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The Cool Trick for Turning Small Photos into Poster-Sized Prints

Generally speaking, shrinking the physical dimensions of a photo does not create a quality problem—you can make an 8x10" into a 4x5" with little visible loss of quality. It's increasing the size of an image where you run into problems (the photo often gets visibly blurry, softer, and even pixelated). However, digital photography guru (and Photoshop User columnist) Jim DiVitale showed me a trick he swears by that lets you increase your digital camera images up to full poster size, with hardly any visible loss of quality to the naked eye, and I tell ya, it'll make a believer out of you.

Step One

Open the digital camera image you want to increase to poster size, even if its resolution is set at 72 ppi.

Step Two

Go under the Image menu, under Resize, and choose Image Size. When the Image Size dialog appears, make sure Resample Image is turned on. Switch the unit of measure pop-up menus in the dialog from Inches to Percent and type in 110 in both the Width and Height fields, which will increase your image by 10%. Believe it or not, when you increase in 10% increments, for some reason it doesn't seem to soften (blur) the image. It's freaky, I know, but to believe it, you just have to try it yourself.

Step Three

To get this image up to poster size, it's going to take quite a few passes with this “increase-by-10%” technique, so make sure you've got a comfy chair before you start. But if you need to make your prints big, and keep as much clarity and definition as possible, it's worth the extra effort.

Look at the final image onscreen and show the rulers by pressing Control-R. The loss of quality is almost negligible, yet the image is almost the size of a standard, full-size poster. I had to increase the size by 10% about 12 times to get it up in size. Thanks to Jimmy D for sharing this amazing, yet deceptively simple technique with us. Jim rocks!

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