1 2 Previous Next 44 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2015 4:59 PM by Per Berntsen

    Resizing photo results in terrible quality?

    tarap50674139

      I hope this isn't a really, really dumb question but.... is there any reason exporting a resized image should result in the photo itself displaying as poor quality? Hope it's okay I post a link.... when I allow ProPhoto to resize my photo down to 960px it looks perfect. When I export and choose to resize the long edge to 960px it looks soft.... Are my eyes deceiving me or something?? Here's the example: Test post » Tara Polly Photography

        • 1. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Never seen this myself, are you sure one didn’t have Sharpening applied in the Export settings while the other didn’t?

          What do you mean by: when I allow ProPhoto to resize my photo down?

          • 2. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
            tarap50674139 Level 1

            No sharpening stuff applied to either export. Sorry, I just meant that I tell my blog display that larger, full-sized image down at 960px. The top photo is originally a 4256 x 2832 image and I tell my site to display it at 960px wide. How can my website resize photos better than LR5? So, so weird. Resizing everything out in LR is my dream, though. My site's server is going to freak out with all of these unnecessarily giant files.

            • 3. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
              dj_paige Level 9

              Define what you see in the Lightroom exports that is to you "poor quality". Tell me exactly what you see that is "terrible".

               

              I see color differences between the ProPhoto and Lightroom versions. I do not see "soft". I do not see "terrible".

               

              And also, can you show us a screen capture of your Lightroom export dialog box? (It might take two different screen captures to show it all)

              • 4. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                tarap50674139 Level 1

                Sure! See the sharpness difference/fuzziness? If I look at his glasses I see a absolute difference. The color difference gets to me, too. I guess I just thought/hoped sizing down didn't adjust the image itself when displayed at the proper size?

                 

                 

                So here's the export box on the resized version (the second photo down on the blog post): Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.56.58 AM.jpg

                • 5. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                  dj_paige Level 9
                  Sure! See the sharpness difference/fuzziness? If I look at his glasses I see a absolute difference.

                  I'm going to have to say, I don't see it. I can't see even a tiny sharpness/fuzziness differences around the glasses, in my eyesight, much less anything I would refer to as "terrible". Perhaps someone else sees it ...

                  • 6. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                    thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    The top version looks softer than the other two (middle and lower) which look the same to me. The middle and lower image appear better to me (sharpener). For web posting, you probably should use sRGB instead of ProPhoto, but that’s not an issue for me viewing the three, my browser is color managed.

                    • 7. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                      Joshua Cohen Level 3

                      they all look nearly identical (from a sharpness point of view) to me too. Some points though...your screen shot shows sRGB (which is should be for jpg anyways) and not ProPhoto as stated on your link. You are not selecting any screen sharpening in your export. You should. And I will re-state what DJ already has: resolution means nothing in this context. Only pixels size matters. To me this explains why at least the bottom two are identical.

                      • 8. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        Yeah I said that and then I deleted it as I think I misunderstood the OP, I don't think she said she changed the resolution at all.

                         

                        Tara, can you blow up the area around the glasses in all three photos to 1:1? I've always felt you can judge sharpness properly at 1:1, but not at other zooms.

                        • 9. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                          Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                          To me, all three images look equally sharp. But the lower contrast and saturation in nos. 2 and 3, can give the impression of the image being less sharp.

                           

                          The muted colors of nos. 2 and 3 are typical of an image exported with ProPhoto, and viewed in an app that only understands, (or assumes) sRGB. So if you really exported no. 2 with sRGB, this is very mysterious,

                          • 10. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                            tarap50674139 Level 1

                            Ah, I let ProPhoto (my Wordpress theme site) size it down to 960. I let Wordpress display the large image down at 960px in the first photo... I hope that makes sense.

                             

                            I'm viewing these on a MacBook Pro with Retina display which I don't think should have an effect...

                             

                             

                            Even just the files on my computer look much different, disregarding how they display on my site.

                            • 11. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                              dj_paige Level 9

                              Even just the files on my computer look much different, disregarding how they display on my site.

