Upscaling photos is a common task, and there are a variety of ways to get the job done. Discussions about which method to use, however, typically revolve around how images look on the computer screen at 100% or more.
The helpful tutorial below, from Adorama TV, has a different emphasis; namely, evaluating the results provided by different upscaling techniques in terms of optimum print output. In short, does the method you use translate to visible differences in your prints? Read on.
Mahesh Thapa, AKA “The Starving Photographer” is a professional travel and landscape pro with plenty of experience as an instructor. In this episode he compares several popular methods of enlarging images so you’ll handle this task properly in the future.
For this interesting showdown Thapa ordered 24×36 prints on metallic paper from Printique.com—each upscaled using one of the six methods he describes He compares these prints to one another, as well as to a print made from the original 50-megapixel Raw file.
Thapa describes the sharpening method and other minimal adjustments he made to the image before sending it to print. After optimizing the image he sent seven files to Printique.com—the original file and the six that were upscaled using different methods. The results he received, all mounted on Foamcore, are the basis for this comparison.
The image itself is a beautiful landscape photo made from a helicopter in Iceland, and Thapa is confident that any variation in results is strictly due to the upscaling methods used. That’s because the prints were carefully made in a controlled environment, using the same paper, techniques, and consumables.
So does one upscaling method deliver significantly superior results to others in terms of sharpness, color fidelity and other important parameters? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.