When I drag an un-resized photo into a layer Elements 11, which I now use, it appears that the resolution is 300, which is what the setting for the background layer is. Does anyone know if I can stop resizing all the photos before using them in my layouts?
In PSE, you can simply drag your high resolution photos onto your 12x12, 300 dpi canvas. The program automatically fits the photo's pixels in as 300 dpi, as Jo described above.
(A low resolution photo would appear on the canvas as a very small rectangle which is totally OK, if that is the size you want it printed at. Enlarging it would result in blurriness, although for the purpose of blending it into the background, I find using low resolution photos OK.)
I am shocked that Paint Shop Pro degraded your high res photos when you dragged them onto a canvas and resized them. I am not familiar with that program, but I understand it is a very good product. If I were to guess at an explanation I would say that the algorithm for resizing via dragging, is really outdated. Reminds me of Adobe PhotoDeluxe from 20 years ago, where resizing using the type-in-new-dimensions method worked beautifully, but the drag-in-the-sides method produced a degraded result.