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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.
Another way that we can selective sharpen and improve the details in our photographs is by working with the radio filter. The radio filter is a phenomenal tool. Especially when, when you want to work on a larger area of a photograph. In this movie, we'll be working with this picture which I've captured of this interesting restaurant which is located up in the mountains just above Santa Barbara where I live. And this is a picture that I captured as I was walking by. And because of that, if you hover over the image and click to zoom in or press Cmd+Plus on a Mac or Ctrl+Plus on Windows, to zoom in all the way to 100%, what you'll discover is while there is some good detail, it Isn't that sharp.
So what I want to do is improve the sharpness. I also want to add a bit of color and warmth, in order to draw the viewer in to a specific area of this picture. So here, let's zoom out, press Cmd-+Minus on a Mac or Ctrl+Minus on Windows multiple times so we can see the entire frame. Next, lets select the Radio Filter, to do that tap Shift+M on your keyboard or press Shift+M, or click on the Radio Filter icon which is located right here. Now with this tool, what we need to do is to dial in the desired effect that we want to apply, so let's click on the effect pull down menu, and let's begin with sharpness.
Here we'll click on the Sharpness option which will reset all of the other sliders and give us a nice high value for our sharpness. You know with a picture like this once we zoomed in I saw that detail wan't great, so I know that if I'm going to apply a high amount of sharpness I'm also going to need to reduce some noise there. And this may be too high, I actually think it will be, so I'm going to drop it down to about 70 in order to really see how this tool works and how this technique works. What I'm going to do next is exaggerate for a moment.
I'm going to increase my exposure value, this won't look good, but keep in mind I'm doing this so we can see how a few other settings actually work. Alright, well here, next the thing we need to do is to click on the invert mask, so that this will affect the inside area of the shape which we're going to create. I also want to talk a little bit about feather, which I'll do so in just a moment. For now, just leave this at a default setting or a setting of around 50, then next position your cursor near the middle of the frame, because what I want to do is create a shape around this area to create some visual interest to the draw the viewer in to that part of this restaurant.
So position your cursor here and then click and drag out. In doing that you can see that I've created a shape, and we have an overlay graphic. I can position the cursor over the middle and I can move this around so that the area that is affected is different parts of the photograph. Now currently I have this high exposure value. And I have this high so that we can see how we can affect just the inside of this shape. One of the things that's also helpful to see is how this adjustment transitions near the edge here in our overlay graphic.
Well currently we have a mid range amount of feather. If we decrease that, what this will do is it will create a really hard or defined edge. It's tricky to see currently, yet if we turn this Overlay option here to Auto, what we can then do is position our cursor off and you'll notice that we have a really defined edge. As I increase the feather amount, notice how it makes that much softer, and it creates more of a smooth or natural transition. So often, when working with this tool, you'll want to have at least a certain amount of feather.
In many images like with this one, where we have really nice soft light, we'll want a higher feather versus a lower feather amount. All right. Well what about invert? Well as I mentioned, the adjustment currently is just in this inside area, right? Yet if we turn off invert, what will happen is it will affect everything, except for this part of the image. So when working with this tool sometimes you'll forget, am I going in the right direction? What I like to do is just to apply some sort of an exaggerated effect, and then click Invert a few times until I can see, all right, this is the option that I want.
I want this to affect the inside area. Then of course, go back and remove whatever it is that you exaggerated to identify which part of the image you're affecting. Now in this image what I want to do is increase the size of the shape. You can do so by positioning your cursor on the outer edge. When you, notice that the cursor changes into that double arrow and line cursor. You can click and drag to extend that out and re-position which part of the image we're affecting. Now with this image I do want to sharpen this.
I also want to increase the warmth. So here I'll drag my temperature slider to the right a little bit. That makes this place a little bit more inviting. I also want to add a bit of contrast. I'm going to add a touch of contrast and dark. Darken my highlights, when it comes to sharpness keep in mind that while you're bringing in sharpness you may want to bring up other values too. What about exposure, well here I'll add just a little bit of increase exposure I'll bring up the clarity and a touch of saturation as well. If we click on the toggle switch, here we can see the before, and then now the after, it's a subtle adjustment yet really important especially for a photograph like this.
Let me exaggerate it even a little bit more so we can perhaps see that better again here's that before and after. I'll drop my feather's slider down so that it transitions a little bit more, with a little bit more of an edge there. I'm just going to bring this out to extend the area that we're affecting. And then last but not least what we need to do is to zoom in to make sure we have a good amount of sharpness and noise reduction. To do that, press Cmd+Plus on a Mac or Ctrl+Plus on Windows multiple times.
So you'll zoom in to 100%. At this 100% view, click on the toggle switch to look at the before. Click again to see the after. What I'm seeing at least on my monitor is looking really good. You want to tinker a little bit with your sharpness setting. You want to bring this up as high as you can without the image completely falling apart, so in this case, it did look like we were at a pretty good range, same thing with our noise reduction. Maybe a little bit more noise reduction. Click on that toggle switch. And you know what? I think that looks awesome.
In order to apply this adjustment, we'll go ahead and click Done. Then to see it in it's entirety, I'll press Cmd+Minus on a Mac or Ctrl+Minus on Windows so that we can then zoom out and evaluate and appreciate the adjustment that we applied.
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