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Enlarging Digital Images for Publication

Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) on May 30, 2010

Keywords: storing, processing, printing, guides, tips, tricks

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Is it possible to take the output from a six-megapixel digital SLR camera and enlarge it until it meets the file-size and quality standards of publishers for digital image submission?

This question is being discussed all over the Internet. A large number of people are using cameras in the six-megapixel range, and would like to sell their images to stock agencies, or submit them to magazines for publication. Most stock agencies require a minimum file size of 50 megabytes to accept a submission. But, a six-megapixel digital camera produces a file that can be converted to an 8-bit TIFF image of only about 17.5 megabytes, well below the “standard.” To find out if it is possible to enlarge (interpolate) images from 17.5 to 50+ megabytes, and still maintain quality, I decided to use a couple of easily available software programs.



As a test image I chose a low-contrast picture of three cute children standing by a dam. This is a handheld shot taken with a Nikon® D100 digital camera in RAW mode, and later converted to an 8-bit TIFF at 17.5 megabytes. I am showing the test image as a 600 pixel wide JPEG with 10% compression, and mild sharpening.

The image I cut out from the non-interpolated test image has no manipulation of any sort. The cut out from the interpolated image, being 50% larger, had to be reduced to show an apples to apples conversion. The red rectangle shows the part of the image I cut out for viewing of the interpolation methods. Here is the test image:

First, I used LizardTech® Genuine Fractals to do the enlargement (interpolation). In Figure 1 below, you will see two 300x350 pixel images. The one on the left is a cut out at 100% from the 8-bit TIFF image. The one on the right is the image after I used Genuine Fractals to enlarge it to 52 megabytes (175% setting at 300dpi), and then converted it to an 8-bit TIFF. Can you see any differences!


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Darrell Young Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell)

Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Knoxville, USA
Team, 5989 posts

1 comment

Alex Ford (Alex Ford) on March 24, 2015

This is an interesting article because it provides a framework for managing images that I didn't previously know how to handle that I run into quite a bit. Thank you. AF/NF