Using Print Dimensions & Resolution
The Print module in Lightroom has a checkbox in it that allows you to resample the image you are working on to set the target PPI for printing. Â If your image does not meet the resolution that you specify in this box (usually 240ppi), the upsampling kicks in and takes care of it for you. Â There are times however when you would like to see just how far of a print size you can get away with without any upsampling. In this instance, I made a two shot pano of NYC with a Sony A7R and wanted to see just how far I could push the file with its natural resolution.
How Do You Do It
Select the image that you want to work with and go into the Print module. Â Inside of the Print module, I tend to turn off all of the guides with the exception of Dimensions. Â Once you’ve done this, the checkbox that you want to look at is the Print Resolution checkbox under the Print Job panel. Â If you leave this checked on and the file is under the target resolution based on the size that you want to print, Lightroom kicks in and starts doing its upsampling for you. Â The part that’s interesting is that it will not tell you in the Dimensions screen that it is upsampling. Â The Dimensions screen will just show you the size of the image that you are working on.
However, If you turn off the Print Resolution checkbox, you will see the size of the image that you are working with, as well as its target resolution in PPI. This shows me that I could theoretically push this file into something a little bit bigger than 34×15 and still be above the 240ppi that I would be aiming for to get a good high quality print.
Where Else Could This Be Helpful? Crops.
Another place I tend to find the Print Resolutions and Dimensions helpful is when I work with crops in an image. Â This was shot with a Fuji XT1 when i was walking around Ybor City. Â While I liked the original picture, I found a lot of the area around the picture a little distracting. Â Cropping the shot would let me really focus on the things I wanted in the image. Â When you crop, however, you know you’re throwing out a good portion of the image- which will limit how big you can print it unless you upsample. Â Me, I’m trying to see just how far I could push it without that happening.
Unchecking the Print Resolution, the file looks like it could be printed at about 16×9 at just about 240PPI. Â So, i’ve lost a big portion of the size, but not really all that much. Â Truthfully – I would opt to make this an even smaller print and increase the resolution just a tad more. Â Does it bother me that the print needs to be smaller? Â Not really – I’ll just get a bigger Matte for it and call it an Artistic Choice. Â Hey – have you seen just how big the Mona Lisa is? Â 🙂
Hope the tip helps!