Monday, December 10, 2012

What you need to know about printing your Instagram images.

A few weeks ago, 10centdesigner shared a coupon code to print an Instagram book with Blurb, on her instagram feed. The cost of printing the book would be free and all I had to do was pay for shipping. So I jumped on the bandwagon. It took me about 3 to 4 hours in the wee hours of the morning to collate and organise my instagram images that I wanted to have in the book. Once that was done and paid for, all I had to do was wait. And believe me, I was excited about it. The anticipation, of the sound of the metal clanging of the mailboxes, killed me. Checking the mailbox everyday, til it finally arrived. And lo and behold, in all its cardboard packaging glory, inside held the holy grail. Ripped it open, took my first look at the cover and my heart sank.


The cover image. was. pixelated.


I went thru the rest of the book. Noise and grainy images, I'm okay with. Pixelation just ...(sigh). I have no words. Safe to say, not ALL the images were bad, but some. I slot the book back into its cardboard home and there it stayed for weeks until today.

Anyway, here's how the book looks like in not so many images. The book measures 7 x 7 inches and these images below are shot with the iPhone 5.

So the question is, what resolutions are iphone or instagram photos saved as?

I've had my iPhone/instagram pictures printed before, in digital xerox prints. So how could a book making company like Blurb have this issue?

So I googled. And found this. (Noted : We don't naturally know this kind of info until we actually go looking for it.)

Save high-resolution versions of your filtered photos 
High-resolution versions of your Instagram photos are saved to your device after you upload the photo to Instagram. This means that you are the only one with access to high-resolution versions of your photos.
We will always save images in the highest resolution size possible. The maximum resolution on both Android and iOS is 2048x2048, but your device’s resolution capabilities may be lower than that.
On Android devices, image resolution capabilities vary widely by device.
For iOS devices, the resolutions of photos taken with the Instagram camera (not the Camera application) and saved to your device are:

  • 2048x2048 on the iPhone 4s
  • 1936x1936 on the iPhone 4
  • 1536x1536 on the iPhone 3GS
Please note that photos imported from your iOS device (not taken with the Instagram camera) and then uploaded to Instagram will save at a much lower resolution (612x612). Apple has recently updated their API to allow high resolution importing to applications, and while this feature will be available in the future, we have no estimate for its release.
You must turn on your save photo settings to make sure filtered photos save to your phone.

Yup. This kind of information is gold! My photos are mostly shot with the iPhone camera and then uploaded to instagram. I sent 612 x 612 resolution images to be printed! That shit is crazy. If I were still working in a design agency, my boss would've cut my head off.

Well, so now we know. At least, I know. I do not blame Blurb. However, the options for title placements on the cover could be better. (Just sayin').

I would still like to make another photo book with Blurb, but then again Artifact Uprising looks quite good too. So til then, shoot with instagram.

*article from here.

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