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How to make this image look better?

Hi all.  I'm new to the forum and need some help please.

I'm working on making this image look better and I can't figure it out.  I've checked various tutorials and watched several youtube explanations and nothing has worked.  It seems so simple, but my experience is very limited - would definitely call myself a rookie.

I'm trying to enlarge this image - currently 600x300 pixels to my goal of 4800x2400 pixels.  I will be printing it as part of a 4x2.5 foot sign.

It looks very good on screen, but when I printed it, it was blurry.  I use vistaprint and have never had issues with their quality so it's a problem on my end.  When I zoom in, the pixels seem huge and blocky.  Any direction on how I can fix this is much appreciated.

I use gimp and inkscape.  I also have photoshop CS3 on another laptop.  Thanks in advance for the help.
You can't. You are scaling it up 8x. Sharpness/detail is information. You have much less information in a 180Kpix image that in a 11Mpx one (8x8=64 times more pixels). So your big image is either blurry of pixellated, because you can't create information out of nothing(*). If it were not so, all images could be scaled down to 1x1 pixel for storage, right?

(*) there are applications that can enlarge pictures by trying to synthesize textures. They have been around for years, but since they don't pop out everywhere they possibly do not work that well.
Adding to Ofnuts post:

You must already realise that your image is way too small. If it was a photograph for printing you might use a print resolution of 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi). That image 600 x 300 pixels would print at just 2 inches x 1 inch

However for a poster viewing distance comes into play. Check the chart here: for a guide. A 4 foot wide poster? maybe viewed at 6 feet, then maybe a ppi of 90 might be ok.

Your image is the wrong proportions for 4.0 x 2.5 feet but for 4.0 x 2.0 an image size 48" x 90 ppi = 4320 pix wide is required. Which means scaling up the image by a factor of 7.20 Never a wonderful idea.

However, say you do scale it up. Then if you set the zoom to 100% and in View menu untick dot-for-dot you will see what it looks like as a print: (remember to turn dot-for-dot off when finished with it)

You might sharpen a little using Filters -> Enhance -> Wavelet Decompose and enable the 3rd or 4th scale layer.

Banner printing is not cheap. You might want to reconsider using that image.

Using a too small image for printing is a very common beginner error. The only real way is to start off with the correct image size in pixels for whatever the intended use.
Thanks very much for your responses.

Ofnuts, that makes perfect sense. I was just hoping I was missing a step or something. The thing that gave me hope was there was one YouTube video where someone was enlarging their image 10x.

Rich2005, yes I knew very well that the image was too small. I was planning on using it as part of the poster, not the entire 4x2.5 foot. I greatly appreciate you playing around with the image to try things out.

What happened was I used this picture and ordered the poster. It arrived damaged and I noticed the picture was blurry. I called vistaprint and they had notes that it was damaged during shipment and agreed to replace it at no charge. They have incredible customer service. I asked about the blurry picture and they said they couldn't do anything about it. I told them I'd try to fix it or use another image. So I'm trying to solve this challenge and will then resubmit my poster for printing.

It's a shame because this image works so well on my poster. I'll see if I can find the full picture I'm using for the poster and I'll link it.

Here it is.  It seems I slid part of the background over while editing since getting the print done.  Gonna fix that when I get home.
Not sure there is a much bigger picture. If you look closely there are a lot of artifacts around the woman's silhouette, and they don't look like coming from JPEG compression. That means they could be the result of the image editing, and if there are visible in an image that size, the original wasn't much bigger (otherwise scaling down from a significantly bigger picture would have made them hardly noticeable).

PS: by the way this is mage is likely copyrighted, so using it on a professional sign could be a bad idea.
Thanks, guess I'll be looking elsewhere

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