Every photograph, in digital form, is made up of pixels.
Pixels are the smallest unit of information that makes up a picture. Usually round or square, they are typically arranged in a 2-dimensional grid.
The number of pixels in an image is called resolution. Resolution is the amount of pixels per length unit. If we are using the term to describe pixel count, we could express resolution as the width by the height, for example a monitor resolution of 1280x1024. This means there are 1280 pixels from one side to the other, and 1024 from top to bottom.
When picture size is expressed in pixels without mentioning the resolution, the actual print size is unknown. To achieve a print size in inches, divide the size in pixels by the desired print resolution. See chart below.
Relating Pixels to a Jar of Skittles
Relate pixels to skittles in a clear glass jar. The jar is full of vibrant colored skittles when filled. When skittles are removed (or eaten:) or the jar size is bigger than the original, clarity and brightness is lost. The skittles aren't tight and full, thus they expand to fill empty space.
Can I Add Skittles/ Pixels?
No. Once an image is compressed, there is not turning back. A low resolution photo, a photo from the web, or a small instagram size image (612x612 pixels) can be restrictive. We always recommend printing your digital images for this reason. Digital files can be destroyed, unable to read or corrupted very easily. Once a photo has been stripped of its pixels, we cannot add them back.
Luckily, when you upload and order prints at Persnickety, our online software will warn you when you have an image that is lower resolution than recommended.
As always, we're here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.