Using Photoshop’s Image Resizing Correctly

Cameras are so advanced and offer so powerful resolution that one might ask why would you want to resize photos.  Such an impressive amount of megapixels deserve all the glory of being used at its fool.   True that but only if we are talking about framing those pictures in a 40 x 60 on a big wall.

Why Resizing Photos?

As explained above, the thousands of megapixels your camera has to offer are great for printing those pictures.  But if you are planning on sharing those pictures online, then you should resize them to make them fit.  Most websites will not allow you to upload such heavy pictures and others like Facebook will downsize them for you, affecting its quality and looks.

This process is not recommended since it could even affect colors in a photo.  It is best if you do this resizing yourself in such a way that you are in control of what stays and what goes.

Preparing for Resizing

The first thing you need to do before photoshopping the size of your image is to actually know what is this size.  You can do this by going to Image>Image Size in the Menu bar.

Now, remember that resizing is an art.  Actually, the process before resizing is the one that takes time and dedication.  The following are some simple steps that you can take to properly edit a photo before down-sampling it.

  • Open the image in PhotoShop.
  • Use spot healing and other tools to remove unwanted objects or specks of dust.
  • Play around with some image adjustments such as contrast, curves, and levels.
  • Make one single pass of noise reduction but only if there is noise at 100%.
  • Sharpening it once; somewhere between 50-75%.
  • Downsample the image to the desired resolution.
  • If necessary, you can pass another sharpening here.
  • Export the image.

Resizing your Image

We can now safely go to the resizing process with our photos going through an appropriate sharpening and noise reduction.  Here are the basic steps to properly resizing our image:

  • Open the image you have already touched in Photoshop.
  • After you have edited the final photograph, run one pass of noise reduction.  Photoshop has its own noise reduction tools but you can use other tools such as the Nik Software Dfine which gives you better results.
  • Sharpen the image but only if you are planning on printing it.  It does not really make much sense to sharpen an image to share online.
  • Go to Image>Image Size and you will get the Image Size dialog.  Decide what is the target resolution you want.  For online pictures, I would go with 1024 pixel.  When you change this in width part of the dialog box, notice how the height gets adjusted accordingly.  Check on “Constrain Proportions” at the bottom.
  • A big step will be to resample the image.  You notice that at the bottom of the dialogue box there is a section that reads, “Resample Image”. Check that one and make a choice.  I invite you to test the option and decide which one suits you best.
  • Sharpen up the picture before extracting it.  You may use Photoshop’s “Unsharp Mask” to do that.
  • Extract the image. Don’t just go with the Save action because it will save it as a huge file.  Instead of that,  go to File>Save for Web and Devices.

After all these steps, you should have a beautiful resized image appropriate for Facebook or the gram.

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