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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.
In this chapter, we are going to be taking a look at some sharpening controls that not available inside of Photoshop proper. To get to these sharpening controls, you'll either have to open an image inside of Adobe Camera RAW, which is a plug-in that ships along with Photoshop, or you have to use this separate program that ships separately, cost more money that's called the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom also known to most folks just as Lightroom. Now the controls that we are going to be looking at are available inside of Adobe Camera RAW 4.1 or later.
In Camera RAW 4 ships along with Photoshop CS3, but in order to get 4.1 or later you have to run your Updater utility. As I am filming this, most recent version of Camera RAW is Camera RAW 4.3.1 that anything after 4.1 will do just fine. If you are using Lightroom, you need the Lightroom 1.1 or later. Just you know a little bit of an FYI. Now both Camera RAW and Lightroom are specifically designed to accommodate digital images or images captured with a digital camera in that camera's RAW file format.
So we will be looking at RAW images throughout this chapter, however, these options are also applicable to images that you capture as JPEG files or TIFF files or images that you scan from film, from film transparencies, lets say or color negative and save as JPEG or TIFF files. You can also use Camera RAW on those files. So before we go any farther in this exercise, I just want to show you how you open an image inside of Camera RAW and how you get to the sharpening controls, regardless of what kind of image you are working with.
Now I am looking at Adobe Bridge that ships along with Photoshop and with CS3 and I have the Bridge trained on the contents of the 05_for_source folder, which is found inside the exercise_files folder, and I am looking at a modified version of a horizontal film strip view here inside the Bridge and you should see these images, if not several more images as well, inside of this folder. And you may notice that they are all DNG files. DNG is the Adobe's RAW file format and it is meant to serve as a unifying file format, sort of the TIFF essentially of RAW digital images, because every single camera has its own RAW file format.
These images were captured by a variety of different cameras from vendors such as Canon and Nikon and Leica and each one of those vendors havs their own preparatory format, whether its CRW or CR2 in the case of the Canon image. Nikon, it would be NEF. This Leica photograph right here to be RAW, but I went ahead and converted them all to DNG files, using Adobes free DNG Cnverter utility, which you can get to- by the way, you do not need for the purposes of this exercise, but you can get to it if you need it in the future for whatever reasons, by going to www.adobe.com/dng.
As I say that's a free converter utility. And by the way, if you are a member of the lynda.com Online Training Library, then you can check out why DNG is so great by talking a look at my Photoshop Camera RAW Series, which goes into quite a bit of details about Camera RAW and the basic sort of makeup of the utility and so on. Lets go ahead and see how you open an image inside of Camera RAW. I am going to go down here to Festive Ornaments.dng and all I am going to do is double click on it and that now only shifts you to Photoshop, you may have seen how we shifted from the Bridge into Photoshop for a moment there, and then it opens the Camera RAW plug-in inside of Photoshop.
So Photoshop is hosting the plug-in at this point. Then to get the sharpening controls, you would go over here to this guy, Detail, and that looks like a couple of cones, one in focus and one out of focus. They might be not mountain peaks, what have you, and there are sharpening controls and are noise reduction controls. We will also be looking at this guy right here, which is the Lens Correction functions and the first group of Lens Correction functions are the Chromatic Aberration options and they come in very handy when adjusting sharpening as well. Now then, after you make your modifications to those and other options inside of Camera RAW, you would go ahead and click on the Open Image button down here if you wanted to open the image inside the Photoshop and further modify it, or you could just click on this Done button in order to save your changes as non-destructive metadata instructions that are applied to the image as you open it, but aren't ever applied to the original photograph.
So the original photograph remains intact, which is really great. We will see more about how these options work shortly. But for Now I am just going to click on the Cancel button in order to cancel out of the Camera RAW. Now that dumps me inside of Photoshop. I am going to have to switch back to the Bridge by pressing Alt+Tab or Command+Tab on the Mac. And I should say very briefly- I will go back for a moment. I should show you that you can get to the Bridge from Photoshop by going to the File menu and choosing the Browse command or there is also this little Bridge folder icon right up here in the Options bar.
So either of those options will take you back to the Bridge. Alright. So here I am inside of the Bridge and we saw how we can just double click on a DNG file for example or any other RAW Digital camera file in order to open it inside of Photoshop inside Camera RAW. What if we want to run Camera RAW directly inside the Bridge? Well we would go up here to the File menu. Instead of choosing the Open command up here, we would choose Open in Camera RAW or you can press Ctrl+R or Command+R on the make. The advantage to this way is that you are hosting Camera RAW inside of the Bridge.
So notice we didn't switch to Photoshop that time, we are just working directly inside of the Bridge, which means that I can still use Photoshop for other activities. If I Alt+Tab or Command+Tab over here to Photoshop, I can open a different image, work inside of it and it is free. In another words I am not occupying Photoshop with the Camera RAW plug-in, which is actually a really nice thing. Alright. So I can still make the exact same modifications. I can switch over to here there is a sharpening control, make my modifications and click on Done button in order to update the image inside of the Bridge.
I will go and click on Done and we can see by the way that all of these images that we are seeing here along the bottom area here inside of the Content panel. Your Content panel may be arranged differently, but all the thumbnails feature these settings options, there is little sort of settings icon right there in the upper right hand corner and that shows you that some form of Camera RAW modifications have been applied to all these images. And had these images been modified in Lightroom, they would also have these little settings since both Camera RAW and Lightroom will support each others modifications, which is a really great thing.
So as I say all these modifications are applied non-destructively just as metadata instructions that you can see over here in the Metadata panel if you want to. There is the Camera Data, if I go ahead and scroll down I will see the Camera RAW Data right here, which is telling me the setting set have been applied for example to Festive Ornaments.dng. Those are the ways that you get to the Camera RAW when you are working with the RAW digital photograph. What if you are working with a JPEG file or a TIFF file? I am going to switch over here to this 04_support_staff folder that we worked with in the previous chapter. I am going to scroll until I find this guy Shaggy behemoth.jpeg.
He is a standard JPEG file as you all know from the previous chapter. Now if I double click on this file, if I double click on the thumbnail here, I will just open the file normally inside of Photoshop. If you want to open the image in Camera RAW instead in order to sharpen with the source in mind, that is either the digital camera or the scanner in mind, then you would go up to the File menu and you would choose Open in Camera RAW that way you are forcing the image to open inside the Camera RAW utility. Once again you can press Ctrl+R or Command+R in the Mac as a shortcut and that will bring up the Camera RAW utility.
You have got your sharpening controls, you make your modifications, you click on the Done button. I am going to go ahead and click on Cancel because I am not doing anything. Had I done something then I would see a little settings modifier up here in the upper right hand corner of the thumbnail and I would also be able to see my Camera RAW modifications over here in the Metadata panel. So that's how you get the Camera RAW. In the next exercise, I am going to introduce you to Camera RAW specialized sharpening controls.
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