Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

Video: Sharpening

Camera RAW has its own sharpening controls. Sharpening is most important just before you output a photo. If Camera RAW is your last stop before you plan to take an image to print, or put it online, then definitely sharpen here. Even if you plan to do further work on this photo in Elements Editor, and after that, to do your final output sharpening in the Editor, you may still want to do some capture sharpening here in Camera RAW. Sharpening in the Camera RAW workspace is done in the Detail tab, where you'll find these four sharpening settings: Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking.
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  1. 23m 48s
    1. Welcome
    2. Getting around Elements
      6m 9s
    3. Exploring the differences in Mac versions of Elements
      5m 41s
    4. Working with Organizer catalogs
      6m 16s
    5. Using the exercise files
      4m 44s
  2. 21m 39s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      5m 35s
    2. Importing photos from a camera
      4m 44s
    3. Importing photos from a computer
      3m 1s
    4. Importing photos from an iPhoto library
      5m 27s
    5. Importing photos from external drives
      2m 52s
  3. 31m 24s
    1. Working in Thumbnail view
      4m 10s
    2. Working in Folder Location view
      4m 33s
    3. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      4m 55s
    4. Editing and organizing in Full Screen view
      7m 20s
    5. Comparing photos in Side by Side view
      4m 10s
    6. Displaying photos in Date view
      2m 40s
    7. Viewing photo information
      3m 36s
  4. 47m 47s
    1. Using keyword tags to categorize photos
      6m 42s
    2. Organizing keyword tags
      4m 25s
    3. Finding photos by keyword tag
      3m 39s
    4. Automatically tagging people
      8m 21s
    5. Using automatic smart tagging
      5m 36s
    6. Assigning ratings to photos
      4m 9s
    7. Creating albums to organize photos
      5m 7s
    8. Creating smart albums
      5m 52s
    9. Stacking photos to reduce thumbnail clutter
      3m 56s
  5. 24m 36s
    1. Finding photos that are visually similar to each other
      4m 3s
    2. Searching for an object in a photo
      3m 46s
    3. Finding duplicate photos
      4m 50s
    4. Searching by text
      5m 59s
    5. Exploring the Find menu
      4m 27s
    6. Finding photos in the Timeline
      1m 31s
  6. 22m 42s
    1. Deleting photos
      4m 30s
    2. Renaming photos
      2m 24s
    3. Moving photos
      3m 58s
    4. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 37s
    5. Changing photo dates
      4m 30s
    6. Backing up
      2m 43s
  7. 16m 14s
    1. Choosing an editing workspace
      4m 37s
    2. Autocorrecting with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      3m 47s
    3. Photo finishing with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      4m 2s
    4. Changing a Photo Fix adjustment
      3m 48s
  8. 22m 10s
    1. Editing with assistance: the Guided Edit workspace
      6m 27s
    2. Retouching a photo the step-by-step way
      7m 55s
    3. Creating a dreamlike Orton effect
      1m 8s
    4. Simulating shallow depth of field
      4m 11s
    5. Creating a collage using Picture Stack
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 27s
    1. Quick improvements: introducing the Quick Edit workspace
      3m 28s
    2. Applying Quick Edit corrections
      4m 8s
    3. Adjusting lighting
      4m 0s
    4. Correcting color
      4m 20s
    5. Fixing red-eye, improving skies, and touching up photos
      6m 29s
    6. Sharpening images
      3m 10s
    7. Saving in Quick Edit
      3m 52s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Full control: introducing the Full Edit workspace
      5m 19s
    2. Tips for using the editing tools
      3m 50s
    3. Customizing panels
      5m 10s
    4. Undoing your work
      6m 22s
    5. Zooming and navigating
      4m 41s
    6. Saving images and examining file formats
      4m 50s
    7. Working with multiple documents
      4m 0s
    8. Creating a file from scratch
      2m 57s
    9. Customizing Editor preferences
      4m 7s
  11. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 3s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      7m 19s
    3. Tips for working with layers
      4m 25s
    4. Understanding layer masks
      6m 55s
  12. 30m 0s
    1. Understanding selections
      6m 49s
    2. Using manual selection tools
      4m 42s
    3. Modifying selections
      4m 20s
    4. Using the automatic selection tools
      7m 11s
    5. Refining selections
      4m 50s
    6. Saving selections
      2m 8s
  13. 23m 52s
    1. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush tool
      2m 50s
    2. Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool
      6m 7s
    3. Retouching with the Clone Stamp tool
      1m 58s
    4. Using the Content-Aware option in the Spot Healing Brush to remove content
      3m 13s
    5. Touching up photos with the Smart Brush tools
      7m 22s
    6. Using the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      2m 22s
  14. 1h 0m
    1. Understanding color management
      7m 23s
    2. Understanding adjustment layers
      6m 49s
    3. Adjusting part of a photo
      6m 16s
    4. Correcting contrast and brightness using Levels controls
      5m 6s
    5. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation
      4m 32s
    6. Improving shadow and highlights using Shadow/Highlight
      2m 36s
    7. Adjusting lighting and color using Color Curves
      3m 53s
    8. Removing a color cast
      2m 11s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
    10. Reducing noise
      3m 53s
    11. Sharpening images
      6m 43s
    12. Processing multiple photos
      8m 19s
  15. 23m 7s
    1. Resizing and changing photo resolution
      7m 1s
    2. Cropping photos
      5m 36s
    3. Straightening photos
      2m 35s
    4. Adding canvas around photos
      2m 43s
    5. Changing a photos orientation using the Recompose tool
      5m 12s
  16. 23m 50s
    1. Combining photos using the Place command
      5m 21s
    2. Using a layer mask to hide a background
      6m 26s
    3. Blending images using a gradient
      8m 18s
    4. Blending images using Blend modes
      3m 45s
  17. 24m 2s
    1. Creating text
      6m 22s
    2. Editing text
      3m 49s
    3. Creating text on a selection
      6m 1s
    4. Creating text around a shape
      3m 51s
    5. Creating text on a custom path
      3m 59s
  18. 22m 43s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 24s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 6s
    3. Adding layer styles
      7m 38s
    4. Making shapes
      5m 17s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 18s
  19. 42m 15s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      3m 35s
    2. The Camera Raw interface
      5m 16s
    3. Adjusting color using the white balance controls
      4m 41s
    4. Controlling lighting and contrast
      6m 26s
    5. Enhancing photos with the Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation controls
      2m 39s
    6. Cropping and straightening
      2m 13s
    7. Reducing Noise
      2m 24s
    8. Sharpening
      6m 46s
    9. Outputting from Camera Raw
      4m 43s
    10. Processing multiple photos in Camera Raw
      3m 32s
  20. 56m 44s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 50s
    2. Completing the photo book
      10m 5s
    3. Creating a photo calendar
      8m 19s
    4. Creating a photo greeting card
      5m 18s
    5. Making other photo creations in the Create workspace
      2m 8s
    6. Outputting photo creations from the Create workspace
      2m 50s
    7. Creating a photo slideshow in Windows
      8m 45s
    8. Completing the photo slideshow
      3m 31s
    9. Making a scrapbook page from scratch in Full Edit
      8m 58s
  21. 41m 35s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 30s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages in Windows
      5m 23s
    3. Printing contact sheets and picture packages on a Mac
      8m 33s
    4. Ordering prints from the Organizer
      4m 23s
    5. Sharing photos by email from the Organizer
      3m 46s
    6. Sharing photos with Photo Mail in Windows
      5m 3s
    7. Sharing photos on Facebook from the Organizer
      3m 42s
    8. Sharing photos on Flickr from the Organizer
      2m 15s
  22. 7m 34s
    1. Signing up for an Adobe ID
      2m 20s
    2. Sharing online albums from the Organizer to
      5m 14s
  23. 40s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training
11h 3m Beginner Mar 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Jan Kabili introduces the photo organizing, editing, and sharing features of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, the less expensive version of Photoshop that’s ideal for casual photographers who want to achieve professional results. The course covers importing, organizing, and finding photos with the Organizer. It explains how and when to use each of the editing workspaces—from the simple Quick Fix and Guided Edit workspaces to the Full Edit workspace for enhancing your photos—including making photo corrections, retouching, compositing images, and adding text. The final chapter offers creative ways to share photos with Elements, including print projects like greeting cards, calendars, and books, emailing photos, and posting them on Facebook and Flickr.

