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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
The next thing we need to do is to sharpen this image in a way that is appropriate for the Web. Well, here is how we are going to do it. We are going to start off just as we have done before, where we copy the Background layer. We can do so on a Mac by pressing Command +J; on a PC that's Ctrl+J. We will name this new layer "sharpen." Now, from here, we are going to go ahead and navigate to our Filter pulldown menu, then choose one of our Sharpening Filters, and I find that Smart Sharpen works really well when creating images for the Web. Well, go ahead and open up the Smart Sharpen dialog, and what we are going to do here is bring our Radius way down and our Amount somewhere around 100 or less.
Then you want to think of the Radius kind of this way. Let's try a metaphor analogy on for size. If you have ever done woodwork, you know that sandpaper has different types of grit. For example, you can have really gritty sandpaper. You use that for rough wood. On the other hand, you can have really, just fine, smooth sandpaper that you use for finishing projects, so it doesn't leave many scratches in the wood. Well, when you are saving an image for the Web, what you need is that really fine grained sandpaper. In other words, you want a really low, teeny Radius, because at this point there isn't much image there.
We just want to kind of brush it up a little bit with this really soft sandpaper. So your Radius typically is going to be .1, .2, maybe .3. But again, it's going to be a real low amount. We want to remove Lens Blur. More Accurate, we typically want off. So again, if we look at our before and after at this juncture, it's going to be pretty subtle, again, somewhere between .1, .2, or .3, depending upon the photograph. Next step will be to click OK in order to apply that and then from there, we need to go to our pulldown menu and choose Luminosity.
And then finally, we are going to hold down the Option key on the Mac, Alt key on a PC, click on the Add Layer Mask icon, which conceals all of the sharpening. From here, we will grab our Brush tool, and we will paint with white. And I am going to go ahead and paint at 100% Opacity here, and I am just going to start to paint in the sharpness to a few areas where I think it needs it, in particular, the face and the hair, the flowers, a little bit of the clothes. I want to stay away from some of the areas of the skin. I may mask out a couple of those areas. Again, we want to do some selective sharpening here, because at this small size, we need to make sure everything is just right.
The other thing that you may want to do is, with a little teeny brush, you just mask out the sharpening of some of the small highlights. And sometimes by doing that, you can get away with a little bit higher amount of sharpening, while at the same time having it look more natural. So here I am just masking out a couple of those small highlights. All right. Our image has now been successfully sharpened. Let's keep this image open, because we are going to continue working on it in the next movie.
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