What are High Resolution Images & Why You Need Them
You've probably heard the term "high resolution" as it applies to TVs, monitors, printers, and digital imaging. But what exactly is a high resolution? And what are high resolution images?
In this guide, we’re going to walk you through what a high-resolution image is, why it’s important, and how you can create them.
What is a High Resolution?
When used in reference to digital photography, the term “high resolution” refers to the dimensions of an image.
An image with high resolution has many pixels and therefore has good detail and clarity. Images with low resolution have few pixels, resulting in images that are blurry or jagged (pixelated).
As technology has advanced, the term “high resolution” has been applied to other types of images, including those on computer monitors, televisions, and cell phones.
What is hi-res?
Hi-res is a term that refers to a high-resolution image. A hi-res image is an image that has been scanned at a large size or with a high DPI (dots per inch). This results in an image that can be enlarged to a large size without losing quality.
The opposite of hi-res would be low-res or lo-res, which is an image that has been scanned at a small size or with a small DPI.
What defines "high" resolution?
High resolution means that there are more pixels within a given unit of length.
For example, a high-resolution image at 300 pixels per inch (PPI) has four times as many pixels in an inch as an image of 150 PPI.
What is a Good High Resolution?
High resolution refers to a screen that is able to display sharp, clear images. Higher resolution means more pixels per inch (PPI), resulting in more image detail.
Resolution is measured in “dots per inch” (dpi) or “pixels per inch” (ppi). For example, a 300 dpi/ppi image is made up of 300 pixels that fit into every square inch of the image. The higher the dpi/ppi value, the more detailed the image will be.
A high resolution image is anything that has at least 300 pixels per inch (ppi). These images can be used for printing because they are high quality. If you plan to print an image, make sure your image is at least 300 ppi.
Example of High Resolution Image
Here's an example of a high resolution image...
As you can see, the image is crisp, clear, and high-quality. You can browse more high resolution pictures for free download on imagefree.com.
Choosing the Correct Resolution for your Image
There are two types of resolution: printing and screen.
Printing resolution refers to the quality of a printed image. The higher the dpi (dots per inch), the better the print quality. This is because there are more pixels for every inch, thus producing a clearer image. The lower the dpi, the lower the print quality.
The common printing resolutions are:
- 200 dpi - minimum requirement for print quality
- 300 dpi - most common resolution for quality prints
- 600 dpi - acceptable for large prints
- 1200 dpi - required for professional printing
Screen resolution refers to how many pixels are displayed on your screen or monitor. The higher the screen resolution, the greater the number of pixels that can be displayed and therefore, more detail can be seen in images and videos on your screen.
When you're viewing images on your computer or on the internet, they usually have a low screen resolution so they will load quickly, but if you want to print them out then they need to be at least 300 dpi.
You can check an image's resolution by hovering over it and looking at the file size in kilobytes (KB). As a general rule, if an image is less than 100 KB then it'll probably be low resolution.
How to Make High Resolution Images?
Here is a short guide on how to make high resolution images.
1. Stock Photography Sites
You don't need to be a professional photographer to take high resolution pictures for your projects. You can simply use stock photography sites like ImageFree.com to download high resolution images for free.
The first thing to look for when selecting photos from stock photography sites is the size or resolution of the image. The higher the pixels (the tiny dots that make up an image), the better quality the photo will be.
This is important to consider if you plan on printing your images in brochures or posters, where a high-quality image is necessary.
2. Online Design Tool
While stock photography sites provide an easy way to get high resolution images, their disadvantage is that you can find the same images used in many other designs on the web.
So if you want to stand out from the crowd, you can use online design tools like Canva, PicMonkey, or Pixlr.
Here's how you can create your own high resolution images in Canva:
- Visit canva.com and choose a template from a selection of popular dimensions (e.g., infographics, marketing ads, presentations) or enter your own custom dimensions.
- Add your text and imagery into the space provided or use any of the pre-built Canva templates.
