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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.
When it comes to speeding up the way that you improve the details in your photographs, one of the ways that you can do that, is by creating and using custom presets. Let's take a look at how we can create a few custom presets which will help us to improve the sharpness and the noise reduction in our images. We'll be working with this photograph here. And first, because I have my panels closed on the left, I need to click on this icon in order to open them up. You can do the same. Then, open up the presets panel.
Inside of the presets panel, you'll find a number of different folders and presets which are pre-installed. These allow us to affect color and tone, and do other things as well. We can use this user preset, or we can also create our own custom folder. Let me show you how you can do that. Simply position your cursor anywhere over this window, then right-click or Ctrl+Click and choose the option of New Folder. Again that's a right or Ctrl+click. Let's choose New Folder. And the new folder that I'm going to name here is just my initials, CO, and then details presets.
In this way, all of my detail presets will be in one location. I'll click Create and that will then create a new folder for us here. You can see I actually already have one, I'll talk about that later but for this movie, we'll focus in on the one which we just created. Alright, we're onto building and crafting and creating this preset. Let's go to the Detail panel and let's do what we know how to do, and that is to use these controls to improve this picture. Click on this icon here, to zoom into 100%, and begin to analyze what you see.
What I see is some color noise and some luminance noise. I want to tackle that issue first. So here I'll bring up my luminance noise reduction amount there. I'll drop the detail down, a little bit less detail in that area. And bring a little bit of contrast up as well. Color noise and to keep that as low as I can, perhaps right around there, and drop the detail down. I think that's pretty good for this picture. What I'm looking to do here is to create a general preset which I can use as a starting point as I start to process my images.
Alright, I think we're going in a decent direction. Next for the sharpening. We'll drag the sharpening amount to the right. In doing that I noticed I brought back and sharpened all of the texture and small little details there. So, I'm going to drop my detail amount back down to zero. I even bring in some masking and if you want to view the mask, press and hold option on a MAC, Alt on Windows and then drag that over to the right. This will allow us to do some sharpening which is more focused on the edges. Alright, I think we're at a pretty good place as far as a kind of a default general starting point.
And once you get to that place, you can save out all of these settings really easily by going to the presets panel and clicking on the Plus icon. When you click on the Plus icon it will open up a dialog here, telling you you can build a new develop preset. We want to save this one inside of our folder. So select the folder, or you can use the default folder as well if you want to, either way is fine. Here I'll select my folder, though. Let's give this one a name, I'm just going to call this one General, and then next we want to check the settings which we want to apply.
You can chose Check None if there are more selected and manually just click on those options. Sharpening, Noise Reduction, and Process Version when sure for the best results. Then, click Create in order to build and create that pre-set. There it is, we have it! We can now use that on other pictures. Let's explore how we can do that. Here I'll click on this photograph, and I'm going to zoom out so you can see it a little bit better. This is a picture of the Disney Concert Hall. It's a raw file, it needs some work done to it.
So I'll zoom back in on an area of the picture, perhaps this is good area. And rather than going to detail panel and changing my amount and my sliders, I'll go to the preset panel. And here I'll click on the preset which will allow me to apply all of these settings that we have here. And you know what, I think this is a really good starting point. It isn't perfect for this photograph because this picture has a lot of blue sky, and I see some more luminance noise in that area. So it looks like my luminance slider needs to go up, my detail slider needs to go down.
This one also needs to have these edges sharpened more. Typically when I want more edge or more defined edge, I bring my radius slider over to the right. And here we've created another variation of this version of sharpening or detail work. And we're able, I think, to accomplish it more quickly because we started out with that preset which we had created. Now if you get to a point like we've gotten to here and you say, you know what, I want to save out these settings as well and maybe I'll use these on a different photograph.
Well you can always go back to the presets panel, click on the Plus icon, give this one a name. We'll name this one general edge dash sky. Because this is the preset where I have good edge detail and also reduces the noise in the sky. You can name these really however you want. And the naming convention kind of depends upon how many presets you think you'll actually use. Some people in regards to their detail just have a few, others have a lot. So in this case, I'll just keep my name really simple.
Make sure I'm using sharpening, noise reduction and process version for the preset. Then click Create, and then you can have that here saved inside of your folder. And the great thing about these type of presets is you simple click on them and you can see how the sliders change. And if you have a set of presets it can be helpful to click through a few. Select the one that gives you the best results, then go back and make any needed adjustments in order to make the details even better.
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