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Real focus happens inside the camera's lens element. The sharpening features in Photoshop CS3 exaggerate the contrast along edges in a photograph to transform a well-focused image into an outstanding image. In Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, Deke McClelland teaches a host of sharpening and noise reduction techniques, including using filters such as Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, High Pass, and Reduce Noise. The training teaches the essentials of sharpening, including what it does, why it's important, and how the filters function. Plus, the training covers Deke's recommended best practices, including the four distinct varieties of sharpening, which can be used independently or in combination with each other. Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images is about how to transform images from looking good to looking their absolute best. Exercise files accompany the course.
We are going to start things off with one of the most common effects that you can create using the sharpening filters inside Photoshop and that is focusing in on the eyes inside of a portrait shot. For example, consider this image right here. We are going to start with the photograph that you see before you, here inside the video, and we are going to end up with this effect, in which we are highlighting the eyes. Let me go ahead and zoom in a little bit more so that we can see this effect a little more clearly. So this is the original version of the image right here and this is the effect that we are going for.
You can see not only are we are focusing on those eyes, but we are also blurring away much of the detail around the eyes and it's a pretty significant blur, but my guess is most folks are not going to see that blur very much. They are mostly going to be seeing the focus that you have applied to the eyes and the advantage here is that you are steering the viewer. You are showing the viewer exactly what you want them to look at. You are forcing them to look at those eyes and this piercing gaze that we are getting from this image. So you are in charge of the photographic experience, which of course, is very important.
Alright! So I am going to go ahead and return to the original here and by the way, the original version of this image is known as Piercing gaze.PSD. Its found inside of the 07 For Effect folder and it comes to us from Redondo Beach, California-based photographer, Tom Young of iStockphoto.com. And I am going to bring up my Layers palette so we can take a look at what's going on. Notice here inside the Layers palette, I have a layer called gypsy and this happens to be a Smart Object and as you might guess, it's a Camera RAW Smart Object. And I should admit to you something. As I am working on this image, I have only been taking this very disciplined approach to opening my jpeg files inside of Camera RAW and then transferring them to Photoshop as Smart Objects for about, I say about, six months now I have been doing this.
I cannot tell you what a difference that has made in my creative experience. I have to tell you something I very, very much recommend and let me show you why. Not only am I making some sharpening modifications to this image, I am making some color modifications as well. So I am going to go ahead and double click on this Smart Object here inside the Layers palette, so bring up the Camera RAW dialog box and you can see she has got this old Star Trek-type quality to her, doesn't she? I think she does. And you can see that in addition to the detail modifications that I have applied, now go ahead and zoom in on her eyes here at the 100% zoom level, and we are just applying some slight sharpening modifications.
This is the original version of the image, just slightly softer and this is the sharpened version, just 25% sharpening, a Radius of 0.6, Detail 25, Masking 0. It is just enough to accommodate the digital photography experience, that demosaicing process. And then I also went ahead and applied Color noise reduction of 25 right here, but the larger thing that I did to this image, the larger modification was to the color. I am going to go and switch back to the Basic panel. Now when you opening JPEG image inside Camera RAW for the first time, you are going to see, for any JPEG image, you are going to see all of these values here inside the Basic panels, zero-d out; they are all going to say zero.
So you can see, I have made several modifications here. I am going to go ahead and zoom my way back out so that we can take in the entire image. The reason I did this was because the original image looked like this; let me show you, that was the original version of the image. More or less, there are some other modifications going on that I am leaving in place here, but the temperature and the tint were just way off. The image is too yellow, its too greenish. It's a very powerful image but the colors were kind of a mess actually and Camera RAW allowed me to modify those colors more easily than any other functions inside Photoshop.
In fact, I have to say, there really aren't any temperature and tint controls inside Photoshop other than those have become available to you inside the LAB mode. Otherwise, you are pretty much out of luck, except here inside Camera RAW. It does a brilliant job. So just to give you sense of what a difference is made, this is the change I was able to make just by modifying a couple of values here at the top of the Basic panel. Alright! Anyway I am going to go ahead and cancel out of the Camera RAW dialog box. In the next exercise, I am going to show you how to apply the Gaussian Blur effect and then after that, I am going to show you how to sharpen the eyes using a combination of a High Pass filter and believe or not, a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer.
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