Sharpening tutorial, Part 1

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  • dandilldandill Quantum mechanic Posts: 102Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 4, 2008
    Mu understanding is that as of the latest Camera Raw, its sharpening consists of "Caputre Sharpening" only. A great discussion of its role in a sharpening pipeline (capture -> creative -> output) is by Jeff Schewe in

    Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS3



    Dan Dill

    "It is a magical time. I am reluctant to leave. Yet the shooting becomes more difficult, the path back grows black as it is without this last light. I don't do it anymore unless my husband is with me, as I am still afraid of the dark, smile.

    This was truly last light, my legs were tired, my husband could no longer read and was anxious to leave, but the magic and I, we lingered........"
    Ginger Jones
  • nightowlphotographynightowlphotography Night Owl Photography Posts: 35Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 4, 2008
    Hey, thanks DanDill,

    I was at Barnes & Noble just an hour ago looking for a book on RAW, and couldn't find any. Thanks for this recommendation.
    Rich Nagle | Night Owl Photography

    http://www.nightowlphotography.com/
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 4, 2008
    First of all, you need to read this:

    http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/20357.html

    Then perhaps look into Bruce's book on sharpening:

    http://lightroom-news.com/2006/12/05/real-world-image-sharpening-tips-from-expert-bruce-fraser/

    This bit about converting to Lab to sharpen is so 20th century (and time consuming, and a great way to toss away a lot of useful bits). Been around for years, until someone smart at Adobe decided to implement the Fade command and allow a luminosity bend. Does all the useful stuff the sharpening on the Lstar channel does with more control, faster and with no data loss due to a mode change to a HUGE color space.

    As for LR, the newer versions provide only capture sharpening (discussed in the article by Bruce).

    There's George's excellent Podcasts on sharpening in LR:

    http://lightroom-news.com/2007/08/02/lightroom-tutorial-podcast-36-adobe-raw-sharpening-controls/

    And this:

    http://lightroom-news.com/2007/04/04/applying-photokit-sharpener-on-export/
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • controlthewebcontroltheweb Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited January 12, 2008
    @arodney

    I haven't read any Dan Margulis books, so this is just from personal research and experience :D:

    Your suggestion IS appropropriate for saving time working on images needing less correction to begin with. LAB's moves help most for images that benefit from the most correction.

    And while there are many RGB techniques for enhancement, LAB is full of useful moves that should not simply be thrown out and never considered.

    So if there are any LAB moves you want to use for image enhancement, you might as well take advantage of the benefits of sharpening in true luminosity while in that mode. Increasing contrast in LAB luminosity curves is another move worth considering vs. the RGB alternatives. And many LAB moves can be brought back to RGB without affecting data through image mode shifts by copying your result in LAB mode and going back through history to RBG mode and pasting.


    As to your specific recommendation, note that RGB luminosity simply means grayscale. So any color noise artifacts present show up more in "RGB luminosity" than in LAB's true luminosity. LAB luminosity sharpening therefore will reduce the sharpening of color noise artifacts for some images.

    Also, realize that where LAB can create light color in sharpening halos by calculating "impossible colors," RBG can create only white halos when sharpening the lightest colors. So LAB reduces the appearance of some halos in areas of the lightest colors for some images.

    Fade to Luminosity in RBG also changes the visual effect slightly, so some professionals suggest over sharpening and then using 85% opacity in RGB Fade to Luminosity, which introduces a poorly controlled variable in the form of determining the original oversharpening amount.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,443Super Moderators moderator
    edited January 12, 2008
    First, please allow me to thank Rutt, and everyone else for your comments in this thread. This is better than any tutorial I've found about sharpening, and better than any books I "currently" own. (I'll go buy that book Rutt suggested today.) So thank you everyone.

    I'm always trying to learn more about my photoshop skills, and my next skill to improve is sharpening. I've always just sharpened by "eye". I look forward to learning more about this technique.

    My question, is that everyone always talks about sharpening a separate layer. What about the sharpening tool in Adobe camera RAW? That's where I've always done my sharpening, after I've applied all the other little settings I want to an image. Should I "NOT" sharpen in Adobe camera RAW? Or did I miss something in the details of this thread that discussed this?

    Thanks!


    Sharpening in Adobe RAW was not recommended in versions prior to the present ARC 4.1 to 4.3 so sharpening had to be done in Photoshop.

    In Adobe RAW 4.3 ( present version) capture sharpening works extrememly well - I use it routinely now. But you cannot do it on a layer, it is a global edit. If you want to sharpen only a selected portion of an image on a layer, then you need to do that in Photoshop.

