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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.
So far we've started to gain some common wisdom on how we can use the detail panel to improve our photographs. And in a sense, we've picked up some rules or guidelines on how we can use these various sliders. Well in this movie, I want to throw those rules out the window. We're going to break the rules in order to actually bring out more texture in a picture. This is a photograph of a monarch butterfly. I had looked out my kitchen window and I saw a monarch butterfly come out of a cocoon, and I ran out there with my camera with a macro lens and captured this frame.
And if we double-click the Zoom tool, we can zoom in to 100%, and what we can see, at least in this area of the picture, is that we have this nice texture on the butterfly wing. Rather than softening that and smoothing that and getting rid of it, I actually want to exaggerate it and bring it out. So here, let's go over to the Detail Panel tab. And let's start to work on the photograph. I do see that the photograph isn't a really super high quality image. There is some luminance noise. So we'll drag our Luminance noise slider to the right, yet we'll do so cautiously.
Notice if I drag it too far to the right, I lose all of my texture, and that just won't work for me. So I'm going to drop this down to a lower value here. We'll just clean things up a little bit. It's almost like sweeping the kitchen floor. That looks good. Then for our detail amount, we'll probably want to have a little bit of a higher detail value. And then contrast, we want to bring that up too, to add some shape or dimension to those areas. How about color noise? There isn't a lot of color noise. So here, we'll just leave this. Well, actually, there is if I decrease that.
I take that back. I'm going to leave it right around at that default setting of 25. I think that looks great. Next we'll go up to the Sharpening controls. Here with Sharpening, let's bring up our amount and leave the other settings where they are for a moment. And as we bring those up, let's then go down to our Radius and Detail slider. If we increase the radius, and let's exaggerate here, if we really crank this all the way up, what you should see it looks like we have more texture. Take a look at the before and after.
Here's a view of before, and then here's a view of the after. Maybe difficult to see, but what I'm hoping that you're starting to see, is that this is giving us this insight, into how we can see how the radius will allow us to add some texture, or bring in texture to that part of the photograph. It's difficult to see, so I need to zoom in closer. I was trying to give you a better preview. But I need to get in really close so you can actually see what I'm talking about. All right. Well here we have the before and after so far, with the low Radius value. Now here's with the high Radius value, and then that before and after.
Do you notice how, when I bring the radius up, probably to somewhere right around here, what it can do is, it can help to add a little bit of definition. So this photograph we need that. Probably about 1.6 will work well. Detail, low Detail value, low Detail sharpening, not good. And then, if want to increase that, which we do, we'll bring that over and, of course, evaluate this at 100% view so that we can actually see how this looks. In this case I think right around there looks pretty good. What about masking? Don't touch it.
If we bring up the masking value, that's just going to just perform edge sharpening so the outer edges are sharpened, the texture isn't. That doesn't work for this photograph. So drop that back to zero, and leave it where it is. And here I wanted to work with this image, just to highlight that sometimes what you'll do is, you'll use some common sense or common wisdom when sharpening your images. Yet other times you'll ask yourself, well what is it about this photograph that makes it unique or interesting? And then, how can I use these controls in order to improve or enhance those things?
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