Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Output sharpening in Lightroom

Output sharpening in Lightroom provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Tim Gre… Show More

Photoshop Sharpening Power Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Output sharpening in Lightroom

Output sharpening in Lightroom provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Tim Grey as part of the Photoshop Sharpening Power Workshop
please wait ...
Output sharpening in Lightroom
Video Duration: 4m 51s 2h 38m Intermediate


Output sharpening in Lightroom provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Tim Grey as part of the Photoshop Sharpening Power Workshop

View Course Description

Virtually all digital images need some degree of sharpening to look their best, but it's not always easy to find the right way to go about it. This workshop from leading Adobe Photoshop expert Tim Grey dispels many myths and misunderstandings about sharpening, teaches you the underlying concepts involved in sharpening, shows you a wide variety of methods you can use to apply sharpening, and helps you determine which technique is best for a given image. In addition to Photoshop's native sharpening tools, learn how to make use of the options available in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, and third-party plugins like Nik Sharpener Pro and PhotoKit Sharpener. The workshop concludes with several projects designed to help reinforce your knowledge of sharpening. See how to apply sharpening and softening to different areas of an image, apply creative sharpening to specific areas, and sharpen a black-and-white image.

Topics include:
  • When to sharpen
  • Zoom settings for sharpening
  • Sharpening RAW captures
  • Preparing a photo for output and sharpening
  • Using Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen
  • Creative and targeted sharpening
  • Using advanced blending options
  • Multiple-pass sharpening
  • Using third-party tools
Photography video2brain

Output sharpening in Lightroom

When you share your images in Lightroom, you have the opportunity to apply output sharpening in order to compensate for the loss of sharpness that occurs with various output methods. For example, when printing an image, the ink will spread on the paper, a process referred to as dot gain, causing a reduction in the apparent sharpness of the image. Even digital displays such as projectors or monitors can cause a slight softening of the appearance of the image. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the process of applying sharpening to images when you are preparing to share them in a variety of ways. I've selected an image that I would like to share and I'll show you various methods of sharing that include a sharpening option. They're generally all the same options with only minor variations related to the particular output type.

I'll start with the Export option. I've selected an image I'd like to export, so I'll simply click the Export button on the left panel in the Library module. This will bring up the Export dialog. I can choose one of my presets and then refine my settings for the export of my images. In this case, just one image and I'll assume I'm going to share it via email. If I scroll down, I can find the output Sharpening section and I have the option to turn on Sharpening. When I do so, I have two pop-ups that I can use to adjust the settings for Sharpening.

The first is what type of output I want to sharpen for. My options are Screen or For Print and when printing, I can choose between Matte Paper and Glossy Paper. Obviously, when exporting images, I might be using the resulting images for any of a variety of purposes, and so, it provides me with maximum flexibility here, at least in the context of what light room offers for output sharpening. Since I'm operating under the assumption that I'll be emailing this photo, I'll go ahead and keep the Screen option set. I can then choose the amount of sharpening I would like to apply, Low standard and High. Unfortunately, there's no previews available for any of the output sharpening options within Lightroom, so this does call for a little bit of trial and error and experience will be your best guide. Personal preference, of course, plays a role as well. In this case I think I'l set the options to Low, because I don't want to oversharpen the images.

I just want to jazz them up a little bit, so they look better when the recipients of the email see the photos. We have similar sharpening options in some of the output modules of Lightroom, as well. I'll go ahead and cancel my Export here and we'll switch over to the Web module. Here, we have the option to sharpen the image for the screen. I'll go ahead and scroll down on the right panels that we can find the Sharpening option. And the sharpening can be turned on or off. And with it on, we have only the option for Low standard or High.

Notice that we don't need to choose between screen and the type of paper we're printing to, since the Web module assumes that the images will be displayed on the screen. So, once again, I can choose the degree of sharpening I want to apply to these images when they're prepared for the Web Gallery. I can also sharpen when printing, of course. So I'll switch to the Print module, and once again, scroll down on the right panel so that I can locate the Sharpening controls. Here, it's called Print Sharpening, and once again, I have a check box that allows me to turn that sharpening on or off.

I can then choose the degree of sharpening, once again, Low standard or High. And I can also choose the Media type. The idea here is that Matte Papers are going to absorb the inks more than Glossy Papers, and therefore, will tend to look a little bit softer. In other words, with a Matte Paper, more sharpening needs to be applied to get the best results. Of course, with many papers, this isn't exactly a straightforward option. Semi-gloss papers, I would consider to be glossy, but also, certain Matte Papers, you might want to use the Glossy setting for.

That's because many Matte Papers have a coating that is designed to minimize dot gain for the inks. The key is to choose the best setting based on the type of paper you're printing to. In this case, I'll assume a Glossy Paper type, and then I'm going to adjust degree of sharpening as desired in this case, for example, I've been close stick with the standard option. As you can see the Output Sharpening options in Lightroom don't provide you with a significant amount of control or flexibility. And you'll need to use a little trial and error to find the best settings for your preferences and particular output methods.

These Sharpening options are great for many methods of sharing your images. But for images that are especially important such as a Fine Art Print, you may want to utilize Photoshop or other tools to exercise greater control over your Output Sharpening.

There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop Sharpening Power Workshop.






Don't show this message again
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Photoshop Sharpening Power Workshop.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a Member and Create Custom Playlists

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of online learning video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Log in

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

You started this assessment previously and didn’t complete it.

You can pick up where you left off, or start over.

Resume Start over

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.