My SECRET WEAPON for Enlarging low-res Photos


I guarantee that my secret weapon will enlarge your low-res photos by up to 600% while improving their quality.

And it’s going to create details out of thin air.

It also includes two bonuses: digital noise reduction and sharpening.

I know you probably think I’m referring to Topaz Photo AI, but I’m not.

This app is half the price and provides similar results.

Ultimately, we will compare these upscaled images with Topaz Photo AI to see which is better.

We will use these three low-res files to test out this upscale software.

I created this first image right here in the summer of 1989. I scanned the negative, resulting in a low-res file of 400 by 600, which is teeny tiny.

You can’t even do a 4×6 print of this file.

If I wanted to do an 8×10 or 8×12, I would need to upscale by 600%. Let’s jump into Photoshop real quick.

You can see right here if we try to do that with this image. Let’s go into image size.

We have 400×600. So 6x would be 2,400×3,600.

And as you can see, the image is now larger and pixelated.

There are also many digital artifacts; the skin doesn’t look very good, and there are no eyelashes.

The eyebrows aren’t defined.

Can we increase the face’s quality and add eyelashes while upscaling?

We’re gonna find out. First, let’s take a look at this other image right here.

This is Echo, and he’s one of our family members.

The composition is wide when looking at the original image straight out of the camera.

And I’m not a big fan of this composition.

I would’ve preferred to have gone in tighter with a longer lens. I used a 50mm for this photo.

So, I’m going to crop in really tight to create a more intimate portrait and focus more on Echo’s face than his whole body and the rest of the environment.

So, this is going to create a file. The original file was around 15 or 18 megapixels. I shot this with the Nikon D500, but now it is 23. Let’s go ahead and add this up.

We have 2392 times 1595, which is just under four megapixels.

Now that’s not too bad.

I could get a 5×7 print or an 8×10 print.

But if I want something larger than this 16×24 print, I need to upscale the image to keep all the details in his face.

I want to ensure that the fur, the whiskers, and everything else aren’t pixelated. So we need to upscale that to get a larger print.

Now, this next image is pretty tight compared to the original one, which is straight from the camera.

This was shot with the Nikon Z eight, which I believe is around 40-45 megapixels.

But let’s say you want to crop in tight like this to focus more on his salivating beak.

If we take a look back here, he’s actually on a chicken coop.

So he flew onto this chicken coop, salivating at the beak, and I wanted to focus on that.

When shooting wildlife, we often can’t get close enough to the bird, reptile, or other animal.

We often can’t get close enough, even if we use a long lens.

I used a 50mm lens here, so I can’t get as close as I want.

We need to crop those images tight, right? You’ve done this yourself.

You may have a bald eagle flying in the sky, and it’s too far away.

You crop in tight, and based on that, you get a lower-res file, but you want to create a large print.

Well, how are you going to do that?

Well, you can’t do it in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Depending on the tools you use, you may not get the results you’ll get with this app, which I’m going to show you right now.

Again, this is not Topaz Photo AI.

Instead, it’s called Gigapixels or Gigapixel AI.

So, we will create TIFF files to create higher-quality images and retain more detail and colors in them.

Once we click on edit, those files will be opened in Gigapixel AI.

Again, this is half the price of Topaz Photo AI and offers similar results. So, let’s see how this compares to Topaz Photo AI.

All right, once the images are loaded into gigapixel, it will automagically begin fixing and upscaling the image, and you can instantly see the results with gigapixel.

Here’s the original with pixelated digital artifacts on the left.

The upscaling and the other edits have improved the image a hundred times.

As you can see right here, the original size is 400×600, and with the 6x upscale is now 2,400 by 3,600.

Let’s zoom in a little; you can see that eyelashes are now visible.

How cool is that? I love it.

And look at the eyebrows. The eyebrows are now more defined.

Skin texture also contributed to the effect, so it didn’t create a mannequin-type effect. It’s not really smooth, and the skin has detail.

So, we have some settings down here that can help us define or refine the upscaling of the image to include more or less sharpening.

You can also remove digital noise, and I’ll show you that with the bald eagle because it does have a lot of digital noise.

And we’ll see if we can remove that. We also have multiple AI models.

So you’re gonna select these based on the type of artwork that you are upscaling.

For photos, you’ll use standard high-fidelity, low-res version one or version two, which is in beta now. Those work best.

For this particular image, the low-res file or the low-res version creates the best outcome.

