On Monday 17 August 2009, Monika Himpelmann wrote:
> Dear all,
> I have a question and maybe it is easy to answer and has been
> answered before although I didn't find it in the FAQ's.
> When I try to scale a foto in order to get it passport photo size
> it looses quality. The fotos I want to scale are of good quality
> but too large and are showing not only the head and upper chest
> of people but often more and so I have to cut them which is
> possible without any problem and then scale them in the format I
> need.
> I would understand the loss in quality if I would try to enlarge
> the fotos but making them smaller in size should not make them
> loose quality???

Sorry if I cover ground that has already been trod.
I haven't had time to follow the discussion before now
My take:

scaling an image to a smaller size forces the program to interpret a 
group of pixels as a single color/pixel which leads to blockiness 
and lost quality.

If I were trying to reduce the size of an image while preserving 
definition I would look at changing its resolution 
ie from 72pix x 72pix to 288pix x 288pix, reducing the images 
apparant size (to 1/4 the starting size)  while keeping all the 
pixel information. This could be done at the time of printing 
(setting the printer resolution) or within gimp.

If I am in error please let me know


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