- Download the image as a PNG or JPG file to ensure that it has a high resolution.
And that’s it! You can now use your downloaded high-resolution image in your projects.
Canva also allows you to download high-res images in the PDF Print format. This ensures the file is high quality for printing.
3. Photoshop or Illustrator
You can also use professional tools like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator if you're looking to get high resolution graphics.
To make a high resolution image in Photoshop, start with the image size. For example, if you want a 4x6" print at 300 ppi, then set the image size to 1200x1800 px. Always check Resample Image, because this tells Photoshop to add or remove pixels as needed to conform to the resolution and print size combination.
Once you have the correct size and resolution, you can work on your image as needed. Use adjustment layers and filters to improve contrast and color balance as well as make global (entire image) or local (just one area) edits as necessary.
Finally, save your file in an appropriate format. For example:
- A print-only photo is best saved as a high quality JPEG file.
- A layered file that needs to be edited later is probably best saved in Photoshop PSD format or another format that supports layers such as TIFF format.
- An image that needs to be used for both web and print should be saved as both a JPEG and PNG file.
Tools like Photoshop have a learning curve so they're only recommended for users that need advanced graphics and visuals.
Tips for Increasing Image Resolution
There are a number of reasons you may be looking to increase image resolution. You might be looking to get crisp prints of your images, or you may be trying to achieve a certain size in print.
Whatever the reason, here are some tips for increasing the resolution of your images:
1. Take the photo again — If you have an inexpensive camera or a smartphone and the photos are blurry or have poor color, the best thing to do is to take them over again. A professional photographer can set up the right lighting, use a tripod and configure the camera settings to get beautiful, colorful photos.
2. Crop the photo — If you already have a photo but it's not large enough to print, crop it with photo editing software on your computer. This will work if there is something in the background that can be removed without changing your vision for the photo.
3. Use interpolation software — Interpolation is an algorithm that fills in pixels based on nearby pixels. A good piece of software will analyze all of the pixels around each one being filled in and choose colors that look natural based on what's around them.
4. Add an effect filter to your image — A filter effect can make a low-resolution image appear as though it has more detail by adding noise and blur effects automatically.
Final Words about High-Res Images
If you don't know the difference between a high resolution image and a low resolution image, you're not alone. This guide must have helped you discriminate between the two.
However, the key point is that resolution refers to the actual size of an image (not necessarily pixel count), which can make all the difference in how it looks once you get it printed.
Finally, you can browse through imagefree.com to get amazing high resolution images for free.
FAQs about high resolution
What is a high resolution image?
A high resolution image is anything that has at least 300 dpi high resolution with large dimensions. If you have an image that is captured using a digital camera, chances are it’s already a high resolution image.
Are JPEG images high resolution?
JPEGs are high resolution. They can be as large as you like, and as small as you like. There is no upper or lower limit to the size of a JPEG image.
But the quality of a JPEG is lossy, meaning you will lose some quality each time you edit and save it. JPEGs are best for photographs with lots of colors and gradients, and for images that don't need to be scaled up dramatically.
How do I know if an image is high resolution?
The easiest way to check the resolution of your image is by opening it in a program like Microsoft Paint, and looking at the size. If it is less than 72 pixels/inch, it is low quality. 300 dpi is considered a high resolution, and it's also suitable for printing.
Does higher megapixels mean better quality?
Yes, higher megapixels means better photo quality, though it’s not the only element to consider. Megapixel serves as a measurement of resolution and pixel density – the number of pixels in a square inch.
This is important because the more pixels you have, the more details you can cram into your picture. The more details you have the sharper your photo. So if you are looking at a 12-megapixel camera vs. a 20- or 40-megapixel camera, the 40-megapixel will have much crisper detail.
How do I convert a JPEG to high resolution?
To convert a JPEG to high resolution, you will need to edit the image in a program like Adobe Photoshop or online tools like Convertio. You can use the tool to increase the resolution of the image and then download it again in JPG format.