Monday, April 22nd, 2013

iPhoto won’t enlarge images

Learn how to enlarge images from iPhoto – because it won’t do it for you!

If you try to export an image from iPhoto on the Mac you’ll be invited to resize it on export. Funny thing is that even if you ask for the size to be larger than the original iPhoto won’t warn you it is about to ignore your request – seriously! It happily takes the size you ask for and, if it is bigger than the original, it exports the image at the original size but doesn’t tell you it did so. So you can think you’ve been successful but you have not.

In short, you can’t enlarge or upsize an image from iPhoto. So here’s a simple solution – I use So, start from inside iPhoto, select an image and then select File > Export.

Then select to export the image as a JPEG maximum quality and leave the size set to Full Size – ie the original image size.

Then export the image to your desktop or somewhere else it will be easy to find.

Launch a browser and head to

Click Choose File and choose a file to upload and use the tabbed panels to choose the quality and image size. When you click to Preview Image the image is uploaded and resized. You can then click to download it and it will download automatically to your download folder.

I like the efficiency of PIXizer – it would be nice if iPhoto actually enlarged images but since it won’t – I now have a free and quick and easy solution when I need a quick image enlargement.

Helen Bradley

Helen Bradley

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Blow it Up with Alien Skin Blow Up 3

I’ve never used an upsizing or enlarging program before. Instead, when I need to enlarge an image, I perform the age old trick of increasing an image’s size by 110 percent multiple times in Photoshop to enlarge it. It seems to do a reasonable job of the enlarging process.

However, recently I was offered Alien Skin’s Blow Up 3 to test – since the folks at Alien Skin make some really cool applications I thought I’d give Blow Up 3 a try. I actually had an image that needed of blowing up for a magazine article. The image I had was a totally cool image but from a very old camera phone so it was a tiny 479 x 640 pixels in size. Not only was it very small but it had some very obvious jpg artifacts so when I enlarged it 300 percent it showed not only those artifacts at an enlarged size (the result was horrible) but the image also showed some distinct pixelization.

This was a perfect image to try out with Blow Up 3 – if I succeeded with the task the image would be acceptable quality for the magazine, if not, I needed to find something else.

Alien Skin Blow Up 3 with Lightroom

I had already installed Alien Skin Blow Up 3 for Lightroom, so running it is as simple as right clicking the image in Lightroom and choosing and choose Edit In > Blow Up 3. You get a choice of opening the image from Lightroom either as a copy with Lightroom adjustments, you can edit a copy or edit the original. You just select the option to use and click Edit and it opens automatically in Blow Up 3.

Blow Up 3 really couldn’t be easier to use. In fact I was a little confused at first because I kept looking for more options where there really weren’t any. I selected the Before/After option at the foot of the main screen so I could see the before version on the left and the after version on the right. I wanted to see as I worked just how effective the program would be. I then selected the Crop & Resize option and set it to Percent. I selected 300 percent for width and height and a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.

With the Before/After view on the screen, it was clear that the result would be a significant improvement for this image. The settings you can choose from include grain and sharpening. I checked out the grain slider. For this image, if I didn’t add grain, the jpg artifacts were still very apparent and they really detracted from the image because they were so visible. I opted to add a lot of grain to the image so I set the value to around 30 to soften and blend the artifacts.

I also checked out the Sharpen Edges setting to see how that would affect the image. For this image, I really didn’t want a lot of sharpening so I opted to set it to 40. This gave me some sharpening around the edges such as in her eyes but not really obvious haloing which the higher values produce.

Then, it is as simple as clicking Ok to blow up the image and be taken back to Lightroom where the blownup version appears in the same folder as the original so I found it alongside the original in the filmstrip.

From its original size the image is now nearly 1500 x 1900 pixels in size well suited to being used in a magazine and way more pleasing to look at than it was originally – sans artifacts. If you need to enlarge images significantly this application has the goods.

Helen Bradley

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Cool Photo Apps #5 Making photos bigger

Not all good applications come in big shinny boxes like Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Many cool photo apps are available on the web and they’re free.

These apps do things that other programs don’t. They are fun to use and practical. In this Cool Photo Apps series I’ll show you some of these.

Occasionally, you might want to resize an image by increasing its size – for example, when you need to make a cell phone photo large enough to print letter size!

While photos generally downsize well, upsizing them can be fraught with difficulties because you’re trying to create content that doesn’t exist.

One tool which does a good job is You can use the program online or download an offline version to install on your computer.

Here’s how to use the online program:

Step 1
Click the Start Here button in the 4Online Image Resizer box.

Step 2
Click Browse to select the photo to upload from your computer. Click Open and then click Submit.

Step 3
Once the image appears on the sites elect the size to upsize the image to and you can also select to Smooth, Sharpen, Crop or Stretch the image although some of these require you to register on the site and high resolution resizing can be purchased for a small fee.

Step 4
When the process if complete you will see the resized image on the screen. Right click and select Save Picture As to save the image to disk.

Helen Bradley