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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Once again it's great to have you back. Welcome to the chapter on sharpening. Now you may be wondering, now why is the chapter on sharpening coming so late in the game? Why are we just now getting the sharpening? Well, typically what you want to do is, you want to do your sharpening, right before you go to output. So you want to sharpening as one of the final steps in your overall image workflow. In this movie what I want to do is talk about how we can use one of our Sharpening filters, and it's called Smart Sharpen. I'm going to go ahead and double-click the file smart_sharpen. PSD to open it up in Photoshop and then let's double-click the Zoom tool so we can zoom in on this one. What I'm going to do here is press that Tab key to get rid of most of the interface and then after I go to that Full Screen View mode where I have minimized everything, but the image itself and I'm doing that so we can really focus in on the Smart Sharpen dialog.
Now I want to talk a little bit about the Smart Sharpen dialog before we actually begin to do our Sharpening, so that we know where we are going with this. Well for starters Smart Sharpen works phenomenally well. Now one of the reasons why it works so well is because you have a number of different controls. On the left hand side we have our preview here to zoom in and out. We will also be able to see the Sharpening on the image in the background. On the right hand side we have the option to choose Basic or Advanced. Now whenever you see those options, typically you want to go for Advance, because it means you have more controls. When it comes to Sharpening, you want as many controls as possible and you want those, because you don't want to over sharpen. There is nothing worse than an over sharp image. It just looks like there is something strange, something wrong and it takes away from the intent in the point of the photograph.
Well, next we have some settings. We can use default. We can also save some settings, i.e. if we have some certain Sharpening settings we are going to use for the web, we can save those as a preset and then reapply those and then use those as a starting point. Down below, we have our Amount. That's the overall intensity. Then underneath that we have the Radius. Now you may be thinking, where is the threshold, because I'm used to Unsharp Mask? And there is that threshold side. Well, that's built into the algorithm here. The other thing that we want to take note of is when you go back up to the top, you will notice I have the Shadow and Highlight tabs. Well, those appear when I click on this Advance button. Those give me the ability to modify the Sharpening that we can see on the Highlight and the Shadow sides. Now there are three types of Sharpening, you can remove, Gaussian and Lens and Motion.
Typically Lens is going to be best, and I'll show you why in the next movie. The Gaussian is very similar to Unsharp Mask and then the Motion. Well, that month it's pretty difficult to pick the angle and again we will see that in a moment, but just now you have those three options, you want to choose Lens Blur most of the time and then finally we have this little button down here, More Accurate. What's that about? Now, More Accurate is about sharpening little tiny details. Now in my opinion the name isn't exactly perfect for this, because you think More Accurate, well, yeah, I want more of that. I want more details Sharpening. Sure, well not necessarily. You don't necessarily want the details if someone skinned of you sharp, right? You want the edges of their face perhaps, so the edges of their nose, of their sunglasses or of their hair, but not the little details of the pores, skin.
Yet on the other hand, let's say, you have a product or in this case, I have the wall on this image of this painting and there are nice details in this wood, the texture of the wood. Will More Accurate work well here? Yeah, it might bring out that texture a little bit. I want a little bit more texture so in that case it would work. Or in the other hand, let's say, you have a product photograph and there is a little tiny logo and its photograph of a watch and you want that logo to really snap. Well, More Accurate might help you out there. All right, well, now that we have briefly looked at the Smart Sharpen dialog, let's go ahead and apply what we have learned and we will do that in the next movie.
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