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In Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6, Chris Orwig provides in-depth training on Camera Raw 6, the CS5 component that enables photographers to open and manipulate images in non-destructive and now even more efficient ways. This course covers the benefits of the raw processing, which makes it possible to more precisely control an image's appearance—exposure, shadow and highlight detail, color balance, sharpness, and more—including new workflow procedures and technical concepts and issues. Learn the entire Camera Raw workflow, from opening and resizing, toning and cropping, to sharpening and saving. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here I want to apply what we know about sharpening in order to simply sharpen some edge detail. So let's go ahead and press our shortcut to navigate to the Detail panel. It's Command+Option+3 if you are on a Mac. The same shortcut on Windows is Ctrl+Alt+3. Next, let's zoom into 100%, and here we can do that by pressing Command+Option+0 on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt+0 on a PC. All right. Well, now here we can see we're zooming in on this hotel. You can see that we have all of these really interesting edges.
Let's say that what we want to do is just sharpen the edges. Well, you remember the shortcut, which is to hold down the Option or the Alt key and then to click and drag these different controls. Here I'll bring my Amount up, and then I'll go ahead and Option+Click on Radius. We can see that I can extend out from those edges, or I can decrease that Radius, which extends out from the contrast area. In this case I want it really tight, just along the edges there. Detail, Option+Click and drag that. We can see that brings in artifacting. Bring and drag this down.
Again, it's just going to really focus in on those nice edges there. Masking, hold down Option or Alt, click and drag up, and here you can see, again, as we increase our Masking amount, it's going to limit or allow the sharpening to be affected just to these edge detail areas, not to the background. So in this case I can really crank up my Masking amount, so I have just nice edged detail sharpening. Well here, what we want to do is click on the Preview check box, and look at our before and then our after. But once we do that we may notice that we're not seeing much sharpening.
We are not seeing much sharpening, because our Amount and our Radius are so low. So now that we've dialed in this Masking and gone through these sliders, we then want to go back, hold down Option or Alt, click and drag this up to add a bit more sharpening, also click and drag this to add a little bit more Radius there, and then once we have done that we can press the Spacebar key and pan around the image and then click on the Preview check box. Here is our before and then our after. I'll zoom a little bit more so you can see that. Here we have before and then after, really just sharpening up these different edges.
And you know sometimes, your images can benefit from this, especially when you have those really clean and crisp photographs where you just want exaggerate or bring out the edge in order to add a little bit of snap. Sometimes I think of edge sharpening kind of like what cartoonists do, when they draw a cartoon character, occasionally what they'll do is add a black edge around the character. Or perhaps I think of it like what stained-glass artists do, where they have a big area of color, but then they have a black edge or a silver edge around that, and that edge that makes that color more vibrant, more interesting and more powerful.
So sometimes edge sharpening can really add just a little extra snap to our photographs, and now we know how to do that pretty effectively by using the Detail panel, and in particular, by using these sharpening controls in order to really limit that sharpening just to those edges.
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