Ok I am thinking that many of you have ran into this problem at one time or another. You took a great photo and want to get it printed. So you send your print off to whoever you use to print your photos and it comes out not all that great. Believe it or not it is an easy fix with Photoshop or Gimp.
The reason this happens (scary photography terminology coming up) is because your dpi isnt high enough. Now before you get all freaked out and stop reading DPI is just an abbreviation for Dots Per Inch. Basically this is just telling you how many times your printer is going to print something in an inch. The more dpi when printing the better. For standard viewing and the internet 72 dpi is more than enough really. It is about what all of my images are online. When printing however 72dpi will look horrible and pixelated. So in order to fix that all you need to do is up your dpi.
This is a really easy fix using Photoshop or Gimp. Gimp is just like photoshop(It is too and just because your used to photoshop doesnt mean I am wrong)and has most of the features that photoshop does. Gimp is free and you can find it at www.gimp.org
I will run you through a quicky how to with Gimp as that is what I use. First thing you want to do is pull up the image you want to resize. Once you have your image open you need to go to the Image menu on the picture page. Once you are there go to scale image. Here you will see four boxes. Two for pixels (size) and two for resolution (dpi) we want to change the resolution to change the dpi. Go ahead and change your resolution to 300 in each box. This will also more than likely change the size in the pixels boxes as well. Dont worry about that its going to be ok.
Go to the pixel boxes now. Change the box that says pixels to inches. Now take and put in the image size you want 8x10 5x7 4x6 whatever size you want. If it didnt change your image size than dont worry about it. Then when you are done scaling the image do save a copy. That way you keep the original photo file. I never never never save over my original files. Once you have saved the image you can send it off to your favorite printer. Many of them offer online photo upload with one hour pick up.
Hopefully I have answered some questions here and offered a not so scary view into the scary world of photography. I know many people especially on Etsy think that photography is this big bad evil thing but in all honesty it really isnt as hard as people make it out to be. Check out some of my previous blog entries for other tips and tricks. Also subscribe to my blog so you know when I update it (about once a week).