How to Upsample Images in Photoshop Elements 11 - dummies

How to Upsample Images in Photoshop Elements 11

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Upsampling an image can severely degrade it in Photoshop Elements 11 (or any software). As a general rule, reducing resolution is okay, but increasing resolution isn’t. If you need a higher-resolution image and you can go back to the original source (such as rescanning the image or reshooting a picture), try (if you can) to create a new file that has the resolution you want instead of resampling in Elements.

If you take a picture with a digital camera and want to add the picture to a web page, the image needs to be sampled at 72 ppi. In most cases, you visit the Image Size dialog box, select the Resample Image check box, add a width or height value, and type 72 in the Resolution text box. What you end up with is an image that looks great on your web page.

Here, you can see an image that was downsampled in Elements from more than 14 inches horizontal width.


If you start with an image that was originally sampled for a web page and you want to print a large poster, you can forget about using Elements or any other image editor. Upsampling low-resolution images often turns them to mush.


You may wonder whether upsampling is useful for any purpose. In some cases, yes, you can upsample with satisfactory results. You can experience better results with higher resolutions of 300 ppi and more if the upsampling size isn’t extraordinary. If all else fails, try applying a filter to a grainy, upsampled image to mask the problem.

Some third-party tools do much better with upsampling images than the built-in sampling tools that Elements provides. For starters, take a look at OnOne Software’s Genuine Fractals. When it’s absolutely necessary to upsample images, you’ll find favorable results using this product.