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Questions on Sizing Prints & Photo Resolution

H.MH.M -
edited April 2016 in Photography & Printmaking
I have been having a hard time wrapping my head around what kind of photos to paint from thanks to the low resolution of most of my photos(given I have a crappy
So after watching..and re-watching Mark's video on how to size prints...I have a few doubts which I hope can be clarified.Here goes:

1) In the video Mark multiplies the multiplier number with the old width[in the document size(at 10:35 mins)] and he gets a new width and this basically the width and height of the canvas one needs to paint on?
Assuming those new numbers are not changed(and can they be changed to a number of ones liking..say I have a 18*24 canvas that I want to use.

2)To what extent does the resolution of the photo matter.Now for terms of sitting in front of my computer and photoshopping the crap out of those seems like a pretty big deal.Is it?
A low res photo on its own looks like an abstract..mess,does it matter a lot?
The reason why I am asking this is because there are lot of beautiful compositions on the net..but the photos are of poor resolution.Will this affect the final result of my work?
Now I took the liberty of taking a snapshot from Marks maintaining abstraction video(hope it isn't a problem)..zoomed it to a point where I thought it might be life size..and took a snapshot.The result is a low res jaggy photo...which I think would be the kind of outcome if I were painting in a very loose manner.

So is working from such photos fine..?..If I had a printer at home I wouldn't think twice about such things..but I don't and so I need to size all these photos..go and get them printed and laminated which would take up a lot of my time.So each decision I make must be properly thought about.
Any Suggestions?


  • Hi HM,
    yes , working from a crappy photo will make a difference. There are also issues with copyright.
    there are a number of sites on the internet that offer hi resolution photos copyright free, here are a couple:

    Paint my photo is a social net working site dedicated to providing copyright free hi res images to artists. - offers high quality free images.

    jason Morgan wildlife artist - visit his site and subscribe to his YouTube channel- he sells photos but also has a free photo Friday where he gives access to some of his photos of wildlife.

    hope this helps.

  • HI Boudicca,
    thanks for the sites.Have been checking them out...never seen so many amazing photos covering all kinds of subjects!thanks again
    I was looking at photos of resolution 1366*768 px...and seem to find quite a lot of photos(which happen to be pretty good!) to be of this resolution..or around the same number.
    Good enough?
  • Hi HM, I don't paint from photos myself at this time, but I would think that would be OK- but rather than going with what I think, it would be great if someone else who works from photos could chip in.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited April 2016
    H.M said:
    I was looking at photos of resolution 1366*768 px […] Good enough?
    Pixel dimensions don't mean anything by themselves. For one image, those numbers could be enough; for another, they won't be. Don't look at the numbers, just use your eyes. Open it in Photoshop and zoom in until it's about the size you're going to paint it and just see how it looks. Blurry? No good. Compression artifacts? No good. Big pixels you can see? No good. Most images on the Internet are not going to be even close to big enough for life-size stuff.

    The iPhone from 2007 (yes, NINE years ago) could take photos that were 1600×1200px. Currently, low-end cheap budget point-and-shoot cameras (about $100) can shoot about 5952×3348px if you set them to. What kind of phone do you have?

    The images you're looking at (1366×768px) are probably that size because that's a typical resolution for small laptop monitors and they're probably meant to be used as desktop backgrounds or simply view full-screen without zooming in or enlarging. Either that or you're looking at a "preview" version or something and not the full resolution version.

    And just because you're going to be painting loosely does not mean you don't need an image with detail. If you're painting from a photo, you want an image with detail regardless of the style you're painting in.

    In regards to the image scaling video, that's very old footage. There are some notes about it here you should keep in mind: advanced-photography-guide.html#section6-4
  • Hey David,
    Terribly sorry about the late reply. Been having a few life problems..
    Thanks for all the advice. 
    Regarding your question though.. I have a Moto X 1st generation. And if I'm not wrong.. It's the same one Mark was using in the online course. Do correct me if I'm wrong.
    Again I really wish I could reply sooner. There's just one problem after another in my life now. Anyhow look forward to your reply. And very nice to see you still active on the forum.
    Warm regards,
  • Your phone shoots 10MP, which is not "low resolution". It's 3872px × 2592px I believe. If your photos are not coming out at that resolution, you need to learn how to transfer the images to your computer without downsizing them. A lot of software automatically downsizes and compresses significantly, and most phones will automatically downsize and compress when sending an image as an email or a text message.

    So learn how to transfer the images properly and you'll find you have plenty of resolution.
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