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I know it is normally not practical to use a 72 dpi photo for a print publication. Still, there is a photo that we really want to use as the cover of an annual report. I know it doesn't need to be the most detailed image, I just don't want it to be pixelated, etc. It seems reasonable to think you can enhance a photo, perhaps combining some filter effects and then output an image of greater resolution than the original that would still be big enough for an 8.5x11 cover?

I hope my question makes some kind of sense. Obviously, I'm am a dilettante and usually don't edit photo elements in the design I do for work and just use very hi res images when an image is called for.

Thanks for any help..

closed as unclear what you're asking by DA01, Scott, Hanna, JohnB Sep 22 '15 at 13:21

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    There are no "tricks" or "filters' to make a 72ppi image print well. The only possible method is to reduce the image by a factor of 4 or greater. – Scott Sep 21 '15 at 3:02
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    We can't give you any advice if you don't tell us how big the image is. If it's 800x600 at 72 ppi, then you can forget about it ever looking half-decent in 8.5x11”, but if it's 8,000x6,000 you should be all right. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 21 '15 at 3:15
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    72dpi isn't the issue. It's the pixel dimensions of the image you are working with. Certainly you can modify an image and manipulate it and perhaps come up with something that works for you. But what that is is entirely up to you. There's no real 'help' we can provide without a whole lot more specific information (such as the image you are working with.) – DA01 Sep 21 '15 at 3:50
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Users already comented you: The 72 ppi does not tell anithing. The thing that defines your photo is the real pixel size.

For a cover 8.5x11 idealy you need a file:

8.5x300 = 2550px 11x300 = 3300px (plus something for bleed)

You can have a decent print:

8.5x212 = 1802px 11x212 = 2332px (Plus something else for bleed)*

If your image is low resolution you can try to transform it for example into a digital paint.


*Why 212ppi? this is why: http://otake.com.mx/Foros/Why212ppi.png

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I have faced similar situations before and I suggest the following steps (without trying to emphasize on how good a 300DPI image look):

  1. Use the image inside a photo frame/ canvas hanging on a wall, such that you only occupy about 35% of the bookletcover with it.
  2. Preferably use a Photoshop watercolour effect on the image to give your photo frame/ canvas a realistic look while camouflaging the (possibly) pixelated image
  3. Use a large wall (dark color or white) to hang the painting (in the 8.5x11 image)
  4. Finally, for an intense feel, have a small boy / old lady stand and look at that painting (no face, back towards the reader), though the choice of person would depend on the photograph being used

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