Pixel peeping


What is it and why you shouldn’t do it

In the old dark room days, photographers used a magnifying glass to “zoom” into the photo to check for problems. This was done to avoid printing photos that might not look great once enlarged. But let me back up a little first.

A photo is made up of a bunch of little dots. You don’t generally perceive these dots unless you zoom in. For example, here’s a great shot recently selected by clients.

There is nothing wrong with the photo, but you might think there was if you zoomed in.

Depending on a few variables, when you zoom in you’re going to see the dots, or pixels as they’re really called. Let’s zoom in more…

If you zoomed in this much, you’d be forgiven for thinking there might be a problem, but in reality this photo is 100% printable.

Your image is composed of pixels: small multi-colored dots with various intensities. Together pixels make up your photo, but individually they don’t add up to much, which is why you shouldn’t zoom in. In short, you want to avoid zooming in because you might get tricked into thinking there’s a problem with your photo when there isn’t one. If the photo looks good zoom out then you’re good to go. The only really bad image is one that is blurry when zoomed in. The image we’ve been looking for is not blurry–you can tell if you look at the solid lines (indicated with red arrows below)–it’s perfectly in focus.


When we sort your photos we get rid of unusable images like this terrible photo of a dear caught in my headlights…

Just kidding, that’s Patrick one of our main wedding photographers. You’d never see a photo like this because it’s out of focus

But sometimes there’s a blurry line between the fuzziness.


I love this photo! But everyone in it is blurry–what gives? Look at the stuff on the table: not blurry. The people are blurry, and that’s because they’re dancing. We would not get rid of this.

The bottom line is we only send you photos that are usable. So there’s no need to zoom in and get worried if it’s going to look good, it is! We can fix just about anything.