Permanently Enlarge Photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by extanker59, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. extanker59 macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2009
    I have iPhoto 6 running on OS 10.4.11
    My sister in law emailed me some old photos. But they are pretty small images. When I upload them to facebook they are too small. I can enlarge them in the iphoto edit view but they won't stay enlarged. I'm sure this is basic stuff but if somebody can help show me the way, I'd appreciate it.
  2. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    When you "enlarge" them in iPhoto, which control are you using to do it - it sounds to me as if you are just zooming into the picture instead of enlarging the image.
  3. extanker59 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2009
    Yes! Exactly. I did a search in the help section for "enlarge" and it didn't help. I'm clearly missing something. How do you enlarge an image?
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    The term enlarged has a well-defined meaning when photographs are printed. However, its meaning is ambiguous for digital images. When image size is important, it is usually specified by as a pixel-count such as 1250x2000. I take it that your sister emailed digital images with low-pixel counts. If this is the case, then there is little productive that you can do. You may increase the pixel-count of an image, but you can't add information to it. AFAIK, there are three techniques for increasing the pixel-count:
    • Simple multiplication. May create pixelation.
    • Multiplication with blurring. Creates a large blurred version of low-pixel image.
    • Fractal enlargement. Increases pseudo-detail to pixel map.
    I assume that your sister sent scanned images of old photographs. If this is the case, then she can rescan them--presumably at a higher pixel-count. She should scan and save her photographs at her scanner's highest resolution.

    People make the mistake of believing that file size is important to their scanned images. It is not. When you scan photograph of great-grandfather Moshe or Grand Aunt Clarice, you should ensure that you capture all of the detail that the photograph has to offer. Photographs fade with time. Properly scanned images can actually retrieve detail thought lost to fading. Properly archived, scanned images will last forever.
  5. extanker59 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2009
    Rats. So iPhoto doesn't let you enlarge the viewed image permanently? Quality (pixel count) isn't much of an issue since they will be posted on Facebook and even my high quality scanned pics are not great to begin with when posted there.
  6. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    Just a thought. Since you don't care about the quality, maybe you could try a free photo editing program such as GIMP. I've never used it but I assume it would do something as basic as enlarging a photo. Just be aware that the photos will become pixelated when you enlarge them. Maybe 10% or 20% wouldn't be too noticeable.
  7. extanker59 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2009
  8. AlaskaMoose, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    The problem is not with iPhoto, but with the image size your sister e-mailed you. See...nobody wants to e-mail very large images to others for the following reasons:

    Not everyone has a high speed modem, so you have to choose images sizes for either E-mailing and posting on the Net, or just saving to a DVD and mailing this DVD via snail mail. If both you and your sister have very fast modems, then ask her to choose large-image sizes to e-mail to you. She could very well export the images full size to the desktop, burn a DVD with the images, and mail it to you, too.

    The image size imported to iPhoto is as large or small as you have saved them when you process them with the photo-editing application. I would use any of the following application to process the images once downloaded from the camera: PS Elements, or CS3 through CS5, or LightRoom, or Graphic Converter (a $35.00 application), or GIMP or Picasa (free applications). Process the images and save then to the desktop (or a folder on the desktop) in TIFF, or PSD, or DNG, or even full-size JPEG format (the later is not the best, but it's not bad, and the first is my favorite). Then import them into iPhoto as usual.

    Now, to create images for posting on the net to show perhaps around 8" x 6" (give and take two or three inches) on your monitor, such as the ones you want to look at but not good for printing because of the lower quality, then size the images to perhaps 800 pixels on the long side x the default size on the short side (this default size is automatic). Just choose one size, end the application will choose the correct size of the other side. Now save the photo as follows: choose "save for web" or "for web devices," or "E-Mail," or whichever web or internet SAVE AS option available in the application you are using. These images look very nice on a computer screen, but is not the best one for printing, nor for viewing on your large TV screen, and do not take very long to E-mail across to any location or computer. But e-mail a very large photo to a friend or relative who does not have fast broadband, and you won't be liked very much.

    I created this photo for posting on the Internet, or for e-mailing to friends and family. It looks large enough on a 21" (or so) computer screen, but it's not very good for printing nor stealing :)

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