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How to Upscale a Photo Using Super Resolution in Lightroom Classic

Newly added to Adobe Lightroom Classic, Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Camera Raw is Super Resolution. It's an incredible technology that CAN effectively double your image size without sacrificing on quality. If you've ever wanted to print an image large, then keep reading to see just how easy this feature is to use. You'll only wish it was in your life sooner!

How to Upscale a Photo With Super Resolution

1. Open Lightroom and Select the Develop Module

First things first, select the image to enlarge using Super Resolution. I'm using this photo of rural Saskatchewan from a series I made in 2016 called 65 mph. All of the images were made while driving on highways, so the landscapes flew by. I cropped many of the photos to make more interesting compositions, but this of course yields a smaller file size. Using Super Resolution we're going to solve that problem, and with ease.

2. Enhance!

Believe it or not, that's actually the term! To access the Super Resolution feature, simply Right Click (CTRL - Click on Mac) on your photo, and select the Enhance option.

This opens up the Enhance preview window, which is where you'll access the Super Resolution feature. 

I prefer to uncheck Create Stack. If checked, Lightroom will create a stack of the images on top of each other in your catalog. If unchecked, Lightroom will create a copy of your image, and a second thumbnail will appear in your catalog, which I find easier to work with.

Worth noticing here is the estimated time. This is calculated based on Lightroom's reading of your graphics processor, not your computer's internal processor. For what it's worth, this estimation was quite off, as this photo took only about four minutes to res up.

Now, click on Enhance, and let Lightroom work it's interpolation magic!

Lightroom creating an 'Enhanced DNG' -- Super Resolution in action!

As soon as Lightroom completes the task, a second thumbnail will appear in your library. Lightroom automatically adds 'Enhanced' to the filename for easy identification. Notice that Lightroom also converted the file type to a DNG (Digital Negative). This is part of their back end conversion to create the highest quality image.

3. Export Your Enhanced Photo

All that's left to do is convert this new Super Resolution photo, which is in DNG format, to something we can use to send to a printer like a JPG or a TIFF. When your export is finished, locate your new enhanced file.

My photo exactly doubled in size, from a width of 13.5 inches at 300dpi, to a width of 27 inches at 300dpi. You can see the file size reflect this change as my original file was only 10 MB, and the enhanced file is 34.1 MB.

And that's it! If you ever need a photo to be blown up and maintain its high quality, Super Resolution is going to be a workhorse in your workflow.

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