Now, the eyes are a little bit kind of fake-looking, I don’t know.

They’re smooth and don’t have a lot of detail.

We can adjust these settings to refine those eyes slightly better.

However, we won’t zoom in 200% when printing enlargements.

So you won’t take this print and look at it like this to look for those imperfections.

It will be hanging on your wall, and you won’t see those imperfections.

Let’s look at the next image here, which is of echo.

And we’re gonna do 600% again, or 6x, and I’m gonna zoom out to let’s go to 33%, and we’re gonna increase the sharpening back to 50.

When you run this the first time and load an image, the default for Sharpen and Denoise is one, but it’ll remember your last settings.

For example, because I’ve been using low res files recently with Gigapixels, it’s going to select that automagically.

If I switch to standard, close the program, and come back, it will select standard. All right, so here is the before and now the after.

Well, you might be saying there’s not much difference, and there isn’t, but here’s the key.

Let’s zoom in to get a closer look at this eye here.

Before, we were at four megapixels. Now, look at this: We’re at 14,000. Let’s do the math here: 14,352 times 9,570. That’s insane. So we are now at 137 megapixels. I mean, that’s unbelievable.

And the quality between the before and after isn’t much different unless you zoom in tighter and take a closer look. You can see that the low-res file here is more pixelated.

If you look at the individual hairs and his whiskers here, they’re not that sharp or blurry.

However, with the upscaling and sharpening applied, it is much more defined and sharper. This is unbelievable. I can’t believe how great this software is.

Alright, now let’s take a look at our last image. We’ll do some denoise and then compare all three images to Topaz Photo AI.

So I’ve already processed those images, Topaz photo ai, and then we’re gonna compare these images side by side.

There is the original, and now there is the upscaling, denoise, and sharpening, but we still see some digital noise here.

I will increase the Denoise to plus 25 to see if we can improve this.

Alright, so now a lot more of that noise is gone.

There’s still some noise in there. So you have to decide how much noise do you want.

Do you wanna get rid of it 100% and not see any of it?

Or do you want some digital noise to be still present?

This can sometimes be a good thing because removing too much noise will create a softer, blurrier image, and you will lose some detail.

So if I increase this to 75, it will be a lot more aggressive this time and will remove more of that noise.

But again, the details in the bald eagle are a bit softer than they were with the previous edit of 25 for Denoise.

But check this out: The original image is 860×1290, which is one megapixel. Now we’re at 5160 times 7740, which is 39.9 or 40 megapixels.

How awesome is that? I love it.

I will select these images and export them back into Lightroom Classic.

We’ll compare these with the Topaz photo AI files when that’s done.

Let’s compare the Topaz photo AI upscaling image that’s on the left here with the one on the right, again, side by side, not zoomed in.

They look exactly the same, and you won’t see those imperfections until you zoom in.

So if you look at that wall print or that print you did for your desk, and you get close to it, you could see those imperfections, but in real life, you’re not doing that.

So we’re not gonna see those imperfections until we zoom in.

But for this image at 140% zoom, they look exactly the same.

Both have eyelashes, texture in the skin, and the eyebrows and the lips are defined.

So it looks great. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Next, we have Echo, and we’ll zoom out to around 40% because this file is much larger in terms of resolution.

Remember 14,000 by 9,000 versus the other one that was? What was it around? Let’s take a quick look here: 2,400×3,600.

So, we have to zoom out to see the image slightly better.

We don’t want to get too close. Otherwise, you’ll see those imperfections as you zoom in more and more.

But even at this level, 31%, we can see that the top photo AI file is sharper, and that’s because it’s been designed to create a sharper image.

Whereas Gigapixels is more for upscaling, it’s still much sharper than it was compared to the original file we upscaled from.

But again, if we zoom out, they will look the same side by side at this zoom level.

Next, we have the bald eagle. Again, they look similar, zoomed out.

If we zoom in to around 50%, we can see that the Topaz photo AI on the left is cleaner and sharper than the image on the right, but it all depends on your personal needs whether you’re going with photo AI or Gigapixels.

Gigapixels is half the price of of Topaz Photo AI. It’s better for noise reduction and sharpening, but don’t take my word for it.

Download both of them with a free trial and try them out on your own images so you can see how they work with

Your photos versus what I’m showing you with my photos.

Click here to download Gigapixel 7 and Topaz Photo AI for free.

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A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

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