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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 the previous exercise we saw that it's pretty easy to eliminate color noise inside of an image. For example, in the case of the Subterranean ventilation.dng file, found inside the 05_for_source folder, all we had to do in order to fix a considerable amount of color noise, this was the before version of the image, all we had to do was raise this color value, here inside the Detail panel to 20, and that took care of everything, it took care of that problem. Luminance noise is trickier. Its not just the matter of adjusting the luminance slider, you also have to fiddle around with a few other options, but it does center on the luminance slider.
Now notice what I am talking about where luminance noise is concerned, we have all this variation going on between these neighboring pixels, where the luminance levels are concerned, and this isn't because this is actual detail, this is magnified noise essentially that we are looking at, detail that was invented out of whole cloth by the camera and Camera RAW conspiring together here. To get rid of it, what we need to do is, for starters, we will raise the Luminance slider. Now I could take this, I could crank it through the roof here, I could raise that value to a 100 and that would definitely smooth over the details, but that's going to be at the expense of, of course the sharpening of those details, I would have to raise the Amount value to compensate, and even then I am still going to be left with some weird edge stuff going on.
Notice right here the edges of the silo with the cone. I will go ahead and zoom out here so we can see what I am talking about; this cone at the top meets this cylindrical structure right here. We have a band of halo essentially, a sharpened halo, but that's not entirely because of the sharpening, its just the function of the image itself. If I take that Amount value down to zero, you can see that its still there, and its a certain amount of color wandering, and a certain amount of luminance wandering as well. Alright, so I will take that value back up to 70%.
So there is a couple of ways to address this. First of all, we don't want to go this high with luminance, so lets temper this value a little bit, lets take it down to lets say about 65, which is pretty darn high, but happens to work well for this image. You can see that we are smoothing over the luminance transitions pretty nicely. Another thing you want to do is you want to check out the lens corrections options. So lets go ahead and switch over to lens corrections. Now of course the first option affect chromatic aberration, we do have chromatic aberration inside this image. If you scroll to the top of the silo, to this cone at the top right here, you can see that its got a ton of chromatic aberration.
We have all the cyan edges and this magenta edges, and that falls totally in the cyan red territory right here. I will go ahead and drag to value negative, and you see this time it actually ends up working quite nicely, we end up getting rid of that fringing quite well. So I am going to this value down to lets say negative 45, and I am just keeping the values fairly around, you can of course enter any value you like. We don't need to adjust the blue-yellow fringe for this particular image. So if we don't need to adjust if, don't adjust it, leave it the way it is.
Lets go ahead and see if that has any effect whatsoever. Notice that we are smoothing out a lot of stuff inside of this rust colored and maybe rust covered for that matter, cylinder, that's leading up to the top of the ventilation shaft there. I am going to go ahead and wander my way down to this edge. This edge still is very much in effect. We are seeing this weird sort of transitional pixels going on here. I might try defringe, and in this case I would just try all edges to see if it does any good. This is just the test to see if its going to help us or not, in some cases you may see the edge sort of trim up, it may look better.
In our case it doesn't seem to make any difference where this edge is concerned, so don't apply it. If you try defringe and it doesn't work, turn it off, there is no sense de-fringing the image if its not going to serve any purpose. Its just going to gum up the details. It might be very, very slight, it might be the kind of thing that comes back to haunt you later. Alright, I am going to switch back to the Detail panel. What I would do in the case of this image is, I would back of the amount of sharpening that I have applied. So I am going to take that Amount value down to 50%, and then I am going to take the luminance value down to 40%, because as I back off amount, I can also afford to back off the luminance value.
This is probably the effect that I would stick with. Just so that you can see the difference here, this is the before version of the image; lots of noise going on. I will even zoom in so that we can see the difference here, lets go ahead and switch down to this region right there, we have a lot of luminance and color noise going on, and this is the after version. Thanks to the noise reduction functions combined with chromatic aberration correction here inside of Camera RAW.
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