Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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I have a bunch of photos I want to print at the local costco. Many of them are not the standard 4x6, 5x7 aspect ratio.

When I try to print them from the costco website, it insists on cropping the pictures to fill the paper.

This is not what I want. I want to fill at much of the paper as possible and leave the rest white.

How can I resize the files to create new image files with the proper ratio?

I'm using lightroom, but I'm fine with running some other utility.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

ImageMagick! There's a bunch of recipes in the ImageMagick docs, but in short, something like:

convert input.jpg -background white -gravity center -extent 3000x2000 output.jpg

should do it.

To do a bunch in a loop, either wrap in a simple shell script, or if you don't care about preserving the original file names, just use a wildcard for input (*.jpg, say) and you'll get multiple numbered output files.

Match your height (above, 2000) to the actual height of your images, and the width to the corresponding width for the paper output ratio. If your images vary, you could read that from each image on the fly in your loop. There's very certainly some clever way to construct a clever single ImageMagick command line that does that, but I'd just go for a slightly longer bash script.

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This should be pretty simple in most image editing software. In photoshop you can load the photo and then change the canvas size to be larger than the photo in the proportions costco wants. Make the canvas height the same as the original photo to avoid wasting space above the photo. I believe white is the default background color in photoshop, so you would have white bars on the left and right of your printed photo.

edit: If you want to automate this, you can use photoshop actions, which are basically automated scripts/macros.

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If you want to print them square with white borders, you can also use lightroom print module and print to JPG. http://lagemaat.blogspot.com/2007/04/printing-to-jpg-from-lightroom.html

If you want to fill the frame just use zoom to fill and position your image in the frame, use the same technique and print to JPG.

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