This could be due to a low resolution setting on your camera.
Most professional photo printers print between 150 and 300 pixels per inch or "ppi" to achieve photographic quality. If you wanted to enlarge a photo from your digital camera to an 8x10 print, you would have to take the photo at a minimum resolution of 150ppi or 1200 x 1500 pixels (8x150 + 10x150). The table below will give you an idea of the relationship between prints and resolution.
When it comes to printing your photos, it is adviseable to have your camera always set to the highest resolution for the most flexibility. One drawback to this is that the larger resolution means larger file sizes for your photos, decreasing the amount of photos you can keep on your camera at any one time.
You may also notice from the table above that the amount of megapixels your camera has limits the maximum quality and size you can ulimately achieve.
My photos look fine on my computer screen!
Don't be decieved by how your photos appear on your computer monitor, your monitor displays photos at 72 ppi, whereas photos are printed at more than twice that resolution.
We are here to help. Not only does our online software "warn" you that you have uploaded an image at a low resolution, our Persnickety Lab Techs inspect your prints before and after production.
We will stop the printing process, pick up the phone and call you--- if you don't want to hear from us... double check your resolution!
Learn more about Resolution from our previous articles...
resources: Lifepics Photo Tips