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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.
One of the ways that you can speed up your work flow, when working with the details panel, is to create what are called custom presets. And you can have specific custom presets which will allow you to sharpen and to reduce the noise in your photographs. Well let's take a look at how we can create one of our own custom presets right here inside of Camera Raw. In order to do that we'll begin with a typical work flow. We'll zoom in on the image. We'll make some adjustments in the details panel. Then we'll save those adjustments out in the presets panel, and we'll save this as a custom user preset.
Alright well here, let's zoom in on this photograph. To do so grab the zoom tool and then just click to zoom in and let's zoom in on the surfer here who is walking along the coastline at one of my all time favorite places. It's an amazing location. And what I want to do is take a look at the details we have. There was a lower white scenario, a much higher or high ISO so we have kind of some noise the image is a touch soft,let's fix it up. To do that we'll jump over to the detail panel.
In the detail panel I'm going to begin by attacking the noise, by getting rid of that. Here we'll bring up the luminance noise reduction. Drop some of the details back down. With the details and with the luminance noise reduction, when we have a little bit of gradation as we do in this image, I don't want to go too far because it, what it could do is you can lose a little bit of the sense of I don't know, I guess the detail or definition. So, I want to watch that. Keep those Details down. For the Sharpening, I'm going to drop my detail slider down to a really low amount, bring out some of the color noise reduction by increasing that value, I'll drop down the detail just looking to make sure that the sky area here which is an area where I see a few problems is looking good and I think it's a lot better so far.
Then we'll apply some sharpening. Here we'll drag our amount slider over to the right. As I do that, again I see I'm bringing out more structure in the image. I'll drop my detail down to zero bring up a little more luminance and often it's a give and take dance between these two groups of controls. Well what about limiting the sharpening to a few areas by increasing the masking? Let's do that one. Hold down the Option key on Mac, Alt on Windows and click and drag the masking slider to the right.
And all of these things that we're doing in a sense are kind of that typical work flow. And what modify these adjustments in ways where we would typically modify one of our images. You want to work with the real photograph and then dial in some general settings. And I think this is a pretty good general amount of sharpening and also noise reduction. And this will probably work with most photographs. So here when we click on the preview check box we see the before and after. We see that it's improving the photograph, but it isn't over the top or over done.
It's a nice subtle amount all the way around. Alright, well to save this out to preset, click on the tab the second one to the end here, the presets panel. Then at the base of this, there's an icon which looks like a page being turned. When you click on that it will open up the new preset dialogue. Here we want to name this one. I'll name it my initials CO-General. Then in the subset pull down menu, in order to work more quickly, just choose the option for details.
This will turn off all of those other things. So if you've modified the image in other ways it won't change or remember any of those settings. We just want this preset to affect our sharpening, our luminous noise reduction, and color noise reduction. So we'll go ahead and name this one CO General, and then we'll call it General Details. I think that's a better name. Then we'll click OK, and that will save this out as a preset. Well let's say that we want to general preset, but we want to details preset, which is a little bit higher.
So let's go back to the detail panel. Here in the detail panel, I'll apply even more sharpening. Maybe even bring in a little bit of noise there. And in doing this you can see that I've changed my settings and after having changed those settings, I want to create another preset that matches these settings. Again, to do that, jump to the Presets panel, click on the icon to create a new preset. Give this one a name. I'll name this one CO General- High Details. Then, we'll click on our subset pull-down menu, and choose details.
Let's adjust, save, these three. These three setting here in the details panel, and then we can click OK. The great thing about having presets which have a little bit of variation is that we can try em out on our photographs. Perhaps we want to try out this general one and see how it looks. When we click on that, it changes the settings in the details panel and changes the way our image appears. Or if we want to go a little bit higher, we could choose this option here. So in your own workflow, if you find yourself using certain settings time and time again.
What you can do is build out a whole set of different presets, which in turn will help you to speed up your workflow. And what I find is that typically I'll create a preset, say like this one here, and I'll go to apply it and I'll apply it and it will look good but it won't look perfect. So after having applied it, I jump back, and then I make a few little adjustments in order to have it work well with the photograph that I'm on. Yet still, even though I have to make those small adjustments, it's better than starting from scratch, and at least for me, this helps me to work more quickly.
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