                              Again, it would help if you can be specific. We see color difference, we see contrast difference, we do not see major or "terrible" sharpness differences.

                               

                              Perhaps you are having a problem with your browser, what browser is it?

                               

                              When you say the photos look very different on your computer, can you tell us exactly how you are viewing them (what software, and what steps did you use to create the photo from it's original RAW)?

                              • 12. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                Joshua Cohen Level 3

                                tarap50674139 wrote:

                                 

                                I let Wordpress display the large image down at 960px in the first photo.

                                 

                                If you are saying that you output from Lightroom at full size (or something other than 960) and then wordpress scaled it to 960 then all evaluations of sharpness are meaningless. For the most control particularly of sharpness you need to output from Lightroom at the final pixel size. Also, did you apply output sharpening for screen as I asked previously?

                                 

                                Maybe you need to put the images in question on dropbox or something so we can take a look at the source.

                                • 13. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                  tarap50674139 Level 1

                                  Sure, sorry! Okay, so I took the RAW photos into LR, edited, and exported JPEG, sRBG, 100 Quality, No resizing, No sharpening or anything. Just like I would deliver to clients. It came out as 5.4MB, 4256x2832px. I asked Wordpress (sorry if the use of ProPhoto was at all confusing... that's just the theme I use within my Wordpress site) to display the photo at 960px wide. It correctly resizes it but maintains its contrast, sharpness, and colors... to my eye,

                                   

                                  When I, instead, choose the export settings I screenshot above to simply resize the image down to 960px wide, I end up with a 512KB image that looks compressed or in some way blurry/less vibrant/less in focus than the original. Even though Wordpress is supposedly just displaying the image smaller and even though all I asked Lightroom to do, essentially, is the same.

                                   

                                  I'm not viewing the JPEGs blown up or anything weird like that. Just simply when I look at them within that blog post or import the JPEGs back into Lightroom to compare, I see a big difference.

                                  • 14. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                    tarap50674139 Level 1

                                    Okay, happy to put the large image and the resized image in a dropbox folder. One moment.

                                    • 15. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                      tarap50674139 Level 1

                                      Is this of any help? My Wordpress request to have the images displayed at 960px is just coding really, y'know? It doesn't compress the image. Just displays it at the requested width.

                                       

                                      Here's the dropbox link:
                                      Dropbox - versus

                                      • 16. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                        dj_paige Level 9

                                        Okay, that's clear, but we are not seeing the big difference, we see color and contrast differences, but we do not see major sharpness differences on your website nor on your Dropbox examples.

                                         

                                        So, the problem remains how you are viewing the images. What browser are you using? What software are you using on your computer to display the images there before upload?


                                        Are you blowing up the photos to full-screen size (or bigger than normal) on your computer to view them, and then you see these sharpness differences? Or are you viewing the images at 1:1 on your monitor when you are viewing them on your computer?

                                        • 17. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                          tarap50674139 Level 1

                                          Thanks for your honesty and all of your help. I'm using Chrome and even when I simply press the space bar to view the images from the finder on my Mac I see a difference.... I will try to screenshot my browser and post a side by side for ease. Then we can all just dismiss me as truly crazy. Ha! But as a photographer, I'd love for my work to show up the way I see it!

                                          • 18. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                            thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                            dj_paige wrote:

                                            Okay, that's clear, but we are not seeing the big difference, we see color and contrast differences, but we do not see major sharpness differences on your website nor on your Dropbox examples.

                                            On my end, using Safari on Mac which is color managed, the three do not show any difference in color and contrast, and the first looks less sharp than the middle and bottom two. At least when I go here:

                                            Test post » Tara Polly Photography

                                            • 19. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                              dj_paige Level 9

                                              Do I really have to ask a question 3 times?

                                               

                                              What software are you using to view the photos on your computer?

