Is there a special trick to downsizing images for sharpness?


TPF Noob!
Apr 28, 2013
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McDonough, GA
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I see lots of pictures that are razor sharp but are fairly small. Any time I shrink an image I just use photoshop (or even paint on rare occasion) and decrease the size by X percent. Is there a better method for keeping or improving sharpness?
I have photoshop (cs5 i think) and Lightroom 5.

And I have seen options to adjust the PPI or DPI when resizing, how will that change things? Like can I increase the pixels per inch and keep the same resolution and shrink it that way?
In Photoshop DPI (dots per inch) is not an option in the Image Size dialog box.
In the Lightroom Export or Print module's Print Job panel, DPI is also not an option.

DPI refers to printers and other output device resolution, and not to digital image resolution.
Printers use from 4 (home printers) to 12 colors to print a single pixel. Professional quality printer heads spray as many a 360 dots of color per pixel.
DPI and PPI Explained ? Andrew Dacey Photography

At the bottom of the Image Size dialog box are however 5 image resizing algorithm options that are available if you resample the image. Be sure you have Bicubic Sharper selected.

A better approach is to sharpen the image using the Sharpen Filter before it is resized.

The Lightroom Print module Print Job panel does not offer a variety of resampling algorithms and only 3 rudimentary sharpening options: low, standard, or high.

As in Photoshop, I recommend using Lightroom's Sharpening Panel rather than relying on resizing an image.

You might want to read the book - Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom (2nd Edition)
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Photographer Jason Herman used to have a video tutorial of resizing using CS5 but a quick look shows a dead link. His method is the one I use and I get great results. If I get time tonight I'll write up a summary.
Image resizing in Photoshop - Bing
Image resizer | Resizing pictures in Photoshop Elements 11

Understanding image size and resolution
Before resizing pictures in Photoshop Elements, it's important to understand the concepts of image size and resolution. Image size (or pixel dimensions) is a measure of the number of pixels along a photo's width and height. For example, your digital camera may take a photo that is 1500 pixels wide and 1000 pixels high. These two measurements indicate the amount of image data in a photo and determine the file size.Resolution is the amount of image data in a given space. It is measured in pixels per inch (ppi). The more pixels per inch, the greater the resolution. Generally, the higher the resolution of your photo, the better the printed quality. Resolution determines the fineness of detail you can see in a photo.

Image resizing in Lightroom - Bing
How to Properly Resize Images in Lightroom

Is Jason Herman still in business?
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I always sharpen last, after I've done all editing and resized to the final size I want to use, be it for various sized prints or for screen/online viewing. Seems to be working out really well for me.
What am I missing? I've printed many different sizes from the same digital files. I guess I just don't understand the essence of the question.

I use an Epson large format printer, and software adjusts the size of the printed image to whatever size paper I tell it I'm using. I've never needed to sharpen for print size and all my prints are tack sharp.
Several image editing and printing experts recommend sharpening in stages:
Capture sharpening (global)
Local or artistic sharpening (using a variety of tools and techniques)
Output sharpening (determined by usage)

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