    Rutt's original post was posted several years ago - He used to shake things up a lot around hereclap.gif . Maybe he will return someday.

    Welcome to dgrin, Controltheweb. Modest choice for a name:D

    Interesting first post for a new member. I will look forward to hearing more from you. I suspect Andrew is will respond to your post with his views also. Civilized discourse is a very good thingthumb.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • CAFieldsCAFields Major Lurker Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 15, 2008
    Smart Sharpening in CS3?
    Hello,

    I've read this very informative thread with great interest as proper sharpening has been a technique that I constantly strive to improve my skills on.

    Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread.

    I'm using PS CS3 and have been using USM sharpening from back in the CS days and am trying to utilize CS3's Smart Sharpening capabilities to perhaps achieve better output if possible.

    Most of the information about Smart Sharpening on the web seems very generic and basic, and since the USM info in this thread is so very detailed and useful, I thought I'd see if anyone has similar expertise with CS3's (or CS2) Smart Sharpening.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to apply the information in this thread using Smart Sharpening instead of USM since the options in the dialog boxes are somewhat different? Or is USM still the preferred method of sharpening to most everyone here?

    Also, does anyone who is using Smart Sharpening have any favorite preferences in the Amount & Radius settings, etc.?

    My primary "genre" is Landscapes, so that's what I usually apply my sharpening to as opposed to portraits, people, etc. and I've found that an Amount of around 50-75%, Radius of 1 and Remove Lens Blur sharpens things up, but I can't really come up with what I think should be the "perfect" numbers. I'm looking for the elusive "Holy Grail" and thought someone here might have some suggestions, even though the "Holy Grail" will probably never be realistically obtainable, but if I can get closer than where I'm at now, then I'll be happy. (Photos that I'm sharpening are 3872x2592).

    Thanks for your help.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,443Super Moderators moderator
    edited January 15, 2008
    CA,

    Your interest in the utility of Smart Sharpening is shared. I submit that this would be better discussed in its own separate thread, than at the end of a thread began a couple years ago.

    Why not repost this in its own thread with a title that shows the readers the thread will be devoted to Smart Sharpening specifically. Maybe we can stir up some interest in it then.

    Interestingly, I have not seen any of several pros who use Smart Sharpening routinely. I do not either, partly because it is so computationally demanding, that my dual G5 seems to bog down with it, while with USM on a layer with a mask, things move right along.

    Maybe with the newer computers, this will change.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 15, 2008
    pathfinder wrote:
    CA,
    Interestingly, I have not seen any of several pros who use Smart Sharpening routinely.

    Its because there's nothing particularly smart about it. Bruce Fraser examined it in great detail and didn't find anything useful to incorporate into PhotoKit Sharpener. And like all manual sharpening, you're supposed to guess at the correct values by viewing an image which just doesn't work, sharpening isn't WYSIWYG and probably never will be (not until we have high resolution displays). Your display is somewhere between 72-105ppi output device, your printer is far higher than that. In the old days, the advise was to sharpen so at 100%, the image looked "slightly crunchy" whatever that means. And today, with modern ink jets, you're not going to get anywhere close to viewing the image correctly at 100% (25% is maybe a bit closer). Anyway, its a big guessing game. If you have ONE output device and media, you could "bracket" sharpening and make a print, then at viewing distance, pick the one that works for you. Some masking is also necessary (you don't want to sharpen shadows, that's where all the noise lives).
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • CAFieldsCAFields Major Lurker Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 15, 2008
    pathfinder wrote:
    CA,

    Your interest in the utility of Smart Sharpening is shared. I submit that this would be better discussed in its own separate thread, than at the end of a thread began a couple years ago.

    Why not repost this in its own thread with a title that shows the readers the thread will be devoted to Smart Sharpening specifically. Maybe we can stir up some interest in it then.

    Interestingly, I have not seen any of several pros who use Smart Sharpening routinely. I do not either, partly because it is so computationally demanding, that my dual G5 seems to bog down with it, while with USM on a layer with a mask, things move right along.

    Maybe with the newer computers, this will change.

    Thanks, I've re-posted here: http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?p=726715#post726715
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,443Super Moderators moderator
    edited January 15, 2008
    arodney wrote:
    Its because there's nothing particularly smart about it. Bruce Fraser examined it in great detail and didn't find anything useful to incorporate into PhotoKit Sharpener. And like all manual sharpening, you're supposed to guess at the correct values by viewing an image which just doesn't work, sharpening isn't WYSIWYG and probably never will be (not until we have high resolution displays). Your display is somewhere between 72-105ppi output device, your printer is far higher than that. In the old days, the advise was to sharpen so at 100%, the image looked "slightly crunchy" whatever that means. And today, with modern ink jets, you're not going to get anywhere close to viewing the image correctly at 100% (25% is maybe a bit closer). Anyway, its a big guessing game. If you have ONE output device and media, you could "bracket" sharpening and make a print, then at viewing distance, pick the one that works for you. Some masking is also necessary (you don't want to sharpen shadows, that's where all the noise lives).


