Does Cropping Photos Effect Picture Quality - Sunday School

Are your photos coming out pixelated when you print them? Are they looking great when printed but out of focus when uploaded to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram?


Today on Sunday School : Episode 2 we discuss how cropping your photos can effect quality and what to keep an eye out for. We take a unique approach to the process by using construction paper as a physical example of what happens when you crop.

Start with an 8x10 piece of construction paper. Feel it in your hands, its quality. Then cut it to 4x6. Notice theres no change in quality of the paper. Go ahead and frame it now lol. Just kidding!

Now grab a new piece of white paper. Try to take that 4x6 piece of construction paper and cover the entire 8x10 area. There is only one way to do it. You have to pull it apart into smaller pieces. This is what happens when you print at a larger size than a file can print at. It becomes pixelated. This is where cropping can effect quality.

Cropping in and of itself doesn’t change the quality of an image. 

The same happens in reverse when uploading files online. If you upload a larger file to Instagram or Facebook or other, these social media platforms crunch your files down. 

Take that same 8x10 again and try to make it fit into the size of a phone screen. You would have to crinkle it up, wouldn't you?

This is why it's important during editing to export your files resolution consistent to how you plan to use them. Lightroom and Photoshop have "size for web" options available on export. 

We hope this information helps in your printing and social media photography journey.