Resizing Options for Your Digital Photographs - dummies

By Robert Correll

Pay attention to the resizing method you choose for your digital photographs. For example, Photoshop has these resizing options that appear on a drop-down menu in the Image Size dialog box (shown):

  • Automatic: Chooses the one Photoshop thinks will work best, based on the type of image you’re resizing and whether you’re enlarging or reducing it.
  • Nearest Neighbor: Preserves hard edges. Pay careful attention when you use this method. Examine the edges at 100 percent magnification to see whether the sharp edges cause jaggedness.
  • Bilinear: A good method in which colors are preserved and the image is smooth. You lose a bit of sharpness, however.
  • Bicubic: Works best for smooth gradients, such as a blue sky that transitions from dark to light; produces results similar to Bilinear, except a bit sharper.
  • Bicubic Smoother: Works best if you’re enlarging an image. When you’re reducing, this method looks almost indistinguishable from plain old Bicubic.
  • Bicubic Sharper: Works best if you’re reducing an image. Distinctly sharper than all other methods, and much better than Nearest Neighbor. It produces sharpness without creating jagged edges. Still, pay attention to whether the level of sharpness suits your needs. If not, resize using Bicubic, and then come back and apply an Unsharp Mask and sharpen the image to the exact degree you want.
Resize images to post on the web; no need for a 24 megapixel image on Facebook.

To display on the web, 800 to 1,000 pixels wide is a good start. That number is large enough to see detail yet doesn’t produce a huge file size. Sites like Flickr accept the original photo sizes with no problem.