Q) What causes a scanner scanning to Adobe Photoshop Elements to create bad scans on brick and clapboard houses? The bricks don't keep a pattern, and the clapboards don't keep a straight course, but sometimes a jagged one.
A) Are you looking at the scanned image in Elements at full resolution? One thing to keep in mind with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements is that displays of non-full-sized images can sometimes look poorly. For example, when you zoom into an image and display it at 33.33%, the display isn't very accurate; 50% or 25% will give you a better idea of what the image will look like.
Q) When I crop a little 1600 x 1200 image, say, a 10% crop, and send it to print at 4x6 inches, it appears pixelated. Also, when I resize at 1024 x 768, there's a loss of quality. Can these problems be avoided?
A) One thing to check is whether your printing process is okay to start with. If you print without cropping, does the image look okay? If it does, then the problem might be related to how you're accomplishing your crop. Photoshop allows you to crop and resize the image at the same time. You may be resizing the image, or changing the ppi, at the same time as the crop. When you select the crop tool, the tool settings appear just below the menu bar. Make sure that your crop tool setting doesn't have a figure in the resolution box. You can also check your image size to be sure you have a printable resolution between 200 and 360 ppi.