If photos represent precious memories, why downsize them all the time? Why not make them as big as life for a change? Instead of shrinking and binding your best moments to a small frame, surround yourself with your most cherished images and create a life-size poster with the help of these easy tips.
Step 1. Taking the photo.
The camera you use should be able to produce high-resolution images. These days, most cameras can do it, but you have to select the right settings or you will end up with small and unusable JPEG files. If you are not sure how to change output file, read your camera’s manual before shooting.
In addition, your photo should be correctly exposed and sharp. If you are using an older shot, choose one that meets these needs.
If you are taking the photo just for the poster, create adequate lighting conditions and use a stable surface or a tripod to support your camera to avoid camera shake. Keep the ISO speed low to minimize noise — use the camera’s native ISO if possible.
Step 2. Editing the image.
Photos straight from the camera rarely turn out perfect, so some basic editing may be necessary to fix any problems. If you want the photo to look as close to the original as possible, just adjust contrast, brightness, saturation, and crop slightly to get rid of clutter and distracting elements. You may also want to apply very light sharpening to the image.
Step 3. Printing at home.
To make the poster at home, you have to split your original photo into multiple pages and then print them all. You can do this with most image editors, but you will have to crop manually, either using the marquee tool or the slice tool and print each section separately.
To make things easier, there are also applications like ProPoster, The Rasterbator, Block Posters and Posterazor that can help you achieve the result you want. Test your print settings to ensure the printed image is crisp and the colors are accurate.
Step 4. Assembling the poster.
After you are finished printing, you will need to assemble the poster. Trim the blank borders from the sheets of paper and tape them all together. If you need support, you can mount all the parts onto foam board — they are pretty cheap and available from most office suppliers.
Step 5. Commercial printing.
If the previous steps seem like a lot of hard work, you can let a commercial printing service handle everything for you. Note that some printing labs may apply sharpening and other adjustments to your file without specifying it, so ask them in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Also, contact them to learn their color profiles and resolution requirements.
Add a large personal touch.
It doesn’t matter if you choose the do-it-yourself approach or if you prefer to have it printed professionally: A life-size poster will add a large personal touch to your walls.
Sample image by tracie76stock.