Just wondering...well, maybe more than that. I shoot events and usually send the director of the show a photo for them to send to the local papers. I sent a photo sized at 4x6 and 100dpi. I received an email that one of the local papers couldn't use the photo because the resolution was less than 200dpi. The editor stated that the photo needed to be at least 200dpi and had a preference for 300dpi.
I did as requested, except I upped the size to a 5x7.
That seems like overkill to me. I've had shots printed in various newspapers, but this is the first time I've come across this. Granted, it could be that this editor (its almost a one-man newspaper) doesn't have the software to resize it to his needs.
I've had similar photos, sent at the same resolution in two different papers, his and a larger regional paper. The larger paper's photo was clear and his was pixelated.
I did a search here at PopPhoto and it seems the consensus is that I should contact the editor for photo requirements. This isn't really possible in my case, since I work with several different directors all over the area...so many newspapers are involved.
If you were in my shoes, what size photo (size and dpi) would you send to a newspaper?
The newspaper probably uses a traditional press method of printing whch doesn't relate to ppi but rather lpi (lines per inch). There isn't a 1:1 ratio between the two. If they want a minimum resolution of 200 ppi then they're probably using a screening of 100 and are asking for a x2 multiple. The multiple they ask for will depend on the resolution of the imagesetter (or platesetter) they're using. If they're working with a x2 multiple and the screen resolution is 100lpi then the resolution of the imagesetter is 1600dpi. CMYK postscript RIPs use a 16x16 dot matrix to create a halftone dot. Divide the resolution of the imagesetter by 16 and you get the line screen resolution (1600/16=100). I'm obviously guessing a bit since I don't know the newspaper or their requirements. It could also be a x1.41 half toning factor since 1.41 is the square root of 2.
As far as what size to send to the paper, you really do have to work with the individual paper, whether you want to or not, whether it will be convenient or not. I've worked with papers that wanted images varying from 150ppi to 300ppi. I even had one that wanted a 720ppi resolution and I had to rez up the file by about double to give it to them.
Problem I have is that I have no idea what paper will be sent an image for printing. In some cases, several papers are sent the same image.
I guess I'll send the image as if I (or the lab I use) were going to print it and let the paper take it from there.
Ah, so if you're not sending the images directly to the paper or not communicating directly with the paper I can see where that's a problem.
Bob gave a good explanation of the screen printing process, and why you need enough DPI to make a decent LPI newspaper photo.
There's a simple solution to not knowing what certain papers will want -- just send them 300DPI images. It's easy enough for them to downsize the resolution if they need to without losing quality, but they can't *upsize* without pixellation. So just send them 4x6 at 300 DPI and you won't have to worry.
All the photos I send to our two local papers (a lot, for Community Theatre events, Little League, Chamber of Commerce events, etc.) are all 300 DPI and usually at least 8 inches on the long side -- and I let them resize them to their own needs. Last year after the July 4th fireworks show, they printed one of my shots of the event 12" wide on the front page...that one was a little larger
Things have come a long way since the mid '80s when I was working in prepress and separating color on a big 'ol horizonal camera. Shot halftones and PMT's on it too. **bleep** I'm gettin' old!
I have done ads for businesses and whenever i submit my final files to the newspaper i always make sure that the image is at least 300 dpi and i have yet to recieve complaints.