What Is Image Resolution?The details in your image form the image resolution. It is also determined by the metric PPI or the pixels per inch in a photo. In Adobe Photoshop, you can explore the details and quality of your image by fitting the image to the screen to see its real size and resolution. If you try to zoom in more, you’ll notice that you’re just zooming on pixels and making it blurry. Image resolution also becomes a key factor when preparing images for print. Mind that this is a separate job and we will not be getting into changing image resolution to be suitable for printers as many other factors have to be checked and set up for a quality print. Know that generally, 300 PPI is the standard for the job. To check the resolution in one of your photos, you can right-click on it and see the full info next to the size of the image (Get Info option on a Mac).
What Influences Image Resolution?If you’ve used a DLSR, each camera sensor has a pixel count that does not change, but this detail is different depending on the camera. The second thing is the quality of your lens. Mind that different lenses are also responsible for different effects and quality of the final shot. That’s why some of them are so expensive. Finally, the focus in your original shot will also determine how much detail was captured. Some struggle trying to change image resolution in post-production, but if (for example), your image is mostly out of focus, nothing you do is going to save it if you’re trying to enlarge it or prepare it for a large print.
5 Tips when Working with Image ResolutionChanging image resolution is really about balance – you cannot invent pixels, so changing one parameter takes away from another. You might get frustrated because changing the image resolution changes the size, but that’s because you cannot invent new information to drastically upscale the quality of the image. The key thing to remember: With all this activity, you’re never adding new pixels to the image, so increasing resolution by default decreases the image size. Pixel dimensions never change.
- Tip #1: You will notice a chain icon in Photoshop and Lightroom when you adjust the resolution settings – keep it on the lock to stick to the original ratio of the width and the height in your image. It’s important to keep the original proportions of the image to not skew it as you increase resolution.
- Tip #2: Use soft enlargement options to best deal with the interpolation of pixels.
- Tip #3: Avoid (when possible) sharpening the image more after you change the resolution. You are not adding any new information (pixels) with this technique.
- Tip #4: With black and white images, you can get away by adding some artificial grain after you change the resolution. It’s aesthetically acceptable to have a slightly grainy black and white image, and most viewers won’t notice this kind of ‘extra information’ that you added for artistic purposes.
- Tip #5: If you have an important task like prints for an exhibition, refer to professionals to help you increase the resolution of your images.