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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, I want to dig a little bit deeper into how we can actually work with the Smart Sharping controls in order to improve our photographs. And in order to talk about how we can work with these controls, in this movie we'll be working with a demo file. This is a simple document with a gray background, and a gradient, and then also some different tones here that we have here in these square shapes. We're going to apply some sharpening to this demo document to sort of reverse engineer or deconstruct how all of these controls work.
Then in the next movie we'll be working on a photograph again. Alright? Well here let's go up to our filter pull down menu, then select sharpen, and then Choose smart sharpen. And again filter, sharpen and, good old smart sharpen. This will give us access to the smart sharpen dialogue. One of the first things I want to do is zoom in onto an area of the image. Here let's zoom into this part of the photograph, and then let's take a look at how we can work with our amount and radius controls.
And let's compare some results between lens blur, and also Gaussian blur. Let's start out with Gaussian blur. This is the option which performs or looks very similar to unsharp mask. We'll choose an option, increase the amount, and also bring up our radius. And what we'll start to see is that the edges will begin to glow as we increase the amount it intensifies the effect. You're going to exaggerate for a moment. It also brings out some noise in this part of the image. Do you see all the little texture that we have there now? As I bring the radius up, those edges become even more defined.
You know how unchart mask or smart sharpen work is it seeks to find the edge and then create contrast. You can see how it's trying to do that by having the inner edge appear to be white and the outer edge to appear to be black. And by having that it increases or intensifies the sharpening look in the photograph. When we increase the noise reduction slider, you can see that it will smooth out this so it has a smoother gradiation, rather than having all of the noise in that area.
Well how does Gaussian blur sharpening compare to lens blur? Let's click on lens blur and what you'll see is that it appears much tighter. Again it cleans it up. Here's the difference. Here's our Gaussian. Results. And then here are the results for lens blur. Next, let's zoom out. To zoom out, I'll click on the minus icon and I want to look at the gradient that we have up top that we have in this photograph. Now this may look a little bit curious. But here you can see that this area in the middle is the area which is closest to the gray in the background.
Let me zoom in on that. You can see that there isn't really any sharpening applied to this area. But as it becomes more different as it goes over here to a whiter color which is further off from the gray of the background, you can see Intensifies, or ramps up, or increases the sharpening effect. So really it's looking at the surrounding data, and then trying to figure out how to add a bit of an edge, or a snap to the photograph. Alright? Well last but not least, I want to take a look at how we can work with one other option, and that is the option down here which is motion blur.
When we motion blur sharpening applied it's going to apply this in a directional way. Here we can see it sharpening this side, and this side of the shape. If we click on the angle here we can have it go Go top to bottom as well. And now it's sharpening the top and the bottom of this part of the image. If we zoom out, we can see how it's affecting the other areas too. Let me just go ahead and drag this around a little bit. Well this is a method which works well if you know the angle of the motion blur. And then you can try to correct or compensate for that.
If you don't really know that, or if you don't have motion blur, this one isn't very helpful. Out of the three, the one which we'll use most often is lens blur, and when we work with lens blur, we'll typically start off with the controls above. But then if we need to fine-tune things, we'll go down to our advanced controls, where we can work with the shadows or the highlights. In order to take a look at how these sliders work, let's open up a photograph and work with a photograph with some more realistic settings, and let's do that in the next movie.
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