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Since the beginning of the photographic art form, photographers have been searching for clearer and sharper images. Now, you don't have to settle for what was captured in camera; you can perfect your photos in post-production. In this course, Chris Orwig tackles sharpening in three programs: Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop. They all have their strengths, so he shows you how to get the best results from specific sharpening challenges with each one. Chris shows you how to reduce noise and sharpen with sliders and make selective adjustments to certain areas of raw images. In Photoshop, he uses powerful filters like Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen to sharpen larger areas of pictures, and masking to paint in sharpening. Last, he shares two advanced techniques, one using high pass sharpening and another that limits sharpening to the edges of your images.
This chapter is all about efficiency and speed. It's about taking a look at how we can use Bridge In Photoshop together to speed up the way that we sharpen and improve the details in our photographs. You'll often will capture a group of images in a similar lighting scenario. Whether that's at a wedding like with these photographs or on a commercial photo shoot. And in those situations, what you'll discover is that you'll want to apply the same amount and type of sharpening and then re-apply to other photographs as well.
So here in this chapter we'll focus in how we can do that. This first movie is all about recording a sharpening action. And then in the next few movies we'll take a look at how we can use that action. We'll begin with the first image. It's titled wedding - 01.dng. Go ahead and select that file and we'll go through our normal work flow, which would be to start off in Camera Raw. Here I'll choose file and then open in Camera Raw. We could start off of course with Adobe Camera Raw or Light Room, whatever it is you use to process your files.
And in this case, in Camera Raw, you can see I've already made some basic adjustments. Rather than emphasizing those, let's just say we've completed our work and we're ready to open the image. Click on Open image. And that will bring it over to Photoshop. Once the file is in Photoshop we want to think about what type of action we want to record. Here I'll press the F key to go to full screen mode and then zoom in a little bit so that we can evaluate the image. And the action that I want to record is one which will re size the image so i can deliver the client a 4 x 6 print.
I also want to sharpen the image. So they're two things here. Re sizing and sharpening. And often those two things, as we've discussed before, go hand and hand. We need to make sure we're at the The right output size, which will then help us know how much sharpening to apply. So we'll open up the actions panel. You can do so by clicking on this icon here, or by going to the window pull down menu and then just choose actions. Again that's window, actions. Once the actions panel is open, you want to create a new set or folder here. Click on this icon and let's name this one CO or whatever your initials are. This is my set. I'll click okay, then we want to create an action. To write or record an action, the first step is to click on the icon which is the new icon. This will give us the ability to record the following steps. So click on that icon and let's give this one a name. I'm going to call this 4x6-sharpen. Next, we'll click record. You want to give it a name that you can come back to and will help remind you of what it actually does, so that's why we're naming it 4x6 and sharpen. The first step will be to resize. Here we'll go to image and choose image size. Again that's image and image size, click on that to open up the image size dialogue, and I want to take this down so I'll choose 4, that will give me a 4x6 image at 300 pixels per inch, perfect, just click okay. Notice that it records that action for us, zoom back in so we can see the image. And what we want to do next is apply some sharpening. We aren't going to sharpen to a new layer because I want to deliver the client a file which is saved out and ready to go, so here I'm going to sharpen right on the background layer. We'll navigate to the filter pull down menu, choose sharpen, and then select smart sharpen. And this will open up our smart sharpen dialogue. And in the dialogue, we'll start off with a relatively low radius, closer to 1. This isn't low of a res file, but it isn't huge, either. It will bring up the amount, and I like to bring that up in 10 or 20% increments, and watch it as it climbs up. Look at the details. Click on the image. Look at your before and after. We want to have a nice, beautiful look in this image. It's really important that a portrait like this isn't And over sharp. It's also important that it isn't dull or lacking. So, in this case, my focus is a little bit more on the flowers. So I need to focus on those, make sure those are tack sharp there. Reduce any unwanted noise. And work with lens blur. Out of these three options, that one works the best. Alright, well I think we're getting pretty close to a good amount of sharpening. Has a nice little snap to it there. I'm just trying to be really careful. It's hard to talk and to focus on your image at the same time. Well let's just say that that's a good amount. Then we'll click okay. In doing that. it's going to record that step, as you can see here. And then next what we need to do is to save the file out. Here we'll go to file, and then I'll choose save as. When I click on the save as dialogue, I can go to the folder there. I'm going to save this one out as a JPG because that's what I'll be giving the client. And then I'll click save. What this will do is give me an option. How high a quality? I'll go with 12. I want a really nice, high quality JPG there. And that is the final step in our action. Once you've completed Going through the steps, and I actually, it isn't the final step. I'm wrong. I got ahead of myself there a little bit. The last step that we need to take is to close the image, right? We don't want this one to remain open. We want to close it, so let's do that. We'll choose File and then we'll select close. Alright, now that is the final step. We have finished our work here, our 4x6 sharpen action has been recorded, where we re-sized the photograph. We then applied smart sharpen. We saved Saved and close the document. Once you've finished recording the action simply press the stop button that will then be saved inside of this set here. You can access it by opening it up, and you can expand any of these to get further details about the setting which you chose for the action. And once you've recorded an action, of course, the next step is to play that back and to apply it to another photograph. We'll look at how we can do that in the next few movies.
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