren't staying the same? Thanks for your time!
If I wanted to be sure that I was providing a file that would print a perfect 5 x 7" print then I would crop it using the crop tool in the develop module. Yes, it will take a little time. Otherwise, if you just specify the long side to be 1400 pixels as per my example, then the prints might not turn out exactly the way the customer is expecting. But that is your choice. Just don't provide higher than 1400 pixels on that long side. And if they try to print a big enlargement it isn't going to look as good as it should.
Please note that I am using 200 PPI as an example. Generally speaking, I think it is considered that between 240 PPI and 300 PPI is the ideal setting to have high quality images. But the higher you set it, the more your client might get away with bigger prints from some of the printing services.
Ok awesome thanks so much! That makes sense. I still don't understand though why my settings aren't staying at what I'm setting them at? Like the ppi specifically, I am setting it at 200 and its coming out at 457. It never used to be that way, whatever I would set it at in export is what they would be in the final result and now all of a sudden it's not.
It's because the image you are exporting is 3200 x 2134 pixels. And you specified a size in inches for the exported file. Based on the size that you tried to specify, that is how many pixels per inch that will be in the image. And if you give that image to your client they will be able to print a much larger image. It really is all in the number of pixels. Do the math like I explained. You will export much smaller files that will produce good quality images up to 5 x 7". But when they try to go larger the quality will deteriorate rapidly.
Yes that is what I want and thought what I did this time. I didn't select any inch sizes only 1400 pixels on the long end and 200dpi. The quality slider is set to 80. The pixels of my original image that I imported into lightroom that I edited and am now trying to export are 5616x3744.
I don't know without looking at your export settings. I just exported an image that was about 4300 pixels on the long side.
I specified that the long edge should be 1400 pixels.
I set the JPEG quality need to 80.
I left the PPI setting at 240 PPI Because it doesn't matter.
I did not check do not enlarge or any other settings.
When I opened the image in Photoshop the dimensions were 1400 x 956 pixels, the size was about 3 x 5" at the designated setting of 240 PPI. That doesn't mean there has to be printed at that setting. That is just what Photoshop calculated for that PPI. If you want to post a screenshot of your export settings I will see if I can pinpoint something.
Ok well I tried exporting again and for whatever reason it worked that time on the pixels, they stayed at 1400 for the long end but the ppi still changed and is at 508 when I selected 200. I don't know how to do a screen shot on my laptop so frustrating! But I can screenshot all day on my phone just not sure how to get that to you.
In your export settings, where you specify the size, did you change the option so that it only asks for the long edge? Or are you entering two values?
Ahhhh! Soo somehow I had selected pixels per cm rather than inch!!! Grrr!! Seems to have fixed the issue! Thank you so much for your help!!
Just entering one value for the long edge:)