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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.
My goal in this movie is to help you truly understand how the various noise reduction sliders work. In order to accomplish that goal, let's reset the photograph. Hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows. That will change the Cancel button into Reset, and click on Reset. That will reset the photograph back to its default settings. Then next, let's go back to the Basic panel. Here in the Basic panel, lets brighten up the exposure and also bring up some of the detail of our shadows.
The reason why I want to do this. because I want to be sure to be able to see some color and luminance noise in the background so as we seek to reduce the noise, we have something that we can start to evaluate and really see how these sliders work. Next, let's go over to the Detail panel. Let's add a little bit of sharpening here. We'll increase our sharpening Amount. Maybe drop the Detail down a touch. I think that looks fine. Alright, well what about noise reduction? I'm going to zoom in past 100% for a moment.
And when I do that, what you should be able to see here is that in the background, we have all of this texture. We have color noise and we have what's called luminance noise. You can think of luminance like luminosity or brightness. If we drag the Luminance slider to the right, here I'm going to exaggerate, what it will do is it will remove all of the variation that we had in that part of that image. Notice how the face looks really strange, it's almost like it smudged out. Here's without luminance noise reduction and here's an exaggerated amount of that. Alright? Well, luminance is a phenomenal slider.
Most images need at least a touch of Luminance noise reduction. You can further customize that by working with these two sliders underneath. The Detail slider works just like the Detail slider above. Drag to the left and we see less details in the luminance area, the area where it's fixing the brightness artifacts. Drag this to the right and we're going to see more noise in there. In particular you can kind of see this on the edges of the face and also in the glasses. It may be tricky to see on my screen, but focus in on this area say for example.
See how I have less detail and now I have more. Luminance Contrast, well, that's the one which adds a little bit of shape or definition to the photograph. Did you notice how when I exaggerated the luminosity noise reduction it flattened out the image. Well, the contrast slider can bring back a little bit of shape to that area. So, it isn't quite so smudged or smooshed down. All right. Well, let's bring this back to something a little bit more normal and typical. Here, I'll drop these values down. All right? Well, I still see color artifacting in the background.
Let me zoom in even closer on that so we can really get close to that. See all the color pixels which look strange. Well if we drag our Color slider to the right, we can get rid of that issue. Take a look at how quickly that happened. This can mean that you can have a file which just has a stronger, or create a stronger and better file. You can clean up those little issues. Most images need a certain amount of color noise reduction as well. Our Detail slider works in a similar way. Here we can have less detail in that area or we can bring out more.
Drag too far to the right, and you'll actually bring back some of the noise. So you have to be careful with how high you go with this one. Now Smoothness, we can either have a smoother or a rougher look by dragging this to the left. Now, out of all of these sliders, the two which really don't make that much of a difference are the Luminance Contrast slider, and the Color Smoothness. If I go back to 100% view, which is the view that you want to have, as you start to apply these settings. As you drag these around, you'll be hard-pressed to even notice that big of a difference.
Yet still, what I tend to find, is that as I increase these values, the color smoothness slider is a bit of a tag-along. It likes to tag along with the color slider here. So if bring this up pretty high, this one sort of creeps up with it. The same thing can said for Luminance Noise Reduction and Luminance Contrast. It tends to offset some of the strange things that happen with this value gets too high. All right. Well there you have it, a bit of a deconstruction of those sliders and controls. And obviously what we need to do next is take all of this theory and put it into practice.
And we need to do that with a few different types of photographs. And we need to do it so the photographs actually look good. So let's go ahead and dig deep into this process of sharpening and noise reduction. And let's do that in the next few movies.
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