                                              • 20. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                I'm sorry, a lot going on here. I'm viewing the photos on the blog post itself (where I first noticed this difference and started to play with settings), within Finder when I press the space bar to view things larger, and within Lightroom with my re-imported JPEGs, as well. I apologize.

                                                • 21. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                  tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                  Wow, thank you for sharing! I believe I need to investigate some retina display support options within my theme. Perhaps that (and/or using Chrome) is throwing things off for me. The first photo in that test post is considerably sharper for me. I appreciate you letting me know.

                                                  • 22. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                    dj_paige Level 9

                                                    the first looks less sharp than the middle and bottom two

                                                    Your browser shows four imags?

                                                    • 23. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                      thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                      dj_paige wrote:

                                                       

                                                      the first looks less sharp than the middle and bottom two

                                                      Your browser shows four imags?

                                                      As I originally posted: The top version looks softer than the other two (middle and lower) which look the same to me.

                                                      Color and contrast are identical.

                                                      • 24. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                        thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                        tarap50674139 wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Wow, thank you for sharing! I believe I need to investigate some retina display support options within my theme. Perhaps that (and/or using Chrome) is throwing things off for me. The first photo in that test post is considerably sharper for me. I appreciate you letting me know.

                                                        Try Safari.

                                                        It’s not your Retina display.

                                                        • 25. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                          tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                          When I open the post in Chrome or Safari (tried both) the top image appears blurry for a moment before rendering(?) about two seconds later to be sharp. Much sharper than the bottom two.

                                                           

                                                          Might just drive myself crazy today!

                                                          • 26. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                            thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional


                                                            tarap50674139 wrote:

                                                             

                                                            When I open the post in Chrome or Safari (tried both) the top image appears blurry for a moment before rendering(?) about two seconds later to be sharp. Much sharper than the bottom two.

                                                            I see no such update in Safari. The top image looks softer than the others, stays that way. I’m on version 8.0.5.

                                                            • 27. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                              tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                              Thank you for taking the time to check. I'm starting to suspect some additional retina display support is coming through for me based on my Wordpress/ProPhoto settings. I will go investigate that for a while. Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 2.35.08 PM.jpg

                                                              • 28. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                HarleyTDavis Level 2

                                                                Does anybody else see what I see?  72pixels per inch?  Thats just high enough for text to display properly and sharp.  IF you want photo quality, 300 is a bare minimum, at least in my experience, to retain sharpness and detail.  It increases the sharpness when sizing down, and when sizing up, it retains sharpness, when you add dpi\ppi.  It will increase the file size in most cases.  Photoshop had an EXPORT for WEB feature.  It allowed you to specify some basic values, and then adjust the sharpness as you see fit with blur and quality sliders (this was a PPI slider that altered the ppi ratio and how far it deviated).  The rest was pretty straight-forward, selecting your interpolation method and size.

                                                                 

                                                                What is the Resolution PPI on your original file?  Your web server isn't deviating from the ratio of resolution when it adjusts the photo.

                                                                Generally speaking (in my experience), it is simply sizing everything down fully Proportionally:  resolution to resolution, ppi to ppi, both ratios are the same.  This prevents loss of quality in most cases, as similar colored pixels can be squeezed together in a bilinear (nearest neighbor) interpolation for viewing; but for thumbnails, you may want to alter this to double the ppi on the smaller version so as to keep the edge detail sharp.  Web servers, unless otherwise programmed, typically stay with that methodology.

                                                                 

                                                                Lightroom assumes you know your original PPI and the PPI you want for the end product.  Figure out what your resize percentages or ratios are for your Resolution, then apply that logic to your resizing.

                                                                • 29. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                  HarleyTDavis Level 2

                                                                  Does anybody else see what I see?  72pixels per inch?  Thats just high enough for text to display properly and sharp.  IF you want photo quality, 300 is a bare minimum, at least in my experience, to retain sharpness and detail.  It increases the sharpness when sizing down, and when sizing up, it retains sharpness, when you add dpi\ppi.  It will increase the file size in most cases.  Photoshop had an EXPORT for WEB feature.  It allowed you to specify some basic values, and then adjust the sharpness as you see fit with blur and quality sliders (this was a PPI slider that altered the ppi ratio and how far it deviated).  The rest was pretty straight-forward, selecting your interpolation method and size.

