Step 2: Increase Image Size With Image Size

■ Choose Image >- Image Size to get the Image

Size dialog box shown in Figure 43.3. To increase the image size 300%, make sure there is a check mark next to Constrain Proportions and type 22.5 in the Width box with inches set as the increment.

Many digital photographers routinely increase image sizes by using the Image Size command but they increase the image size in steps believing that multiple steps will result in a better image. To decide if you want to use this time-consuming tip, open the compare300percent.psd file in the /43 folder. Looking at the Layers palette, you find three layers. The top layer is an image that was enlarged 300% with Genuine Fractals 2.0. The middle layer is an image that was increased 300% by using the Photoshop 7 Image Size command in six small steps, instead of all at once such as the image shown in the bottom layer. Click the eye icon in each layer to switch between layers to compare the effects of the three different image-sizing approaches.

After comparing these three layers, for this image, I've concluded that Genuine Fractals 2.0 did not produce good results. The difference between the six-step and all at once approaches is very minimal. If there is a difference, I believe that the six-step approach created a noticeable increase in digital noise in the soft blurred areas, which may or may not become more noticeable after the image has been sharpened. Again, I stress these ideas hold true for this image — not necessarily all other images.

Another not so widely practiced tip, but one that some image editors use often is to up-sample an image larger than it needs to be. Then, they sharpen the image and down-sample the image to the desired size to get results that they think are better. I have not enjoyed beneficial results with this approach on the images that I've tried it on — but it may work for you and your images, so try it if you have the time.

■ Click OK to increase image size by 300%.

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