BLOW UP

No, this is not about a Hollywood divorce or the movie starring John Travolta. It’s about a program from Alien Skin. (As if that explained anything.)

One day you take a small picture, and later on you like it so much you wish it was a big picture. This sounds like a job for Blow Up. It’s a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, or the much cheaper Photoshop Elements 3 or 4. The programBlow Up works with both Windows and Macintosh and lets you blow up a photograph by a factor of four to six. That means the final area will be at least 16 times the size of the original.

Now lots of photo-editing programs can enlarge a picture, but what happens fairly quickly is you begin to see jagged edges or marked blurring as the picture gets bigger. Blow Up handles that problem better than anything we’ve seen, and you can take an ordinary snapshot and make it into a sharp-looking 8-by-10 or larger. List price is $199 at www.alienskin.com.

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