Topics include:
  • Importing photos from a camera, computer, or iPhoto library
  • Adding keyword tags and ratings to photos
  • Automatically tagging people
  • Organizing photos into albums
  • Renaming and moving photos
  • Correcting common photo problems automatically
  • Retouching photos of friends and family
  • Adjusting lighting and color
  • Working with layers and layer masks
  • Converting photos to black-and-white
  • Cropping and straightening photos
  • Adding text to photos
  • Working with raw photos
  • Making a slideshow
  • Ordering prints
Photoshop Elements Elements
Jan Kabili


Camera RAW has its own sharpening controls. Sharpening is most important just before you output a photo. If Camera RAW is your last stop before you plan to take an image to print, or put it online, then definitely sharpen here. Even if you plan to do further work on this photo in Elements Editor, and after that, to do your final output sharpening in the Editor, you may still want to do some capture sharpening here in Camera RAW. Sharpening in the Camera RAW workspace is done in the Detail tab, where you'll find these four sharpening settings: Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking.

Before we get to those, I want to do something very important, which is to zoom into 100%, which you should do in sharpening in order to see an accurate preview of the effect of the Sharpening controls on your photo. I'll go down to the menu at the bottom of the screen, and I'll choose 100% from there, and then I'll use the Hand tool to move to the part of the image that I want to see as I do my initial sharpening. But because this image is so much bigger than the document window, I should be constantly moving around using this Hand tool as I move the various controls in the Detail panel, so that I make sure to see the effect of those controls on all parts of the photo.