                                                                   

                                                                  What is the Resolution PPI on your original file?  Your web server isn't deviating from the ratio of resolution when it adjusts the photo.

                                                                  Generally speaking (in my experience), it is simply sizing everything down fully Proportionally:  resolution to resolution, ppi to ppi, both ratios are the same.  This prevents loss of quality in most cases, as similar colored pixels can be squeezed together in a bilinear (nearest neighbor) interpolation for viewing; but for thumbnails, you may want to alter this to double the ppi on the smaller version so as to keep the edge detail sharp.  Web servers, unless otherwise programmed, typically stay with that methodology.

                                                                   

                                                                  Lightroom assumes you know your original PPI and the PPI you want for the end product.  Figure out what your resize percentages or ratios are for your Resolution, then apply that logic to your resizing.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                    tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                                    Thank you!! I've updated the blog post to include at 300 and 600 PPI... All look compressed and blurry to me while the top photo (after a short loading time) looks perfect. Test post » Tara Polly Photography

                                                                     

                                                                    The exported images at 960 all have a file size of 512K, no matter the PPI adjustments.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                      tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                                      The top file was exported at 300 PPI. I tend to leave it there for full-sized JPEG exports...

                                                                      • 32. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                        Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                                                        Ppi is meaningless for web images, it is metadata that only comes into play when printing. What matters is pixel dimensions.

                                                                        You can export a 600 x 900px image with 1 ppi or 600 ppi, and they will display identically in a web browser.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                          tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                                          Thank you. I had suspected/remembered hearing that PPI didn't matter for web images, but I played with it just the same.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                            dj_paige Level 9

                                                                            So, let me summarize what I see ... with regards to the original three photos, I see no major sharpness differences now on two different computers/two different monitors, and that is true across Chrome, Firefox and Windows Explorer on each computer. I do see color differences and perhaps contrast differences, and these color differences are identical on the three browsers, and as far as I can remember, on both computers..

                                                                             

                                                                            So the sharpness problem must somehow be at your end, but I do not know what.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                              Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                                                              I downloaded the two images from Dropbox, they are both sRGB, and the colors are identical.

                                                                              When opening them in Internet Explorer, which is not color managed, they appeared over saturated, looking exactly like the top image in your test post.

                                                                              So I wonder if WordPress has stripped out the sRGB profile, causing the extra saturation, which indicates that the image with the "muted" color actually is the correct version.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                                tarap50674139 Level 1

                                                                                HALLELUJAH. It's retina support within my ProPhoto theme on Wordpress!!!

                                                                                 

                                                                                Just opened up my test post (to which I've added two more photo comparisons) on my old computer only to find that the images that look amazing on my retina screen appear somewhat lacking in color and weird on a non-retina screen.

                                                                                 

                                                                                The version that looks BEST on BOTH screens is the 960px export with sharpening for screen. Just in case anyone was curious.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Sorry to make this browser-based question a Lightroom question... I honestly thought it was my export settings causing me trouble.

                                                                                 

                                                                                And I'm sorry to all who got frustrated with me along the way. Just took a little investigating to discover the true issue.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                                  HarleyTDavis Level 2

                                                                                  Have you ever used a mac?

                                                                                  Have you ever checked dpi\ppi settings after an export in photoshop, preview or even with lightroom?  Have you compared the photos of similar export resolution dimension, but different PPI\DPI?  It isn't just about printing.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Lower dpi\ppi values in my outputs had drastically different characteristics than those of "properly" (must be politically correct with respect to other comments here) resized images that kept this value in the same ratio as the original or at a higher value.  JPG is a compressed and LOSSY format.  Resolution dimension is also important, as it will define the optimal display dimension (with regard to the on screen size or how big the image will appear at a given dimension of pixels), but dpi\ppi will alter the amount of data used to represent color and detail within that area.  That is why it DOES MATTER.  I've tested it and viewed on several screens at several resolutions, just now in fact, and it confirms what I learned in class 10 years ago when I was studying the differences in celluloid and digital photos. 

