What Settings Should You Use When Exporting Images for Instagram or Print?

There's often some confusion among beginner Lightroom and Photoshop users about how they should be exporting files. In this video, watch how a professional photographer prepares his files for use on the web and in print.

Landscape and commercial photographer, Mark Duffy, decided to make this video because it clears up some questions that he gets quite often. For the novice, Lightroom's — and Photoshop's — export dialog box might seem a little daunting, so Duffy takes us through his own exporting workflow for Instagram and printing. Being an experienced graphic designer, he is also able to share some light on the difference between preparing books, billboard images, and regular images for print. 

As he says in the video, this is just his way of doing things and he just wants to share his workflow in order to help those who are struggling with certain concepts. His advice in regards to getting something printed is well worth noting — talk to the printer. Any printer worth their salt will have absolutely no problem in guiding you through the process. The important thing to do is to listen to them. If they want Adobe RGB in TIFF format, give them that; if they want ProPhoto RGB in JPEG format, give them that, etc. Every print house has their own way of doing things, so sending the wrong file-type could cost you time and/or money.

What do our readers think of Duffy's workflow? Would you do anything different?

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Omid Daghighi's picture

As far as I know you need a lot more than 72 dpi for Iphone and Macs with retina screens. Around 140 dpi. Please let me know if thats wrong.

Walt Polley's picture

DPI matters not unless you are printing on paper

Steffen Christensen's picture

You use 4:5 ratio for vertical shots, but what about for horizontal shots- - what ratio do you use, and what resize to fit do you use for instagram here? Lets say the image is 5184x3456 px and you want a crop for instagram.

Mike O'Leary's picture

1.91:1 aspect ratio, or 1080 x 608 px

Viktor Wågman's picture

the 72 dpi is a myth .. ;)