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How To Enlarge Old Photo For Printing

If you want to digitally preserve old photos for future generations or display antique snapshots on your walls, enlarging the photo is a must.

However, this process can be a huge time sap, especially if you don’t know what to do or where to start.

The good news is that you’re not the first person to attempt this, and there are many tried-and-tested ways to blow up a photo for display or restoration.

Read on for a quick and easy guide on how to enlarge a photo to print.

Why Enlarge An Old Photo?

Photo paper deteriorates over time, with many vintage photos eventually fading away into blank paper. To prevent these memories from being lost forever, many people preserve their old photographs by scanning them into digital files. These photos can also be great gift ideas for special occasions like anniversaries.

Most old photographs are printed on 4×6 paper, the perfect image size and aspect ratio for photo albums. However, this might pose a problem if you’re looking to digitally preserve them – enlarging these small images without sacrificing detail can be tough.

This is especially problematic if you plan to print these photos to display. If you don’t enlarge an image properly when printing larger than the original size, you’ll end up with severely pixelated photos.

How To Enlarge Old Photos

There is a way for you to preserve your photos digitally and enlarge their pixel dimensions to make a big print – even with a smaller image size. You have two options to enlarge old family photos:

Option 1: Enlarging Photos With A Scanner

If you have a scanner at home, then it’s possible to enlarge old photos and retain enough quality to make a large print out of a small image size. However, there are several things you need to pay attention to when you enlarge a photograph.

The first is to ensure your photograph is clean & free of dust or grime.

As a rule of thumb, the lower an image’s native resolution, the harder it is to make a high-quality print. To ensure the best result, you should use a 600 DPI (dots per inch) scan

Using a smaller image resolution or DPI will cause your enlarged image to lose its detail. Conversely, a larger image resolution results in better quality on larger prints. 

Moreover, remember to always scan in color, even if the original photo is black & white. Color scans can create sharper images and preserve its color perfectly in prints.

Option 2: Enlarging Photos With Your Camera

If you don’t have scanning equipment, it might be more challenging to enlarge photos. Still, you can preserve and digitize your old photographs by taking a photo of the image using your phone’s camera or a digital camera.

Be sure to keep your camera steady and make sure the focus is locked on the photo. And if your camera allows you to do so, pick the best resolution settings for the best raw images.

Tips To Get The Best Quality When Enlarging Old Photos

If you don’t do it right, enlarged photos can end up losing their original quality. To make sure you’re preserving valued family memories properly without losing quality when you enlarge photos, you can follow these top photo tips.

Use Good Lighting

The photos you’re planning to enlarge may not have been taken under the best lighting conditions. To compensate for that and get the highest image quality for print, you need to take a picture of your old photo in good lighting. Be sure to use natural lighting without direct sunlight to avoid unwanted shadows.

Straighten And Crop Your Photo Properly

If you’re planning to print these photos later, be sure to make them look as good as possible. 

If the initial enlarged photo is askew, use photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or other programs to adjust the size and rotate the image to straighten it out before printing. 

The same goes for any background objects in the shot, like walls or desks. Crop them out before you make a photo print from the enlarged digital image.

Why You Should Get A Professional Photo Enlargement

Many things can go wrong when enlarging images for printing. You may end up with pixelated photos or missing important details on the print. At Image Restoration Center, our team of Photoshop experts can help enlarge your old pictures!

It’s perfectly possible to enlarge old photographs or film negatives yourself, but it may be tough to get the best results. If you want to enlarge your photos for printing and preserve the memory for future generations, Image Restoration Center is your best choice.