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Since the beginning of the photographic art form, photographers have been searching for clearer and sharper images. Now, you don't have to settle for what was captured in camera; you can perfect your photos in post-production. In this course, Chris Orwig tackles sharpening in three programs: Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop. They all have their strengths, so he shows you how to get the best results from specific sharpening challenges with each one. Chris shows you how to reduce noise and sharpen with sliders and make selective adjustments to certain areas of raw images. In Photoshop, he uses powerful filters like Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen to sharpen larger areas of pictures, and masking to paint in sharpening. Last, he shares two advanced techniques, one using high pass sharpening and another that limits sharpening to the edges of your images.
In the next few movies, we will begin our conversation about how we can use some powerful Camera Raw controls in the Detail panel in order to improve the details in our photographs, whether that's to sharpen a photograph or reduce noise. Yet, in order to really understand how those controls work, we need to think about them within the larger context of our workflow. And when it comes to Camera Raw, we often begin right here in the Basic panel. And then later, we'll go to the Detail panel which is located right here, and perform some sharpening and noise reduction.
Yet, before we do that, we need to begin to think about how our work in the Basic panel will affect the amount, intensity, and type of sharpening or noise reduction that we might do. So let's zoom in on this image to begin to think about that. Here I'll grab the Zoom tool, and just click a couple times so that we can zoom in and evaluate the detail that we have here in this capture. For the most part, we have pretty good exposure and sharpness and detail, yet let's start to process the image. Something we might do is perhaps change the exposure.
You know, the Exposure slider allows us to make dramatic adjustments. Let me exaggerate just for a moment. if I increase the exposure, you can see that what's happening is the image appears softer because it became so bright. I'm also bringing in a lot of luminance and color noise in the background. We'll talk more about what those things actually are, but for now, the background doesn't look as good. The shadows now look a little bit grainy or strange. So, the change of exposure can change the type of details that we have in the image.
The same thing is true with contrast. If I increase the contrast, well, the photograph appears sharper. If we decrease the contrast, it appears a little bit softer and the colors change as well. So, for this image, let's say we want to add a little bit of contrast and maybe a slight increase in exposure. Each of these adjustments, even small adjustments, we're keeping in mind to remember that how we adjust the image will affect our work later. The Shadow slider is another culprit of unearthing or uncovering noise.
If we brighten up the shadows, let me zoom in on those so you can see those a little bit better, you can see in this area here or in the background, all a sudden, we have noise which we didn't even realize was there. And that always happens when we brighten up areas of our pictures which were once dark. That's just the nature of digital capture. And this isn't a bad thing. It isn't necessarily the end of the world or a big problem, rather it's something I want us to become aware of so that we can deal with it later. With this image, I might bring up my shadow detail just a touch there.
Next we have clarity. Increase clarity and the photograph will appear sharper. Decrease clarity and it appears softer. So each of these controls in some way affects the overall workflow as do the last two, vibrance and saturation. If we increase the saturation, while we're going to, perhaps to brighten up the colors in good ways, but we might also brighten up or saturate color noise. So as you start to work in the Basic panel, just keep those things in mind. Alright, well, now that we've started to think about how the Basic panel can affect our photograph, let's keep this image open.
And next, let's take a look at the Detail panel so that we can really understand the sliders and controls, and how we can use those to perfect our photographs.
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