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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.
In this movie, I want to provide a review of the techniques and the shortcuts that we've covered so far. And I want to do this because I find that these techniques are so useful, in so many different situations. Now of course if you're feeling really comfortable with using this tool, and with all the shortcuts, feel free to skip ahead to the next movie. Otherwise, let's dig in. This is a photograph of a sculpture, and what I want to do, is just sharpen and change the way that this area of the image looks, not the background, just the sculpture.
In order to do that quickly, we'll work with the Adjustment Brush. And because this movie is about review, let's talk about how we can do this by way of a shortcut, or just by clicking. Here I can press the K key to select the Adjustment Brush, or alternatively we can just click on the Adjustment Brush tool icon. Next, we want to go the effect pull down menu, and here click on that and choose the option for Sharpness, which will reset all of our other settings and then just apply the amount of Sharpness which we want to apply.
Now if you start to decide that you want to increase the saturation, but you've decided that you actually don't want saturation, you want to reset just one slider. Well you can double click the slider, and that will take it back to its default setting. In this case, the default setting of zero. All right. Well what about working with our brush? We've seen that we can click to drag on these sliders, to change the brush size, feather or flow. Yet we can also do so by way of a few shortcuts. With the Brush tool, what you can do is tap the bracket keys.
The right bracket key, what that will do is make the brush bigger. The left bracket key, that will make your brush smaller. Now if you want to change the feather amount, hold down the Shift key, and then tap the right bracket key to increase the feather amount. Press Shift, the left bracket key, in order to decrease that value. Next, when it comes to the flow what you can do, is simply tap a number on your keyboard. If you tap the number four, it will take the flow amount to 40. Two, it will go to 20. Or you can press two numbers, here I'll press five, five, and it will take it to 55%.
And here, we can also just simply click and drag on these sliders if we forget those shortcuts. Still though, I wanted to highlight them in case, you're interested in becoming a power or more advanced user. All right. Well, once we have our Brush size and the Feather defined, here I'll choose a Brush size perhaps of about 25, a Feather amount of 40, and the Flow value of 73. Now we want to turn on Auto Mask. In order to toggle that on, we'll tap the A key on the keyboard, or just click on the check box here.
Now, what I like to do is I begin is to turn on my overlay. You can tap the O key to do that, or click on the check box. Next, we'll go ahead and click and paint over the image. And even with this big of a brush, as long as we're paying attention to that center crosshairs, that's a little plus icon, inside of these circles. As long as we're paying attention to that, we should get pretty good results. If you want to get more detailed results, you may want to decrease your Brush size. So you can either go to the slider to do that or use the shortcuts, which I just highlighted.
Do you remember those? The left bracket key decreases your Brush size, the right bracket key increases. Here let's tap the left bracket key a few times, and then let's get in close to some of these little edge areas. Let's really paint over some of the areas that perhaps weren't picked up here, as we started to work on this. And in this case, I'm just looking to have even coverage with my mask overlay. If the mask overlay is a little bit distracting and kind of detracting from the effects right here, or from being able to see the effect that you're painting in.
You can always turn the visibility of that off. In order to do that, our shortcut key is the O key. So let me just finish this up a little bit. Painting in some nice details here in a few areas, making sure I have good coverage everywhere. I'll tap the O Key in order to turn off that overlay view. Next, what I want to do is change some other values as well. I want to sharpen this, but I also want to increase the exposure. I may want to add some contrast, and perhaps a little bit of clarity.
And rather than having so much yellow in this area, I'm going to desaturate. I think it might look a little bit more interesting, if this image is a little bit more monochromatic. If we zoom in on the photograph, and here I'll press Cmd+Plus on a Mac, or Ctrl+Plus on Windows. What we can do is we can zoom in all the way up close, if we keep pressing that shortcut key combination, in order to see how we've affected this part of the image. And sometimes you have to apply the effect and then zoom in, because it would be too difficult to apply it to that area if we were zoomed in this close.
So we applied it when we were zoomed out, now we're zooming in, we're going to click on the toggle switch to look at our before and after to make sure this actually looks good. You know there's a topic we haven't discussed, and that is how we can also reduce noise. If you want to get rid of a little bit of the noise there, we can decrease the noise value, as well. And so right now we have a lot of control over this part of our photograph, and we can really change the way it appears, and also change the quality of that area. Whether that's changing the contrast, clarity, sharpness, or noise, or whatever it is.
Well, once we get to this point, sometimes what we might want to do is scale back the combined effect at one time. In other words rather than just changing one slider, we want to change them all, to sort of scale back this entire effect. Well how can we do that? Well let me show you. In order to illustrate this, I'm going to zoom out by pressing Cmd+Minus on a Mac, Ctrl+Minus on Windows. Next I want to view the area which I've affected. And what you can do here in this brush area, is collapse all of the panels.
When you do that, they collapse into one main panel, which is our overall amount. This amount slider will allow us to apply this effect at full intensity, or we can also scale it back. Notice how we're starting to see some of the original color and detail of the photograph. And this step here is golden. This can make all the difference in the world, especially when you're stacking up effects, when you have adjustments like we have here where we're using multiple sliders.
It would be incredibly tedious to drag each of these sliders in a little bit and evaluate. By collapsing this to a single amount slider, well it gives us the ability to change the value of all of those adjustments with one single control. All right. Well after we've done that we can of course go back to this view, and we could then change these values here as well, and view them at this new amount level. Well in closing, I hope that this review movie was helpful. And I hope that it was helpful for you to see how we can use those shortcuts and these techniques and how we can kind of, combine all of that, in order to improve this photograph.
You know, this is one of those movies that I recommend that you re-watch. That you re-watch it and take a few notes. Because again, I really believe that if you can master and learn these techniques, well they can help your overall photography and your post production workflow in really huge ways.
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