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Sharpening

From: Up and Running with Lightroom 5

Video: Sharpening

Another consequence of the digital capture process is that it softens photos. So photographers will often sharpen their photos and you can do that at more than one point in your work flow. So many photographers will sharpen upon capture using the sliders in the detail panel in Lightrooms develop module. And they also may sharpen during their workflow and then they might sharpen again when they output a photo and that's called Output Sharpening. And I cover that elsewhere in the course when we're talking about exporting a photo. So let's talk about capture or creative sharpening here in the Detail panel in the Develop module. The first thing to remember about sharpening is that you can't evaluate the sharpness of an image.

Sharpening

Another consequence of the digital capture process is that it softens photos. So photographers will often sharpen their photos and you can do that at more than one point in your work flow. So many photographers will sharpen upon capture using the sliders in the detail panel in Lightrooms develop module. And they also may sharpen during their workflow and then they might sharpen again when they output a photo and that's called Output Sharpening. And I cover that elsewhere in the course when we're talking about exporting a photo. So let's talk about capture or creative sharpening here in the Detail panel in the Develop module. The first thing to remember about sharpening is that you can't evaluate the sharpness of an image.

Nor the effects of the sharpening sliders unless you zoomed in to one to one view. And you can do that both in this small preview here at the top of the Detail panel, which you can access by clicking this triangle. And in the large preview in the work area itself. So here I've set my small preview just at the area of this small dot in the sky. And here you can see it's a bird. But I'm also going to zoom in over here in the large preview area. Now normally I would zoom to just 100%. But I'm actually going to zoom in a little closer so that you can really get a sense of what's happening as I explain what sharpening is.

When Lightroom is sharpening a photo it looks for edges where there are bright pixels next to darker pixels. And then it brightens the bright pixels and darkens the dark pixels at those edges. And that increase in contrast gives the illusion of sharpening. Now before I sharpen a photo I'll be sure to do some noise reduction. I covered noise reduction elsewhere in this course. So for now I'm just going to come over to the Noise Reduction sliders and drag the Luminous slider over to the right to reduce some of the noise that I see in the image. And then I'll go to the sliders in the sharpening table of the detail table. The Amount slider and the Radius slider work together. What the Amount slider does is control the brightness and darkness of the pixels at those sharpened edges.

We call that the sharpening haloes. And the Radius slider determines the width of those sharpening haloes. So I'll often approach these sliders by dragging the Amount slider all the way over to the right. And now you can really see those sharpened edges or sharpening halos. And along the snow here there's a kind of a ghost like effect. if I take the Radius slider and drag that to the right you can see the sharpening halos get thicker and thicker. Now I usually keep the Radius slider pretty low. So I'm going to drag that over to the left reducing the width of my sharpening halos.

And then I'll take the Amount slider and drag that back to the left to taste. So I want these edges and these details to look sharp but I don't want to see so much of those sharpening halos. And there really are no formulas for these sliders. The settings you choose will be different for each image. There are two more sliders here, the Detail slider and the Masking slider. If I drag the detail slider over to the right, you can see I am bringing back some more of the detail in the bricks. That's a little bit to far maybe ill put that about there.

And the amount of detail for each image varies with the image too. So when you're working on a portrait you may not want to bring out all the detail in the model skin you might have your Detail slider over to the left more. And notice that sharpening has brought back some of the noise in the sky. I can use the Masking slider to protect large open areas like that from sharpening. To show you what this slider does I'm going to hold the Option key. That's the Alt key on the PC as I drag the masking slider to the right. And as I do, you can see that the sky and part of the bricks is covered in black.

The black areas of this mask are protecting those areas from sharpening. I'll release the option or Alt key and you can see the result. You can no longer see all of that noise in the sky. But now the bricks look too soft. So I'm going to compromise dragging back on the masking slider a bit to just about there. Now I want to be sure to view the image at 100%. So I'm going to click in that bar on the left to bring back the panels on the left side of the develop module and I'm going to click on the one to one view. And I'll evaluate my sharpening at this view. And if I'm satisfied then I'll go back to the fit on screen view like this.

So that's how to use the sharpening sliders in the Detail panel for capture and creative sharpening during your workflow.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Lightroom 5
Up and Running with Lightroom 5

40 video lessons · 24212 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 22s
  2. 30m 31s
    1. Understanding catalogs
      4m 21s
    2. Organizing your photos before importing
      3m 10s
    3. Deciding where to store your photos
      4m 28s
    4. Importing photos from a drive
      8m 14s
    5. Importing photos from a camera
      10m 18s
  3. 1h 15m
    1. Library module workspace
      7m 21s
    2. Viewing and sorting photos
      6m 16s
    3. Selecting photos
      7m 9s
    4. Reviewing and rating photos
      8m 41s
    5. Organizing with collections
      6m 27s
    6. Using Smart Collections
      6m 21s
    7. Keywording
      4m 51s
    8. Finding photos by keyword
      5m 40s
    9. Finding photos with the Metadata filter
      4m 53s
    10. Moving files and folders
      7m 16s
    11. Renaming photos
      4m 18s
    12. Working with Smart Previews when traveling
      6m 6s
  4. 54m 18s
    1. Develop module workspace
      6m 14s
    2. Cropping and straightening
      4m 25s
    3. Fixing perspective with Upright
      7m 19s
    4. Setting white balance
      4m 41s
    5. Using the histogram to evaluate tones
      4m 5s
    6. Adjusting tone and color in the Basic panel
      8m 45s
    7. Fine-tuning colors in the HSL panel
      3m 35s
    8. Converting to black and white
      3m 56s
    9. Using virtual copies
      3m 43s
    10. Reducing digital noise
      3m 24s
    11. Sharpening
      4m 11s
  5. 26m 21s
    1. Targeting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 45s
    2. Spotlighting and vignetting with the Radial filter
      6m 0s
    3. Gradual editing with the Graduated filter
      4m 5s
    4. Removing dust spots with Spot Removal circles
      6m 12s
    5. Removing content with Spot Removal brushstrokes
      3m 19s
  6. 30m 40s
    1. Exporting photos
      9m 22s
    2. Setting up a connection to Facebook
      6m 22s
    3. Sharing photos to Facebook
      5m 44s
    4. Printing photos
      9m 12s
  7. 26s
    1. Next steps
      26s

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