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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Select the file shaun_tomson and you can find that in the Chapter 11, camera_raw folder, press Command+R on a Mac, Ctrl+R on a PC. Now what we are going to do here is we want to zoom-in on the face because we are going to work on some of the details of this image. We are going to look at how we can reduce some of the noise and also perform some of the sharpening. Now, at this particular zoom rate, the image looks pretty good to me. So I'll go ahead and click on my option for Detail. Now I see I have some options for Sharpening as well as Noise Reduction. Then I see this little note down here, Zoom to 100% or larger to see the effects of the controls from this panel. So I'll so that. I'll double click the Zoom tool and now I'm at 100% and now what's I get in this close, I see, Oh Gosh, there are quite a bit of problems I would have otherwise not even noticed, to let alone not even have been able to see with my controls.
Now in order to illustrate this, I'm going to zoom-in even further on the eye. So I'll click and drag over the eye so go to real close in on the eye. All right, well I see all of these color artifacts here, around the edge of the eye, in the eye, eyebrow, the skin. To reduce that, just increase the Color Noise Reduction, Holy cow! Look how good that works, look at our before and then after. Again, I'm going to zoom-in even further, so you can see what I'm talking about. All right, look at our before here and then after, see all that little red color and red and green and all those color artifacts, those are now gone, great. We can also remove the Luminance Noise. Now what luminance noise is just based on the overall tone? So go up to the skin here and again we can see how it will start to pull these back. Now this works really good when you have areas where you have sharp shadows. I'll zoom-out a little bit so we can see what's happening.
This image doesn't have a lot of luminance noise, so when we look at our before and after, it's a just a little bit and it just reducing that suddenly. Probably, even going to be hard for you to see on your screen. Yet keep in mind, color noise has to do with colors and luminance, just has to do where you have tonal variation and it will then smooth those things out. Okay, well let's get in the sharpening then. Press the Spacebar and reposition the image, so I can see the face because that's really the most important part, right. Well, if I go ahead and increase the Amount, I can see that the sharpening is going to increase. So I'm going to make this real drastic, so I have a real high amount. How then do I understand the different controls down here? Well, let's take a look at a trick which will help you do that. Hold down the Option key on a Mac/Alt key on a PC. For this particular slider, it will show you the imaging gray skill, so it's going to start to show us where the contrast is coming in and increase sharpening. Okay, well kind of hard to see.
Well, what's radius all about? When I increase my Radius, what you can see that's increasing or deepening the reach of the effect of the sharpening. Now, it's pretty subtle because my Detail slider is still low. Well, what's detail then? We will look at detail. When I hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC and I increase the detail, Holy cow! Basically it saying I want to sharpen all those details. Now when I let go off my button here, does the image look good? No, not at all because all the small, small details have been sharpened. Well, let's go back to this Radius slider, hold down the Option key now and when I click and drag this, you can see that the wrinkles are going to become darker or they are going to become a little bit smoother. So radius has to do with how far the sharpening extends from a little area, say a wrinkle, how far out we are going to increase the contrast on both edges. Detail, this works really well, high detail for landscape, for people I want real low detail.
Now what about Masking? Well, masking is kind of interesting. Let's bring the detail back up for a moment so we can see how that works. Masking, hold down the Option key on the Mac/Alt key on the PC, and then click and drag. You know about Masking in Photoshop, right. Black conceals and white reveals. So what's happening here? Well, if I increase my Masking amounts, going to say we will just sharpened those edges that are white. So now in this case, I'm able to do some edge sharpening. So remember before, how we had all the detail sharpening in here. So let's go back to our detail sharpening, see how it's all on there. Yet that masking, if we look at our before and after, is limiting that to the edges. So we are now going to see it really strong in the edges of the nose, then wrinkles and the eyebrow. All right, well so far so good. We have deconstructed how these controls work, how then you sharpen an image.
Let's go ahead and reduce all these amounts. First thing I would like to do is work on the noise. So I'm going to reduce the noise because I know I need to get rid of that and then I'm going to increase my Amount and Radius, I'm just going to look at to bring somewhere pretty low than the Detail, I'm going to slide one way and then the other to get a feel for the image and then get, in this case I have skin, so I know it's going to be really low. And my Radius, I'm just looking how far I'm going to extend that sharpening. Masking will then pull it back to some of the more important edges. So that looks pretty good to me. Let's look at our overall before and after. Here is before and after, it's pretty subtle, yet significant, before and after. I'll zoom-in even further on to the eye, so you can see where I'm going.
Here is my before and then my after. So little bit of a noise reduction and a little bit of sharpening around the edges. Now it's essential that I don't over sharpen, because when you over sharpen, your image just looks like it's deep fried, it doesn't look natural. So when I have natural sharpening, I'll go ahead and double click the Zoom tool. That will take the image to 100%. Now it's really important to evaluate this at 100%, again before and after, I think that looks pretty nice, maybe a little bit less on my Amount. Also, it's important to step back, so I'll double click the Zoom tool and just get a feel for the overall image. Now I know the face is really important but when I step back, I realize, well this part of the garment is pretty sharp, that's important as well. So let's zoom-in on that. So I'll go ahead and zoom-in on that and then double click the Zoom tool to take it to 100% and look at my before and after.
Again, nice noise reduction, the edges still look pretty good. I think this image is good to go. Finally, double click the Hand tool, step back and take a look at the image and keep in mind that what we are doing here is Input Sharpening. This is the initial sharpening. Now, we want to keep this pretty subtle because later as we will talk about another chapter, we will perform some Output Sharpening, which will be contingent upon the type of output that we are doing. Let's say if we are going to print on a matte paper or a glossy paper and also what size we are going to print the image. So again, all I'm interested in doing here. It's a little bit of noise reduction and then some subtle input sharpening in order to get the image at a pretty good place. But be really careful that you don't over sharpen here because if you over sharpen here, when you later go to Photoshop, you are going to have some serious problems.
All right, well that wraps up this movie. See you in the next one.
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