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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 cover a really specific example of how we can use the adjustment brush in order to improve a small area of a photograph. Here we'll look at how we can sharpen and add a bit of sparkle and color to the eyes. Let's zoom in on one of the eyes in the photograph. To do so, double click your Zoom tool, which will take the view to 100%. Then press the space bar key and click and drag to re-position the view, or the area that you're looking at. When we get up close to this portrait, I notice that the eye is a little bit soft.
So I want to paint in a little bit of sparkle, or snap, or contrast, or visual interest to this part of the photograph. To do so, let's select the Adjustment Brush tool, which is located right here. Then over in our Adjustment Brush settings, click on the plus icon for Sharpness. Then let's drag this over even further. Let's also reduce a little bit of Noise. And then we'll add some Saturation, little bit of Clarity, we'll add some nice mid-tone contrast, and then some Contrast as well.
Whenever we're sharpening or improving details, we know that we can do so by using various sliders. And often it's a combination of sliders together, which helps us accomplish the best results. As I mentioned as well, while I'm working on the Sharpness I'm also going to change the color. So in the Temperature slider, let's drag that one to the left here as well, alright? After we've dialed these settings in which was a reduced Temperature amount, increased Contrast, increased Clarity and Saturation, then an increase in Sharpness and a decrease in Noise, we want to scroll down to the area where we can choose our brush size.
If you position your cursor over the image, and if you notice your brush is just a little bit too big or too small, you can use the bracket keys to change the Brush size. Or you can also just use the slider right here. Once you've entered into this field, you notice that there's a Brush number which is highlighted there. What we can do is we can actually position our cursor over the image and we can type in a number like the number five and it will change the brush size to that value. Or, as I talked about before, we can use those bracket keys.
Right bracket key is bigger. Left bracket key is smaller. Well, here we want a pretty small brush, so I'll go down to a brush size, maybe of about six. Now what about the Feather amount? Let's bring this up. We want to have pretty soft edges here. That will create a nice transition yet we want them to be, not so soft that it's going to spill over into other areas. So as I position the brush over that, I'm realizing that probably a lower amount will work well. For the Flow, we'll drop this down closer to 50. Alright? Let's turn off Auto Mask because here it won't really help, rather we want to just use a small brush and get specific that way.
And then, I don't think we need to turn on Show Mask either, because we have enough adjustment here in regards to our Color Contrast and Sharpness, etc, that we'll be able to see what we're doing. So go ahead and just start to paint over the photograph, and you can see that really quickly, we're building up this effect. In order to get to the top part of the area of the eye, I need a smaller brush, so I'll tap the left bracket key, and then I'll just paint over this part of the image. I'm going to tap the left bracket key to go even smaller, and I'm going to go around the outer edge to kind of strengthen that.
It's a trick that retouchers often use to add a little bit more visual interest to the eye to strengthen the, that sort of outer shadow along the perimeter of the eye. With a few, simple brush strokes, I think we're really improving this part of the picture. If you click on the Preview check box, you can see there is Before, click again and we have After. Looks like we could us a little bit more Sharpness, so increase that. We added some nice sparkle and detail and color to that part of the eye. I'm loving it! Next, press the space bar key, click and drag over to the other eye and with the same, exact brush and the same exact settings, what we'll do is go ahead and paint over this part of the photograph.
I'm going to, first, work on the outer edge because my brush is nice and small there. Just add some definition. Then I'll type the right bracket key to make the brush bigger. This will help us to have a little bit more smoother transition throughout the photograph, and so that this improvement has a nice softness around the outer edge. And what you can do in this way is obviously sort of stack up the brush effect result. The more you paint in one area, the more of the effect to that part of the photograph.
If we click on the check box we can see that Before and After. Then if we zoom out here by pressing Cmmd minus on a Mac or Ctrl minus on Windows, what we can do is take a look at how this appears in the overall composition. That pin there is really distracting, right on the eye so, let's click on the check box to hide the pin, and then look at our preview. And here it is, our Before, and then now the After. Let me zoom in closer so that you can see that a little bit better there.
Here it is, our before and then now, the after.
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