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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, we'll take a look at a common scenario. And that is a scenario where we want to use the adjustment brush in order to paint in sharpening into a specific and small area of a photograph, in particular, we'll look at how we can paint in some sharpening and also change the contrast and color of the eyes. In order to work on the eyes, let's first zoom in. So, go ahead and click to zoom in on your image or press command plus on a Mac or control plus on Windows. Now, this is a raw file and when we get close to the file, one of the things that I notice is that it's a little bit too soft.
I want to add some sparkle and some visual interest to the eyes. In order to do that, we'll work with our adjustment brush tool. Here, tap the k key to select the adjustment brush or click on the adjustment brush tool icon and then from the effect pull down menu, we're going to chose sharpness. Once we've selected sharpness it will reset all of our other sliders and it then will bring our sharpness value up here to 84. Let's begin with that amount and see how it works.
Now, we need to define a few brush characteristics; we want a nice small brush. So we can position our cursor over this area. If it's too big what we'll want to do is decrease the size here I'm going to make this even smaller maybe somewhere right around here, or even smaller maybe around a size 10. And when it comes to brush size what you want to do is first zoom into the area then change your brush size. And here's why. Here's what happens if i zoom out. Well all of a sudden it looks like my brush is gigantic in compassion but it hasn't changed at all.
It's just that I've changed my zoom rate. So we we need to do is define how close we want to get. In this case lets zoom back in. We want to get really close, then position our cursor over the area that we want to work on, and define the appropriate brush size. Next for the feather, I think this feather amount will probably work, right around 30. And then we'll have a relatively low flow. A little bit higher than that, maybe 40 will work well. And what about auto mask? When you get up really close like we've done, and when you're using a really small brush, or pretty small brush like we have, you don't necessarily need to use auto mask, because you're paying attention to the details by being close and making sure you're just painting over just the right area.
Another way to make sure you're affecting the right area is to use your mask overlay. Let's turn that on by tapping the O key, or by clicking on the check box. Then next, click and paint over this part of the image. As you click and paint, what you'll want to do is work on bigger or broader areas, kind of like I'm doing here, and then if you need to get more specific, just change your brush size. Here I'll make the brush even smaller. This will give me the ability to work on this part of the photograph up here, and around the detail edge that we have in this part of the image.
In doing that, one of the things that's happened is I painted in a little bit too far into certain areas, so I may need to go back and clean those up. Here I'm just going to go around these edges, make sure I have nice consistent sharpening effect there. I think that looks pretty good. The eye does look obviously kind of strange, but that's okay. It's all for the help of making sure we're working with the right area. To erase from an area, click on the erase button, and then just paint that away. In this case I'll just paint it away. Looks like my flow is too low so I'll increase the flow amount there and just paint that away to clean up that part of the image.
Alright, well the overlay looks kind of creepy and scary so lets press the O key to hide that. Now that we've done that let's take a look at our effect. If we bring this back to zero we should see the image looks soft. We decrease it it looks pretty weird and sort of blurry. As we increase it though it adds some nice sparkle to that area of the image. It also though brings out some of the texture or noise. So I want to decrease that by decreasing my noise slider here. Whenever you add sharpness, you do bring out, or you can bring out, some noise, which doesn't look great.
In this image, a little bit of noise reduction can help. Then I'll add a touch of contrast, and also some clarity. I want to add some saturation too. Now what about color? Well if we change our temperature in the temperature slider, what we can do is create an eye which had a little bit more of a blue color to it. Yet, one of the problems is, let me exaggerate for a moment, you can see the blue isn't very uniform. So, in order to improve that, we'll go back to our brush and just make sure that we're painting this in into all these different areas.
So sometimes it's helpful to look at that when we have that mask overlay, other times what you may need to do is to exaggerate an effect, that will help you see how your edges or your area is being affected and then go back and make the corrections. And then you can scale that back a little bit to something a bit more reasonable now that you've exaggerated, or after you've exaggerated it to have the right amount. Okay, lets click on the toggle Switch, here's our before and then now here is the after.
We've worked on one eye, let's finish off the other. Tap the space bar key and click and drag over to this other area in the image. With the same exact brush I'll go ahead and start to work on some of these details. I'll work on the edges that we have here, just going to get close to these edges and then in a second we'll increase our brush size in order to fill in some of the larger areas. Just go ahead and paint around this. I'm going to increase my brush size. We had about a size 10 before, make sure this area is being affected.
And go back and forth over that, multiple brush strokes because we have a lower flow amount which will help us to build up the effect. You know, when you build up the effect, sometimes you'll think, am I even doing anything? What's the difference? Well, you can always click on the toggle switch to see your before and after. And you also want to zoom out. Here I'll zoom out so we can see more of the photograph. And when we zoom out we then want to click on that toggle switch to make sure that this type of an adjustment sort of fits in to the overall image as well. Perhaps the eyes are a little bit too blue.
Well, go back to your temperature slider, and then you can scale that back. Or maybe it's a little bit too sharp. You can always decrease the sharpening value a touch as well. So again, when you get into those details, you want to make sure you're zooming out, and even zooming out to see the whole picture and then clicking on the toggle switch, just to make sure that you've improved those details in a way that, that adjustment fits into the overall photograph as well.
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