resizing pictures

Posted on 2004-04-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a really really nice photo I shot in china.
Is there any way I can scan it and blow it up to poster size without sacrificing too much detail?
Question by:jennypickard
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 10772205
well .... if you took the picture with a traditional camera then the quality of the poster won't be great as it's limited to the grain size of the film.
on the other side, if you took the picture with a high resolution digital camera (higher than 2MegaPixel) then your poster will look great.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 10772357
you don't want to scan it at actual size and resize using photoshop or any other app.

In your scanner software, set the new dimensions (note that poster size will be a huge file, maybe 100Mb or more depending on the resultion your scan in)

Also, when you open the file in Photoshop or other app, it will be dificult to work in (remember to zoom out)


Expert Comment

ID: 10772522
Rather than scanning the picture in at the highest resolution your scanner supports, then printing the picture off on lots of A4 sheets of paper, I would actually recommend going to your nearest photographer's. Most good photographer's have the facility to blow up pictures (with their shiney expensive equipment!), you can then get the picture printed off at poster size on one sheet of proper paper. The quality will be better, it'll have a more 'proffesional' look and it'll save you time. Although it'll cost a bit of money, but then so would printing off lots of photos on your printer!

If you do decide to scan it yourself, don't forget to sharpen it a little to remove some of the fuzzy/blurey qualities that enlarged photos often have.
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Expert Comment

ID: 10773516
I agree with NILKNARF, look in the yellow pages under "copies" of "Reprographics". Most blueprint reprographic stores will do this and do it right. Just stay away from Kinko's, high dollar and poor technicians.
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 10773937
Never work from a scan of a print if you have the negative or digital file available.  Scanning will introduce artifacts of its own, and if you're blowing it up, they will be evident.  If it was a digital and high compression jpeg was used, you are not going to get good results compared to raw or tiff formats.  If you go with a professional, poster-size blow-ups will cost a lot of money, so be prepared to spend a lot of money, like $100 or more if you have it mounted.

Expert Comment

ID: 10777733

I think I have an answer for your question. Without bogging you down with too many details, what you want to do is save the photo as a vectored graphic as opposed to a raster graphic. Raster graphics (such as .jpg or .gif) while compact, tend to lose detail when resized. However, a vector graphic will not lose detail. The caveat is that vector graphic take up a lot more disk space and can be cumbersome to work with - especially if you convert a photo to vector.

However, assuming you have a decent computer, (and some patience to let the computer crunch numbers as it resizes your graphic) this shouldn't present much of a problem. I tried this technique myself in Fireworks 4 and it worked well with almost no loss of detail.

Hope this helps!


Accepted Solution

Beachdude67 earned 200 total points
ID: 10777750

Oops, I almost forgot to tell you how to do this.

Use your scanning software to save your photo in PNG (portable network graphic) format. Then use photoshop to resize the picture. This should work!


Author Comment

ID: 10781291

I forgot about vector graphics.
I have a gig of ram so should be able to do this. Will get fireworks and have a go.

Expert Comment

ID: 10781525
I'd just like to say cheers to Beachdude67 as well! That's a good idea that I've never tried! :o)

Expert Comment

ID: 10783279
Thanks nilknarf :)

Glad to be of service Jenny!

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