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As Ansel Adams once said, "The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance." Now, with Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques, creating breathtaking prints is within reach. In this course, photographer and instructor Chris Orwig teaches techniques and workflows for crafting powerful and enduring images that bring the photographer's vision to life. From producing a business card to visiting a working press, Chris covers everything photographers need to know to achieve unique, compelling results from the printing process. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now that we know a little bit about pre-sharpening or input sharpening with Camera Raw, we are going to go ahead and sharpen this image here. Let's zoom in to 100%, Command+Option+ Zero on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt+Zero on a PC. And we will click and drag around the image. What we want to do is just look at the different details in this photograph, see where the image is soft. It's a little bit more soft or out of focus up top, it's a little bit more sharp right here and then as we travel down the image, that's nice and sharp, nice and sharp, nice and sharp down here, a little bit less but we are seeing that it's primarily in focus in this range. So I want to pull up that area because I don't want to over-sharpen this area.
Okay, well we obviously want to reduce the noise a little bit, almost all of our images need a little bit of luminance and color noise reduction. Next, we're going to go ahead and increase the Amount. And my Radius slider, I'm going to bring down. Detail, I'm going to bring up. I'm going to hold down the Option key or the Alt key as I move these sliders and just watch the overall amount, so this will help me really focus in on the task at hand. Now the Masking amount, I'm going to bring up just a bit. I want to limit perhaps a little bit of the sharpening but I do want to have lots of nice texture in the background. So I'll go ahead and bring my Detail slider up, Masking down. I'll press the P key, there is my before and after.
Now on your monitor, you may not be even seeing any difference. Now that's probably the goal. We want to have real subtle sharpening. In order to illustrate this, I'll grab the Zoom tool and I'll zoom in way in on an area of the image. Now press the P key, there is my before and after. Again that may even be difficult to see, before and then after. So I'm looking to try to create a subtle yet significant sharpening amount. I don't want to go over the top here because I can always further sharpen the image later. Now I'll double-click the Zoom tool to go back to 100%. I'm just going to press the Spacebar key and then click and drag to pan around the image, look at my preview before and after by clicking on the Preview button here or by pressing the P key.
I just want to make sure I'm not overdoing anything and as I move through this image I say, you know what? Hey! That looks pretty good. Let's go ahead and look at the top of the image where things get a little bit soft and look at our before and after. Okay, yeah that looks much better up there. All right, one final check here. I'm going to hit the P key, look at my before and after. Now the only thing that I'm noticing here is that this edge is glowing just a bit too much so I'm going to take the Amount and the Radius down just a little bit there. I'm also going to pull off some of the masking so I get a little bit more texture in the background. All right, we have now successfully sharpened this image in Camera Raw.
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