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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Here we are going to take a look at how we can work with our Sharpening Controls inside of the Develop module. Well, in the Develop module, first open up the Detail panel. Now, when you do that, you will notice there is a warning icon. If you click on this warning icon, it will zoom your image up to 100%. If you hover over it, it will tell you, hey, you probably want to work on the detail, either at 100% or greater. Well, now that we are zoomed in to the image, we can see that this low light photograph has a lot of noise in the background and also quite a bit of softness.
So, here what I want to do is sharpen the image, and I am going to over exaggerate the sharpening, just so we can begin to understand what's really happening. As we increase the amount, we can see that there is a more intense sharpening applied to the photograph. All right, well how will then this Radius work? Well, if you decrease the radius, you are going to see less edge glow; on the other hand, if you increase it, you are going to see that the edges are much more prominent, much stronger. One of the great ways to determine an appropriate amount of your amount, radius, detail or masking is to use a shortcut modifier key.
On the Mac, you hold down Option,; on Windows, you hold down Alt, and then you move any of these sliders. Let's do this with radius. I find it especially helpful here. So, hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, and then click and drag this slider. Can you see how those edges are now small, and here they are really big? So, what does this mean for us? Well, you will notice that their radius varies from 0 to 3. It's a pretty low number, and it's a low number because for the most part, you are going to be around 1.5, 2 or less.
And many times, you are going to be less than 1, because you don't want that glowing edge, which is the dead giveaway that you have oversharpened your photograph. So again, typically, you will have a lower radius amount. All right, what about detail? We will click and drag down, and here we will see that many of the small details aren't sharp, and this is really good for people photographs. On the other hand, if you have a photograph which is architecture or perhaps a photograph of a leaf, you know a macro shot of the details of a leaf, and you want all the little tiny details to come out.
Well in those cases, you may want to increase that Detail slider, and to bring out all of the small little textures and artifacts. Well in this case, we have obviously overexaggerated things, but it's helpful to see the difference between the two. Once again, hold down Option on a Mac and Alt on Windows, and you can see the difference in regards to a low detail amount or a high detail amount. All right, well, what about Masking? Well, as you increase the masking amount, what it will do is it will limit the sharpening to the edges. And here we can see the exaggerated sharpening is primarily being applied to the edges. A great way to view this is by holding down, Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows.
What this is showing us is a mask, if you know anything about masking in Photoshop, you know that black conceals and white reveals. In other words, whatever is white, that's the area that will be sharpened, and in this case, the sharpening is now applied to those areas of the photograph. All right, well this sharpening amount is just over the top. It doesn't look very good. But by exaggerating things, we are able to really start to wrap our brain around how this works. So, the next thing I want to do is reset this amount. To do that, hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows.
That will change sharpening, to reset sharpening, and then click on that option to reset this to the default settings. Well, now that we've started to experiment with the Sharpening and Noise Reduction controls, let's take a look at how we can apply an appropriate amount of sharpening and noise reduction to this photograph.
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