How To Resize an Image WITHOUT Squeezing It in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn an amazing technique to resize an image without squeezing it in Photoshop.

You might probably know how to extend your background image, but have you ever tried resizing a busy landscape photo into a 9:16 portrait aspect ratio without cropping important visual elements?
Now you don’t have to worry about ruining the quality of your image! Just follow this tutorial.

This technique works great in resizing an image without squeezing it. Let’s start!

Step 01 – Duplicate the Photo to Work Nondestructively

First, duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl J (Windows) or Command J (macOS)
to work non-destructively and disable the background layer by clicking the Eye icon.

duplicate photo

Step 02 – Create a Selection

Create a selection around the areas you want to protect while you scale the image.
You can use any tool you like, but in this case, we’ll use the Lasso Tool.

lasso tool

Select it from the Toolbar and freehand a selection around the woman in a fantastic red dress similar to these two piece prom dresses online and the Eiffel Tower. To add to the selection remember to hold the Shift key as you drag.

woman and eiffel tower selection

Step 03 – Save The Selection

Go into the Select menu and choose Save Selection.

save selection

You can give the selection any name you like and press OK.
Then, deselect by pressing Ctrl D (Windows) or Command D (macOS)

Step 04 – Cropping the Image

We’ll now crop the image into the 9×16 aspect ratio.
Select the Crop Tool from the Toolbar.

crop tool

Then, select 16:9 in the Options Bar, and click on the double-sided arrows to swap the values to make it 9:16.

landscape to portrait 16:9 to 9:16 ratio

It’s very important to make sure you uncheck “Delete Cropped Pixels” in the Options Bar. You don’t want to delete any pixels.

uncheck delete cropped pixels

Press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS). Now we have our portrait crop.

portrait crop

Step 05 – Resize with Content-Aware Scale

Next, go into the Edit menu and choose Content-Aware Scale.

content aware scale

From the Options bar, under Protect, choose your saved selection.

click the saved selection

In this case, we named it “Woman & Tower.” Once selected, we can now start scaling the image.

scale the image using content aware scale

By doing so, Photoshop will not distort the woman or the Eiffel Tower, and we’ll have the two most important visual elements in this version of the photo.

Step 06 Fixing the Imperfections

In some cases, we’ll need a little bit of work in fixing certain areas in the photo.
For example, the ground in the photo doesn’t look too good, but that’s very easy to fix!

fixed imperfections ex. crooked ground

Disable the edited image and enable the original image by clicking their respective Eye icons.

disabling and enabling eye icons

Choose the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the Toolbar, and select the ground.

polygonal lasso tool

Next, press Ctrl J (Windows) or Command J (macOS) to copy and paste it onto a new layer. 
Drag that layer up. And with the Move tool on the Toolbar, place this layer into position.

the final output

Final Output

There you go! Now you know how to resize an image without stretching it.
If you were inspired to create something using this tutorial, share your results on Instagram by tagging @photoshoptrainingchannel and using the hashtag #ptcvids for a chance to be featured!

If you would like to learn more and extend the background in your photos, then check out this
Resize and Image Without Stretching It Tutorial!

Tutorial Download

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