Engraving photos – What constitutes a good photo for engraving?

Mar 7, 2018 | Engraving Services | 0 comments

Laser Engraving Photos

Laser Engraving Photos

While engraving photos is becoming popular among our customers in Uganda, we still have the challenge of getting good photos. For instance, most people these days snap photos with phone cameras and bring them for engraving. However, phones do not produce high-resolution photos and are very difficult to work with. One important thing to note with engraving photos is that the original photo must be of high quality. Garbage in, garbage out is an expression used in the computer language to mean that poor-quality input leads to poor output. Likewise, if the original photo you want to engrave isn’t good, it’s less likely that you will get a quality engraved photo. Because we want to offer quality photo engraving services to our clients, we have thought it important to educate you on what constitutes a good photo for engraving. This will enable you and us to produce a high quality engraved photo that will appeal to everyone.

When Engraving Photos, What Makes a Good Photo for Etching?

What you should keep in your mind is that not EVERY PHOTO is going to engrave well. This is a key element that makes engraving photos difficult. So, as you bring your photo for engraving, it’s important to know what makes a photo ideal for engraving. This is when we shall be able to produce for you a quality engraved photo. Therefore, consider the following important points.

Engraving Photos

Photograph 1: Good Photo for Engraving

#1 – Shading

The original photograph must contain a wide depth of shading that range from light to dark. This means that you should have a variety of colours from light to dark within your photo. Photographs containing large areas of a single colour don’t engrave well. This is why you should not bring pictures with expansive backgrounds containing only one colour.

engraving photos background removed

Photo Background Removed

Photograph 1 is a good photo for engraving because it has a variety of colours from light to dark. It doesn’t have large blocks of a single colour. Secondly, it contains a good amount of detail. It shows more contrast between the subjects and the background. When we engrave it, the results will turn out to be good. And if we edit it a bit to remove the background as you see in Photograph 2, the results will be superb. Photograph 3, though it looks visually appealing when printed, it isn’t good at all for engraving. First, it doesn’t contain a good amount of detail. Secondly, it doesn’t shade well from light to dark. Thirdly, it has an abundance of large blocks of single colours in the background. When we engrave it, we cannot achieve the results we are looking for.

Bad Photo

Photograph 3: Bad Photo for Engraving

#2 – Close-up Subjects

While engraving photos, the composition of the photo matters a lot. The quality of the engraved photo also depends on its composition. If the subjects of the original photo are close like it is in Photograph 2, the results turn out to be good. But if the subjects are distant, as in Photograph 3, the photograph loses detail when we etch it on wood.

#3 – Resolution of the Photo

When engraving photos, we want the original photo to have a high resolution. This enables us to work with the photo conveniently as we edit it and reduce the file size as we want. However, most people bring photos with a very low resolution. These are photos they take with phone cameras or get from the internet. Photographs are taken using a phone camera usually have a very low resolution and are hard to work with. Secondly, most internet images have a low resolution not exceeding 72dpi in most cases. Phone camera photos and internet images may look good but when you engrave them, they become pixellated, whereby the pixels are large enough to be individually visible from a normal viewing distance.

What are the Best Image Sources for Engraving?

There are three basic sources for images. They include a hardcopy image, an online image and a digital camera image. We can achieve the best results with photos that have a high resolution as already said. So, it’s good for you either to come with a hardcopy and we scan it in the required resolution or a digital camera image. Photographs taken with digital cameras with over 2.0 megapixels produce great high-resolution images that engrave so well.


Engraving photos is not as easy as printing them. While some photos may look visually good when printed, they don’t come out well when you engrave them. For the photo to engrave nicely, it must possess the three elements mentioned above.

Contact Us

Equatorial Shopping Mall, Suite 607

Plot 37/39, William Street, Kampala

Call: +256 – 703 – 779 889

WhatsApp: +256 – 772 – 327373

Email: info@golaserengraving.com

Goleza Shop

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