Every few years we like to change the pictures around the house. All sorts of artwork gets mixed together, including a few of my photographs.
When it’s time to pick the new shots, I open up the laptop and browse images based on a few general ideas we’ve discussed. One of the recent concepts was to find a companion shot for an Ansel Adams print we already had of the San Francisco Golden Gate before the bridge.
“Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of your shots on the wall with it?” Theresa said. “It’s the ultimate before and after.”
I loved the idea.
So I searched my Photos library for Golden Gate Bridge entries. Since we live in the North Bay, there was no shortage of candidates to choose from.
The funny thing about looking for pictures this way is that you don’t really know the circumstances and cameras involved for any particular result. The images that appeared in search ranged from film to full-frame digital.
I was a little surprised, however, that the leading contender was captured with an iPhone 6S during a scouting trip for a workshop. Theresa asked, “How about that one?” I checked the metadata and was taken aback.
“Is that a problem?” she asked.
“I don’t think so,” I replied with faux-confidence. (After all, 12 MPs, tiny sensor, smartphone lens… what could go wrong?)
The original file measured 3024 x 4032 pixels. If I printed it at 300 dpi, I could make a 10" x 13" print with no cropping at all. That was short of the 13" x 19" output we were hoping for. So I opted for Plan B: sample up.
I know some photographers don’t like this technique of intelligently adding pixels to a picture in order to increase its resolution. But the truth is, software is so good these days that it isn’t really an issue within reasonable boundaries. I only needed a small bump to get the file size I wanted.
So I opened the Golden Gate Bridge file in Photoshop, went to Image > Image Size, checked the box next to Resample with the Bicubic Smoother option, and increased the Fit parameters to 150 percent. The resolution remained at 72 ppi for this step. After clicking OK, Photoshop said that I could now make a 15" x…