At the end of my Bokeh 101 tutorial, I briefly mentioned the importance of resolution when you’re taking photos. A digital photo is made up of megapixels, or picture elements. The more megapixels in a photo, the more details you will capture. This is important when you want to print your picture. If your image has a large number of megapixels, you can print high-quality enlargements.
I used to take photos at a lower resolution to help save room on my memory card, and I came to regret it when I’d go to print out the pictures. They looked great on the computer screen but horrible on paper.
Here is a handy chart to see the largest high-quality image you can print with the megapixels you have available:
What does this have to do with Bokeh? Well, Bokeh pictures look AMAZING when you print large sizes and frame them. And since part of the beauty of Bokeh photos is the blurry light pockets in the background, you REALLY don’t want those to be blocky (the effect you get when you over-enlarge a photo). So, go into your camera’s settings and make sure you set your camera to take pictures at the highest resolution possible!
The printer I bought my parents is currently on sale, the Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One Printer. They use it to print out the photos of Annie that I post on my blog and flickr. They love it, and the photos look great. I highly recommend it!
To go along with their printer, I gave them glossy photo paper (which I talked about here) and ink. My parents now have photos of Annie and Maddie all over their house – and the best part is, they did it themselves! YAY!
Have any questions about megapixels or printers? Let me know! If you want some display inspiration for your gorgeous Bokeh photos, I have some here and my photo partners HP have some here.
I have a 10mp camera. I am wondering though. I am sure I have read it somewhere but I just can’t remember. What are the advantages of shooting RAW? Currently I shoot Jpeg. Cause I never remember to change it. Why should you shoot raw instead?
RAW is a valuable feature if you are doing a heavy amount of editing. It will prevent you from losing data (JPGs compress files everytime you save them, so you lose tiny bits of info every time). However, if you’re the type of person who just uploads pictures and prints them, do NOT shoot in RAW. Printing sites will not accept them and you’ll have to convert them. Unless you’re a professional or have a lot of time on your hands, I don’t recommend shooting in RAW.
That’s the printer I have. I like it but it sure seems to go through ink really quick. I usually do 4 x 6 prints and mainly use online photo services now. They run a lot of specials and I come out cheaper printing that way.
Linda Campbell says:
How do this Bokeh effect? I love that look, but don’t know how to get it on my camera.
Linda, you can look up Bokeh 101 and it gives the tutorial. But what you want is your aperture wide open. A bigger number. I think mine is 5.8 . It changes your focal point but unless you are shooting Manual mode it will slow down your shutter speed so you might need a tripod.
Actually to have your aperture wide open, you need the SMALLEST number allowed. This is a very confusing concept, I know. Good luck achieving bokeh. It is a beautiful effect!
I always get that backwards. Sorry.
I’ve been enjoying your tutorials, but wanted to chime in on the topic of megapixels. They are not as important as camera manufacturers would have you believe and are generally used as a tool to get consumers to “trade up” their “out of date” models. But the truth is, the majority of cameras on the market today – even the cheap-0 ones – have enough megapixels to create high-quality prints of nearly any size. Unless you’re planning to print billboards, I wouldn’t worry about megapixels. Regardless of what the manufacturer says. Ask any working photographer and they’ll tell you what I’m telling you now.
Just a tip from one photographer to another to not get hoodwinked – choose the camera you like best, not what has the highest number of megapixels, otherwise you could wind up spending far more than you even need you.
This is not a criticism of you, though! I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings. Just wanted to point out this bit of information that I don’t think a lot of consumer camera users know.