I have about 200 photos which I have to make into a single big collage (48" X 72"). The height might vary, the width is fixed. I shoot raw and have the individual photos in Lightroom. I will incorporate JPEGs from another person. I plan to create 6 collages (24 X 24) in Picasa and then stitch them together using image magic.

When should I sharpen the photos for Output. Should I sharpen the individual photos for output and then make the collage, or should I apply output sharpening to the final collage image? The printer actually prints in 24" roll paper (will be printed at OfficeDepot) I will get two 24" X 72" prints which I we will then mount on the frame.

Thank you


Ideally you should sharpen each image individually.

  • Different images may need diffent amount of sharpening.

  • If you sharpen after putting the images together, you will also sharpen the boundaries between the images. This will make the boundaries stand out more than they would otherwise, and may also cause artifacts around the boundaries.

  • I have read about Sharpening for the viewing distance. Does that matter here? Each photo is going to be only 4"X3" but the collage will be big. I did not think about the boundaries. Thanks.
    – pslk
    Dec 23 '13 at 20:50
  • @pslk: Yes, for the final sharpening it's always the printing resolution that should determine the sharpening radius.
    – Guffa
    Dec 24 '13 at 11:08

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