Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

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viking33
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Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by viking33 »

I don't do much in the way of photo editing or such. In fact, I think this is my first post in the Graphics Forum.
Anyway, I received a few pics of one of my sons, who was just crossing the finish line of his first ever full marathon race.
I have been trying to enlarge them to full 8 x 10 page size but can't seem to get decent clarity or sharpness to them. The originals seem to be nicely focused with good quality but when enlarged, just don't seem clear enough?
I've tried a few progs like Infraview and MS photo viewer etc., but still NG.
I'm pretty sure it's me and that I'm not doing something (s) right or not using the right software or whatever?
Any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated. :scratch:
BOB
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John Gray
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by John Gray »

The general rule is that you can easily remove detail but you can't easily add it. That way lies pixellation, and even clever software will be guessing.

What is the original resolution of the pictures (pixels horizontally and vertically), and what resolution are you trying to print them at?
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Bigaldoc
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by Bigaldoc »

John's correct about the problems inherent in "upsizing" a photo. I guess it does depend on how much increase you're shooting for.

Long ago I tried something (can't remember) that wasn't satisfactory at all, so I gave up.

On the other hand FastStone Photo Resizer is free and I have done some "modest" upsizing with it. I just don't know if you can get quality 8 x 10.

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stuck
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by stuck »

Oh, John and Al are ahead of me but I'll post anyway...

What's the size of the originals? You can find this out with Irfanview, click Image | Information.

If the source file is only a small number of pixels x a small number of pixels then yes, you will be limited as to how big you can print it before the loss of quality due to pixelation shows.

Ken

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stuck
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by stuck »

Another thought, what sort of camera was used to take the picture? One on an (oldish) phone? Or something 'proper' / a modern smartphone type camera?

If the latter, was the actual picture reduced in size in some way to facilitate it being emailed to you? If so ask for a copy of the original file straight off the camera.

Ken

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viking33
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by viking33 »

stuck wrote:Another thought, what sort of camera was used to take the picture? One on an (oldish) phone? Or something 'proper' / a modern smartphone type camera?

If the latter, was the actual picture reduced in size in some way to facilitate it being emailed to you? If so ask for a copy of the original file straight off the camera.

Ken
I would assume it was an up to date camera. This was posted on a "running" news website, so don't know who originally posted it.
This is what Infranview says about it.
Capture.JPG
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HansV
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by HansV »

125 by 187 pixels is *very* small - a picture of that size simply doesn't contain enough detail to be enlarged to a full page, regardless of what software you use.
Perhaps your son can obtain a copy of the original photo, which must have had a much higher resolution...
Regards,
Hans

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Leif
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by Leif »

A quick and easy way to determine the size of an image is to open it with Windows Photo Viewer.

If the image is displayed 'full-size', it will give you a nominal indication of how big the picture will print with acceptable clarity.
x.jpg
The attachment above - in a reduced WPV window - shows the picture full size based on my screen resolution, which is a good indication of the clarity I would expect if I printed it out 1:1. (Note the 'Show actual size' button is greyed out.) The image is 252 x 144 pixels, and is displayed as 252 x 144 pixels on my screen (around 7cm x 4cm).

If I view an image that is larger than the WPV window at my screen resolution:
y.jpg
the image is reduced to fit the window, and the 'Show actual size' button is enabled. Clicking on it:
z.jpg
shows the image at maximum resolution, and indicates the sort of clarity you can achieve.

Of course, all this depends on your screen resolution and screen/pixel size, but works well as a rule of thumb.

If all else fails, there is always The Rasterbator :grin:
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stuck
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by stuck »

viking33 wrote:This is what Infranview says about it.
As ever, Hans got there first...

125x187 pixels is just too small to enlarge, no mater what software you use. There just isn't enough information in that amount of data. Sorry but your only hope is to try and get a copy of the original. :sad:

Ken

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viking33
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by viking33 »

stuck wrote:
viking33 wrote:This is what Infranview says about it.
As ever, Hans got there first...

125x187 pixels is just too small to enlarge, no mater what software you use. There just isn't enough information in that amount of data. Sorry but your only hope is to try and get a copy of the original. :sad:

Ken
Thanks all....will keep searching for a larger image but my hopes aren't too high.
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by BobH »

Some time ago, I posted in the Lounge about the opposite action - reducing an image instead of enlarging it - creating a similar problem of lost clarity. The image I was trying to reduce to avatar size (~100x100 pixels) was 650x450, IIRC. The result was a blurred, very small image.

Is there a way around that problem?
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HansV
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Re: Enlarging pics and retaining clarity or focus

Post by HansV »

Graphics editors such as FastsStone Image Viewer and IrfanView offer multiple options for reducing an image in size, but it usually works best if (a) you keep the aspect ratio (height divided by width) the same, and (b) the new size and the old size differ by an integer factor. For example, starting with a 650 x 450 pixel image, you should get good results with a new size of 130 x 90 (a factor 5 smaller) or 65 x 45 (a factor 10 smaller), but less good with 100 x 69 (a factor 6.5 smaller) or 100 x 100 (aspect ratio not preserved).
Regards,
Hans