Sharpening here in Camera RAW basically works like sharpening in the Full Photo Edit workspace, which I've covered earlier. Sharpening increases contrast at what the program perceives to be edges in the photo. That's where light pixels meet dark pixels. When you sharpen, light pixels at those edges are brightened, and dark pixels at those edges are darkened. This increase in edge contrast creates the illusion that an image is sharper. The controls in the Detail panel regulate various aspects of that sharpening process. The Amount, and Radius sliders are the same as the Amount, and Radius sliders that we saw in the Adjust Sharpness, and Unsharp Mask dialog boxes out in the Full Photo Edit workspace.

The Amount slider controls the strength of this lightening, and darkening at edges treatment. The Radius slider determines the width of the sharpening halo; how many pixels out from an edge gets this treatment. And these two sliders influence each other. I am going to start with something I wouldn't always do, which is to take the Amount slider, and drag it way over to the right, and the same with the Radius slider, because I want you to see what sharpening is doing. If you look along this whisker here, you can see that there are light and dark pixels along the whiskers, and that's meant to give this illusion of sharpness.

However, this is obviously way too much. So I'm going to start by moving the Radius slider back until I don't see those sharpening halos. In this case, I am going to move it way back; maybe to about 1 or so. I generally don't put Radius at more than 2, and in fact, the maximum on this slider is 3. Then I'll take the Amount slider, and I'll drag that to the left until the sharpening looks better to me; not so over sharpened.

Now, sharpening is subjective, and it also depends on where you are planning to output. So if I'm planning to output this image for print, then I am going to want it to look a little sharper on screen than I expect it to look in the print, because it will get a little softer in the printing process. So in that case, I might put the Amount at something like, say, 100. Now, I see that there is some sharpening going on here in the background; in this area that almost appears to be noise. So if I haven't already done this, I would go back to the Noise Reduction sliders, and make sure that I had already reduced, not only color noise, but also luminance noise; the grayscale noise that I mentioned in the last movie on noise reduction.

I can do that now, and I can see if that helps with the sharpening, and yes, that makes this area a little bit softer to drag the Luminance slider over to the right. Now I'd like to compare a before and after. So I'll go up to the Preview menu, and I'll uncheck it. That's where I started. There's quite a bit of softness in the areas that I would like to be sharp; the eye here, and this area of the fur. When I check Preview again, you can see the difference that just the Amount, and Radius slider have made there. Now let's take a look at the Detail, and Masking slider.

When you have an image that has lots of fine details in it that you want to sharpen, then you are going to want to drag the Detail slider further to the right in order to include more details in what gets sharpened. But if you have a photo that's mostly of sky, or something smooth that you don't want to sharpen, then you'll pull the Detail slider more to the left. To see what the Detail slider is doing, I am going to move over here a little bit, so we have some of the background, and the middle part, and the foreground in the image, and then I'm going to hold down the Alt key in my keyboard, and drag that Detail slider over.

Notice that as I drag over, if you look closely at the area toward the right of the document window, there are some white patterns in the gray. The white patterns represent the area that's going to be sharpened. So I really don't want to sharpen that background material. So I'll drag the Detail slider back over to the left, and then I can see that the white edges are only in the squirrel's face; not in the background area. There's one more slider here, and that's the Masking slider. To show you that, I am going to have to zoom all the way out, so you can see more of the image.

So I'll double-click the Hand tool to fit the image on screen. The Masking slider can protect smooth, solid areas, like this white snow in this photo, from sharpening. You might typically use the Masking slider to protect a model's face in a portrait, or to protect a bright blue sky in a landscape. When this slider is at 0, nothing is being protected from my Sharpening settings, but as I drag the Masking slider to the right, I am telling Camera RAW to protect more and more of the smooth area of the snow from sharpening, and to apply sharpening only to the well-defined edges.

To see a grayscale preview of exactly what's being protected, I'll hold down the Alt key -- that's the Option key on the Mac -- as I drag the Masking slider to the right. As the background becomes black, and expands, more and more of the snow is going to be protected from sharpening. So the dark parts of the mask represent the protected areas, and the white edges represent what will not be protected. When I am doing setting all the sliders, I'll zoom back into 100%, and thoroughly check all of the image at that view.

Using the Hand tool to move around the image to make sure that I'm happy with the impact of my sharpening settings on all parts of this image, and as I do that, I'll often uncheck and then recheck Preview to see the difference between how the image looked unsharpened, and how it looks with sharpening. Sharpening is almost the last step in the workflow of processing a photo in Camera RAW. All that's left to do now is to output the processed photo, either by saving it with these settings, or by opening it into Elements Editor for further editing, all of which I'll show you in the next movie.

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