How to upscale an image and use image enhancers with Adobe.

Resizing an image to make it smaller is easy enough, and you know the quality probably won’t suffer as you’re condensing the image. But taking on image upscales without losing quality can be a trickier process.


Luckily, our simple but helpful guide reveals how to upscale an image and use image enhancement, so you can get the best of both worlds.

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woman in blue shirt at work enhancing images with computer at her desk

What does image upscale mean?

Upscaling an image is the process of enlarging it without any loss in image quality. This makes the image presentable in larger formats. For example, TV, film and static images have been upscaled to display on HDTVs and screens for years in a presentable format.


As technology has advanced and image resolutions (and screen sizes) have increased, the software has become smarter, with many image enhancers today utilising AI technology.


Image enhancer AIs and tools.

There are a number of clever ways in which image upscales can be made. Increasingly, software makes use of AI applications to ‘blow up’ digital images. Here are a few typical methods:


  • Nearest-neighbour interpolation – This is one of the simplest methods. Here, every pixel is replaced with the nearest pixel in the output. In upscaling, this means multiple pixels of the same colour, helping to preserve sharp details and colour, but potentially introducing a jagged effect.
  • Bilinear interpolation – This involves the interpolation of pixel colour values, which creates a continuous transition into output, even if there are discrete transitions in the original picture. Useful for continuous-tone images, but reduces contrast.
  • Edge-directed interpolation – This upscaling method specifically aims to preserve edges in images, where other algorithms introduce ‘staircase-effect’ artefacts.
two men look at digital photos on laptop connected to monitor

What determines better photo quality?

When we look for strong upscaled images, we’re also looking to improve picture quality as we’re wanting to view it on a larger canvas, so to speak. Considerations include:


  • Resolution – The ratio of pixels is measured in proportion to the size of the image, either PPI (pixels per inch) or DPI (dots per inch). The higher the PPI/DPI, in general, the better the quality of the image.
  • Dot pitch – This measure is used for image sharpness. Dot pitch is measured in millimetres (mm) and the smaller the number, the sharper the image. This is because images are clearer when the pixels they are made up of are closer together.
  • Compression – An image in the RAW format is generally the highest possible quality version of that picture. But as RAW files take up lots of space, many photographers look to compress the images, making them easy to upload online or save hard drive space. When an image is compressed in a lossy format, such as the most popular method – JPEG files – photo quality may be reduced. When upscaling, it’s best to use RAW files or lossless compression, where image quality is preserved.


Why would I want to enhance image quality?

Enhancing image quality is a great way for a photographer to show off their work and give it the best possible chance to impress. More specific reasons include:


Making it suitable for print.

Whether you’re hoping to show off images in a glossy magazine, or want to print your picture off to display on a wall, you want the highest possible resolution and maximum photo quality.


Showing off ultra-impressive detail.

You may be wanting to impress an existing client, or gain a new one. You may have entered a competition, where only the most spellbinding, up-close-and-personal nature photography can triumph. Sometimes every pixel counts and when that’s the case, an image enhancer can make all the difference.


Refining colour, contrast and more.

Upscaling an image can make it easier to improve the picture at the same time. Tweaking colour, contrast, vibrancy and saturation can all be done more easily with a larger canvas to work on.

Want to learn more about image resolution?

Discover how to measure it, change it and more with our complete guide.

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How to upscale an image in minutes.

It’s easy to enhance picture quality at the touch of a button with Adobe software.


Improve image quality with Photoshop Lightroom.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom now uses AI to quadruple the size of your photos with its Super Resolution feature. To apply Super Resolution:


  1. Open a raw image, TIFF or JPEG in Loupe view.
  2. Select Photo > Enhance in the menu bar (or, Control-click on a Mac/right-click in Windows on the image and click on Enhance.
  3. Select Super Resolution from the Enhance box. Preview the image prior to enhancement with click-and-hold, Or, click-and drag across the preview to view areas of the enhanced version.
  4. To create an enhanced DNG version of your image, click Enhance.


Enhance picture quality with Adobe Creative Cloud Pro.

Photos can also be enhanced in minutes with Adobe Creative Cloud Pro in Photoshop.


  1. Upload the photo you want to improve into Photoshop.
  2. Select Image > Image Size.
  3. Click the chain icon to next to the Width and Height to keep the ratio the same.
  4. In Dimensions, input new values for the Width and Height of your image.
  5. Choose Resample and select a new interpolation method.
  6. If your chosen picture has layers that have styles applied, choose Scale Styles next to the gear tab and scale the effects.
  7. Click OK and your resized image will be resampled to a different resolution.


You can also increase image resolution in Adobe Photoshop in just a few simple steps.

young digital photographer with camera, laptop and monitor

Increase photo quality: FAQs.


What are image upscale programs commonly used for?

Image upscale programs are normally used to raise the quality of older photos or those that have a lower resolution. Image enhancers can be used to create high-quality images for professional use.


They can:


  • Increase resolution
  • Reduce image noise
  • Smooth image details


How do you fix bad picture quality?

You can fix poor image quality using Adobe Photoshop. To make improvements:


  1. Open your picture in Photoshop.
  2. Select Filter and Blur.
  3. Pick Gaussian Blur as your next option, and use the slide to find the right range.
  4. Select OK.
  5. Find the Filter and Sharpen option.
  6. Select Unsharp.
  7. Use the slide until the image is as desired.
  8. Select OK.
  9. When you’re happy, go to File and save your image.


How do I make a PNG bigger without losing quality?

You can also resize PNG files for free using Adobe Creative Cloud Pro in Photoshop. Simply upload your image into Photoshop to get started, then:


  1. 1. Go to Image > Image Size.
  2. Un-select Resample to lock the current Height and Width.
  3. Add new values into Resolution and Photoshop will change Document Size.
  4. Finally, amend Document Size under Height and Width, then click Save.


Discover more about image resolution, editing and photography.