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Real focus happens inside the camera's lens element. The sharpening features in Photoshop CS3 exaggerate the contrast along edges in a photograph to transform a well-focused image into an outstanding image. In Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, Deke McClelland teaches a host of sharpening and noise reduction techniques, including using filters such as Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, High Pass, and Reduce Noise. The training teaches the essentials of sharpening, including what it does, why it's important, and how the filters function. Plus, the training covers Deke's recommended best practices, including the four distinct varieties of sharpening, which can be used independently or in combination with each other. Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images is about how to transform images from looking good to looking their absolute best. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this project, we are going to talk about how to add depth of field to an image. So that we bring more of the image on to the focal plane. So notice what we have in the case of this image right here, which is called a Man with columns.PSD. It's found inside the 07_For_Effect folder and this image comes to us from photographer Tom Young, once again of iStockphoto.com. And notice that we have this gentleman in the foreground, who is in sharp focus, and his background is out of focus. It's very separated from him.
Now what if you want it to look more part of him, you want the foreground and background to appear to be more in union with each other? Like this image right here for example, which by the way is called heightened DOF, meaning depth of field, .PSD also found inside that same 07_For_Effect folder. How do you go about achieving this effect? Well, I will say first of all that you aren't going to take portions of an image that are out of focus and suddenly make them in focus. So the background still appears to be somewhat out of focus.
You are just going to close the gap a little bit. Now we could try to- by the way this is the entire built file at this point- we could try to close the gap even farther. We could try to heighten the focus of the background even more and I could do that by going to this Unsharp Mask effect that's been applied to this Smart Object that's called success right here. And I could change its blend mode settings by double clicking on the blending icon and I could increase the Opacity. Notice that I have the Opacity setting way down; I could increase it to a 100%.
So that we have a very crunchy background indeed and I will go ahead and accept that modification. That to me doesn't look like it's in focus. What it looks like to me is this guy is standing in front of a poster that is over sharpened. So he doesn't look like he is even in the neighborhood of these columns anymore; it just looks like a completely faked effect. Whereas if I go ahead and back it off by pressing the Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, so I undo that modification, then we end up getting something that produces an enhanced depth of field effect as I say, but it looks credible as well.
It looks like the image might have actually been photographed this way. Now I am going return back to the original image right here, Man with columns.PSD from the iStockphoto.com. image library as I say. Now it's tempting after seeing this heightened depth of field image here. It's tempting to look at this one and say gosh, was this modified? I mean this foreground image looks so different than its background. Perhaps he was masked against this background, or the photographer took the time in order to mask the background and lightened it significantly.
I am going to tell you first of all, I didn't do anything to the image and secondly, I don't think the photographer did either and I will tell you why. I am going to double click on the Smart Object. Notice that I have gone ahead and taken the original image and opened it inside of Camera RAW and then transported the image into Photoshop as a Smart Object. So we can go ahead and double click on the Smart Object in order to load the Camera RAW modifications. Heres a few reasons why I don't think anything has been done to this image. First of all, it was slightly crooked and so I needed to go ahead and just ever so slightly straighten it and I also went ahead and cropped it as well.
And I made some modifications to the temperature and tint which I didnt think were exactly what they needed to be. And if I switch over to the Sharpening options here, you can see that I up the Color noise reduction setting. I am going to ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+0 or Command+Option+0 in order to zoom in on this image and actually I am going to zoom in quite close on the eye and cheek details right here. This is what the image looked like originally. If I set the color value down to the 0, you can see that there is a lot of color noise inside of this image, both inside of the skin tones and inside of the eye, there is a lot of blue. There is a lot of aberrant very bright blues inside of this image that can be easily resolved by uping this color value to 30 and then they pretty much entirely go away.
I also sharpened for the de-mosaicing process. So I am guessing that if the photographer didn't take care of the straightening and the Color noise reduction and all of that stuff then he wasn't going to spend the time necessary to create an extremely accurate mask. This is quite the mask, I am here to tell you, and separate the image from the background. So my guess? This is the way it was photographed, it's beautiful photograph incidentally. So nothing against the photography at all. Alright. So having explained what we are about to do, we will set about doing what we are about to do in the next exercise.
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