                                                                                  I took a picture.  The original image shows 600 dpi, I drop it down to half size, and drop to 300 ppi\dpi (yes I use them interchangeably; one refers to Pixels\points per inch, the other dots per inch, one refers to inkjet print, the other to the pixel points used in the actual image file, and both are related to print at opposite ends; one also affects the actual file in the computer itself), and there isn't much of a change with bilinear (nearest neighbor) though it is a little smoother in non-edge areas, but perceptually, it is almost indistinguishable.  I bumped it up to 450 and resampled the image again.  That smoothness was still there in some areas of similar color, but where it altered at light\shadow was a little sharper on a 50inch tv set up as a second monitor at 1920x1080 with an image sized to 50% in preview.  SO.... ...I have proven it to me.

                                                                                  Your interpolation method needs to fit your purpose as well.  Photoshop lets you choose from several in the export for web dialogue.  Not sure about lightroom as I haven't found the need for it other than with printing and storing originals.  Currently photoshop uses a (sharper)\(smoother) keyword, smoother being bilinear nearest neighbor, similar to the mac Preview program.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  From class

                                                                                  Change the number of little dots used to express the image of any given dimension, and you'll effectively change the sharpness and noise characteristics of that image.  When you go to print, you want to be able to use the least amount of these dots for professional print companies to use, and for your own, you want to match it to your physical printer.  This means you can make a duplicate at the correct number of dots\points and then sharpen that for your print.  You can sharpen for screens the same way, but most people prefer to resize the dimensions to decrease file size, so that they don't have to adjust as much afterward.

                                                                                  That was 10 years ago.  Today, you adjust afterward either way, or you get it right in the dialogue that comes up.

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                                    Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional
                                                                                    Have you ever used a mac?

                                                                                     

                                                                                    No, but that's beside the point, Macs and PCs will produce identical results with the same export settings in LR.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Have you compared the photos of similar export resolution dimension, but different PPI\DPI?

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Yes, and below you will find an example. Both images have been exported with exactly the same settings, except PPI, which is 1 for the top image, and 600 for the bottom one. As you can see, the images are identical in every way. Web browsers ignore ppi, they only read pixel dimensions.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    1ppi.jpg

                                                                                    1 ppi

                                                                                     

                                                                                    600ppi.jpg

                                                                                    600 ppi

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Currently photoshop uses a (sharper)\(smoother) keyword, smoother being bilinear nearest neighbor, similar to the mac Preview program.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Are you referring to the settings for the type tool in PS? There are no such settings in the Save for web dialog,

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Resizing photo results in terrible quality?
                                                                                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                                      I'm coming "late to the game," but think something very simple is causing the lack of sharpness in the LR 960 resized export image. It's been mentioned at least three (3) times by two different people:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      You are not selecting any screen sharpening in your export. You should.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Also, did you apply output sharpening for screen as I asked previously?

                                                                                       

                                                                                      and this response:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      The version that looks BEST on BOTH screens is the 960px export with sharpening for screen. Just in case anyone was curious.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I'm confused as to what images actually have Screen Standard Export Output Sharpening applied here....and perhaps the OP is as well? Unless the original camera file is extremely soft as viewed inside LR at 1:1 Zoom view then there's no way any of these Web posted images have Export Output Sharpening applied. The above examples posted by Per Bernstein are more typical of what LR Screen Standard Export Sharpening should look like at ~960 px long edge resize.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      OR

                                                                                       

                                                                                      There is the possibility that the OP's system has a corrupted Preferences file or other installation issue that is causing Export Sharpening to not be applied. To rule this out I request the OP

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Here's a Canon 5D MKII image file exported using the above settings:

                                                                                      IMG_3787-960 px, 80 Quality, sRGB, Screen Std.jpg

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