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One of the tricky things about sharpening is it's different depending on where you're putting the image. So an image like this that we might work on, means one thing on the screen while we're editing it and it might look great here but look entirely different when we push it out to a print. It might need to be more aggressively sharpened there because of the media. And if we were to push it to the web, it's going to be a much smaller file, so I can get away with more artifacts. I probably want to sharpen more there. Rather than having to reedit it every time you go to a different destination, Light Room has some really cool built-in technology.
I've already talked about how it works in the develop module. You can see that an image like this has some basic sharpening and masking applied to it and it looks good on screen. Now if we were to move over to print. Let's go ahead and just select this image. Move it in here. The rules are going to be different. They're going to be based on a lot of different criteria like the media size and media type. But you'll notice over here, towards the lower part of the print dialogue on the right hand side, that there's an area for print sharpening.
And if you toggle this on, you have some basic controls: low, standard, and high sharpening, and glossy or matte paper. And the idea here is you don't have to go back to the develop module and adjust Sharpening, along with everything else. This is a very common area to change, and so what we do is, we set it up so you can get it just the way you like it and not worry about it. As with everything with printing, you'll probably going to need to print a few different versions before you get the setting that's just right for you.
But between these three settings and the two media settings, you should be able to get things looking great. Now, the other spot is with the web. If you're making a web gallery and you're pushing things out, you've got this great power within Lightroom to do that but the image is going to look different on the web. You might want to sharpen more aggressively here. Again, on the lower right hand side you've got a box for sharpening. And you've got variable output sharpening: low, standard and high. These are not the same low, standard and high. They are low, standard and high as they apply to web output.
So you've got your developed sharpening, which think of that as how your file actually looks. Your print sharpening, which is fixed to different media types in your settings. And then your web or screen output sharpening. And the truth is once you set them up in the way that works best for you, you probably won't have to worry about them again. But it's great to know they're there. I definitely encourage you to use them. Because your images do look different depending upon where they are.
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