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Ian Mitchell

Old timer needs help with enlarging

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Being old and a bit dim, plus not very PC adept I need help enlarging some photos of my families past.

Many of the photos are picture card size and want to enlarge them to A4 size, additionally, some photos have unwanted items, ie power lines, and odd faces, etc, all of which detract from the picture.

Any help will be very much appreciated Ian

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Are we talking about actual prints rather than digital files?

 

If they are prints then:-

 

Exactly what size are they because "picture card" (postcard?) size can mean anything from 5"x3.5" to 8.5"x6.5" (whole-plate). Officially recognised postcard size is roughly 6"x4"?

 

As prints the original size and their actual photographic quality ie. original camera format/resolution/definition/film stock grain will limit the enlargement that is possible. A4 is roughly a x8 enlargement of a 35mm negative which was considered the maximum size an image viewed at  typical reading distance could take. Good for single page use in newspapers and magazines but highly dependent on viewing distance if enlarged beyond that.

 

So it depends very much on the final use intended as to how much a photograph can be enlarged without the picture quality deteriorating to the point it is not usable.


For use on screen, assuming you have a scanner of some sort, scan the print in the usual way and simply see what it looks like when enlarged to the size you want. It is far quicker to do a test like that to see if the result is going to be acceptable.The scanner may even have built in enhancements to ensure picture quality is kept as high as possible. But it can't enhance detail that is not there in the original.

 

Remember too I'm talking about a print taken from an original negative and yet it sounds like you want to enlarge a "picture card" size print ie. copy a smaller print and enlarge it up to A4. That means further unavoidable reduction in picture quality. If you have the original negatives then those are always what you should always use.

 

Colour or b/w?

 

What paper surface are they printed on? Glossy, preferably unglazed is the ideal. Smooth matt finish is OK but anything with texture ie. Silk, Satin or Stipple finish, which were commonly used by mass market photographic printers for decades, is going to reduce the picture quality possible even further.

 

More information, and maybe other things I've haven't even considered, will be required for better tailored advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by IHaveNoName

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On 2/19/2019 at 8:50 AM, Ian Mitchell said:

Many of the photos are picture card size and want to enlarge them to A4 size, additionally, some photos have unwanted items, ie power lines, and odd faces, etc, all of which detract from the picture.

 

ContentAwareFill.dll plugin by null54 can assist with removing composition distractions.

https://forums.getpaint.net/topic/112730-content-aware-fill-2018-10-4/?tab=comments#comment-545143

There is short explanation of the plugin use near the end of the link.

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