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February 18, 2017 3:20 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to get high quality prints of a shot in a film?

This might be a silly question as I might be missing something obvious.

There is a shot in Kiarostami's Close up which I've always liked - I have recently fished out a frame from a charity shop that I think would suit it very well. Beyond taking a screenshot from a high quality video file, how can I get a decent quality print of it to put on my wall?

I get there are places that can make a high quality print from a file for you - I guess I'm wondering if the quality of a standard screenshot would look terrible on a wall?

I live in the UK.

Thank you!
posted by lethologues to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to work in digital print. Unless you've got a significantly higher-quality screenshot than the one you provided us, it's not going to look good. You might be able to play around in Photoshop with filters and such to make it look purposefully blurry and arty like a painting at that size, but that comes down to your artistic skillset; it's not going to remain photorealistic.

The image you provided us is 661 pixels wide by 499 pixels high. At my digital print company, we would typically recommend printing at 150-300 pixels per inch [ppi], which would give you an image between ~2.2 x 1.7 inches at the high end of quality and ~4.4 x 3.3 inches at the lower end, neither of which is even the size you'd expect to see in a picture album.

With the proportions at standard 4:3, let's say you're trying to print it to fit a 24"x18" frame. You would need an image around 3600x2700 pixels on the low end, 7200x5400 pixels on the high end.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 8:03 AM on February 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yeah...you're either going to have to find it in blu-ray or 4K and do a screen grab from there. Also, depending on how your computer handles screen shots (i.e. is the maximum size of the shot the maximum size of the screen (possibly smaller than 4K or 1080p) or the original file size (1080p/4K) you may need to get some other screenshot software (probably free on both mac/pc if you dig around)
Hitting that shot with some photoshop love probably isn't a bad idea either (individual film frames are actually pretty crappy quality (even highest quality major motion pictures)...they just look smoother/clearer because you're seeing 24+ a second. So...contrast...motion unblur...color correcting...then 'sharpen' (sharpen is always last!).
So...long story short, you need a better source, closer to original.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:30 AM on February 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

On the off chance that you can secure a 35mm film print of the movie (or perhaps locate one in a friendly film archive), there is an attachment for a 35mm film camera lens that allows you to clip a strip of film into it so that you can photograph it. You're taking a photo of an individual film frame.

I know because I've used it many times, and got generally good results. (High enough quality to be published in a book.) It's an obscure piece of equipment, but a film archivist would know what you're talking about.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:01 AM on February 18, 2017

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