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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.
Now that you have finished sharpening for the source- or not, up to you. It's time to move on to the second and I think more important phase of the sharpening process, sharpening for detail. Rather than compensating for anti-aliasing or interpolation or the like, we are interested in bolstering the most essential and pervasive detail inside the image all in the name of increasing the impact of a photograph or composition. The character of that detail is measured in terms of frequency. In a low frequency image, highlights transition gradually into mid-tones and then shadows. Think of a smooth sphere or a person's face.
In a high frequency image, highlights change the shadows frequently and abruptly. Imagine a thicket of branches, a crowded street scene or any wide angle shot that contains multiple points of interest. If an image falls somewhere in the middle, as most do, then it probably has a predominant frequency that determines the kind of sharpening that you should apply. Like me, against this rock wall. I'm low frequency, the wall is high, but I'm more important than a bunch of rocks. So we sharpen for low frequency. Incidentally, do you like this rock wall? I hope you do because if you are a premium member, you have this rock wall. It's included in your sample files.
I know. You are welcome. It's a gift from me to you. Yes you're welcome, I said that. Low frequency, high frequency, medium frequency. What is the frequency, Kenneth? that's what you have to ask yourself when you are sharpening for detail, and your name is Kenneth, inside Photoshop.
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