    Thank you Andrew, for your candor. That has kind of been my gut impression, from trying to make sense of Smart Sharpening, and never really finding I like it any better than I can do in other ways - masks, layers, blend if, etc.

    Are their serious artists who use Smart Sharpen in preference to other methods? If there are, I would be delighted to hear their opinions as well. Maybe we'll get some interesting views in the new thread CA posted for this purpose.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • TAKE-N-IMAGESTAKE-N-IMAGES [email protected] Posts: 6Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 5, 2008
    R.I.P to Ginger_55
    R.I.P to Ginger_55
    One of Charleston's Own. Great works.

    Prayer from Michael Fischbach
  • NyteNyte .!. Posts: 164Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 21, 2009
    I realise this thread was last replied to over a year ago, but I came across a link to it today after browsing through the tutorials offered by the site and I make no apologies for my late response.

    I'd like to thank whoever wrote it for providing such a clear and easily understood article. For a novice to photography like myself, I suspect the information contained within will prove to be invaluable.

    Of course, I knew what sharpening was and could see for myself the effects of applying it, but now have a better understanding of exactly how it works and the function of each of the three sliders.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,443Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 21, 2009
    Welcome to dgrin, Nyte!
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • Rather27Rather27 Major grins Posts: 115Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 31, 2010
    arodney wrote:
    with modern ink jets, you're not going to get anywhere close to viewing the image correctly at 100% (25% is maybe a bit closer). .


    I've been driving myself crazy trying to find an acceptable sharpening look...I use PhotoKit Sharpener and I was wondering if anyone has an opinion like this. I'm wondering if looking at the image at a certain size other than 100% could give me a better idea of how sharp the print will look at proper viewing distances....I know it's based on print size but I'm trying to gauge this for the largest prints available through BayPhoto and then accept what comes out at smaller sizes....33% 50% 66%????? once I get to 100% it all starts to look a bit crunchy to me?? thanks for the input!ne_nau.gif
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 31, 2010
    Rather27 wrote:
    I've been driving myself crazy trying to find an acceptable sharpening look...I use PhotoKit Sharpener and I was wondering if anyone has an opinion like this. I'm wondering if looking at the image at a certain size other than 100% could give me a better idea of how sharp the print will look at proper viewing distances....I know it's based on print size but I'm trying to gauge this for the largest prints available through BayPhoto and then accept what comes out at smaller sizes....33% 50% 66%????? once I get to 100% it all starts to look a bit crunchy to me?? thanks for the input!ne_nau.gif

    Depending on the output, you most certainly want to be viewing at something other than 100% (and something that looks crunchy at 100% may print beautifully). For a high quality Inkjet, you might indeed want to view at 25% (see http://www.schewephoto.com/workshop/PerfectColorPrint.pdf)
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • Rather27Rather27 Major grins Posts: 115Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 31, 2010
    [QUOTE=arodney For a high quality Inkjet, you might indeed want to view at 25% (see http://www.schewephoto.com/workshop/PerfectColorPrint.pdf)[/QUOTE]

    so for Bay Photos printer ( continuous tone printer I think?) this would work also?
  • BinaryFxBinaryFx Major grins Posts: 707Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 25, 2010
    Rather27 wrote:
    so for Bay Photos printer ( continuous tone printer I think?) this would work also?

    I am guessing that a contone print would require more subtle sharpening than for an image that is screened. It should be very easy to output two test prints of the same image with different sharpening, the cost of testing photo lab output is ofen cheaper than for other output.

    I would probably compare 3 tests of the same image, no sharpening vs. two levels of sharpening - one subtle sharpen that looks good at 100% view with no overt halos, vs. one that looks good at a reduced view of 25%.

    When you get the prints back, compare them to the screen view at 100% and 25%.

    One may also wish to test viewing at 100% only and then moving back further than for normal viewing distance and compare this to the view at 25%.

    So many subjective and personal things to test!



    Stephen Marsh

    http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binaryfx
    http://prepression.blogspot.com
  • DrazickDrazick Big grins Posts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 17, 2014
    I usually use Multi Frequency methods like this tool, Fixel Detailizer 2 PS:

    http://www.cs-extensions.com/products/detailizer/

    Really easy...
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