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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 exercise we are going to take a look at how the Detail option looks here inside the Detail panel of the Camera RAW dialog box. Now you may recall I am working in this catch up document, which is called Ornaments defringed.dng that's found inside the 05_For_Source folder and the only change I have made to these files to lower the Radius value to 0.6 pixels. Now the Detail value is designed to mitigate the halos, the effects of the halos that show up when you apply a sharpening to an image.
But the way that the sharpening algorithm is organized in the first place, you don't have much in the way of halos. You don't nearly have the pronounced halos that you get with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen and High Pass and the rest. So the way I prefer to think of detail is that when you lower the detail value, you are going to smooth over some of the rougher transitions inside the image. If you want to extenuate those rough transitions then you want to raise the detail value in order to apply a something resembling a second pass sharpening effect. Alright. So here we are viewing this lower right region of the image, that gold ball with the texture across it at the 200% zoom ratio.
I am going to go ahead and lower the detail value from 25 to its lowest value zero and you can see what I am talking about, I'll go ahead and zoom in, you can see that the Camera RAW is going through and smoothing over these details, it's almost as if it's applying a pass of the Median filter with a very low Radius value. Now it's a more sophisticated algorithm once again but it's analogous and this is just a ticket when you are working with a low frequency image or a portrait shot, or when you are working with a high frequency image like this one, again we were gumming up those details, just like we are when we apply a high Radius value.
So instead I want to go with a high detail value and notice if I crank this guy up to a 100, which is its maximum setting, we are now applying a second pass sharpening that resembles a convolution kernel or that More Accurate check box that we saw on inside the Smart Sharpen dialog box. The difference is that its not just a check box. You don't just turn it on or off, you can vary the degree of sharpening incrementally. So what I am going to do for purposes of this image, I am going to take this fairly high. I am going to take it to about 80 and remember that you have the option, if you want to, of Alt-dragging the slider triangle or Option-dragging on the Mac, in order to get that real time preview and to see that high pass version of the preview, so that the non-edges are turning grey and this would be the areas that aren't getting sharpened inside the image were turning grey.
The areas that are getting sharpened are appearing either as highlights or shadow and these would be the highlight or shadowed edges of the details inside of the image. So again, we are working a medium frequency shot, so wed want to combine a high Amount value not this high, but a high Amount value, a low Radius value as we have, a high Detail value and then I was also telling you that we want a relatively low Masking value and we will be applying that masking value in the next exercise.
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