A Yuuge Backlit Print

I’ve just finished putting together the largest backlit print I’ve ever done, a 26 x 32 inch frame with an image from the Hubble Space Telescope of the Tarantula Nebula.


That’s me standing next to it – just to give you a sense of the size.  Note that this “picture of a picture” doesn’t do it justice.  I had to dim the back light a lot to avoid it being completely over-exposed, and even so it is a bit over-exposed and the rest of the image a bit under-exposed.

What makes this really interesting is that the source image (available from hubblesite.org) is extremely high resolution.  My film prints are done at over 1200 pixels per inch, so this image is more than 30,000 pixels across and approximately 706 million pixels all together.  The stars in this print look like tiny pin holes, and if you look at them with a magnifying glass they STILL look like tiny pin holes!

Here’s a reduced version of the whole image:


And a crop of the tiny area highlighted above (close to 1:1 pixel size):


This was done as a custom order for a new customer and shipped out today.  There are not a lot of Hubble images available in super-high resolution like this, but I’d love to do more of them.

My small backlit prints (8 x 10 inch, for example) are much less expensive, of course, and when you consider the resolution of a typical digital photo it can make a lot of sense to go with the small size.  Almost any conventional photo would print with no loss of resolution at this size – you just might need a magnifying glass to see the details!


About Greg Marshall

I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others.

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