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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 the previous movie, we took a few initial steps to applying the High Pass filter as a smart filter. As we can see in the Layers panel we have the image and then the smart filter below. We can click on the eye icon to view the before and then again to view the after. As we start to really focus in on fine tuning this filter, let's double click the Zoom tool to make sure we're in at 100%, then press the space bar key and Click and Drag to reposition the photograph. Often it's a good idea to get really close to the image to the image as you start to analyze how far you want to go with sharpening and also with some noise reduction that we'll do inside of Camera Raw.
Alright well, when it comes to customizing the filter, previously we've seen how we had to guess what the radius setting for the High Pass filter. Well, now that we've applied the blending mode, we can completely remove all of the guess work. Just double click on the filter name to reopen the High Pass dialogue. And now as we make changes here, we'll see the update in real time. We aren't seeing that gray look of the photograph. Rather, we're seeing the sharpening effect. And so here we can decide, well how high do I want to go with this, how far do I want to push this, and what type of look do I want to accomplish? And this really is where the advantage comes in.
This is where working with smart filters is worth the extra file size. You know, smart filters give you flexibility, but they also increase your file size, which can be a bit of a drag. Yet with this technique, I think it's worth it, because this is the only way you can actually preview how the radius looks in order to select the right radius and amount there. With this image I think we're pretty close, somewhere right around around two or so looks pretty good. Next let's click OK to apply that to the photograph. One of the things that I do notice, and we'll notice it especially as we look at our before and after, is that the High Pass is exaggerating and bringing out some of the little teeny texture.
That's often referred to as the high frequency details, all of those little teeny details. If we want to smooth some of those out, or even get rid of that, what you can do is go back to your filter and then choose Camera Raw. You will run Camera Raw as a smart filter. Simply click on the Camera Raw filter right there. Double click your Zoom tool so you can go back to that 100% view. If we want to deal with noise, we know where we can do that. We do that in the detail panel. In the detail panel, we can increase our Luminance noise reduction.
And I'm going to bring that up, drop down some of those details. I'm not going to take them all the way out, but if we look at that preview, you can see how we're really just softening up some of what we have there and cleaning up some of the way it exaggerated noise in the background. We could also add a little bit of our own sharpening if we wanted to. Perhaps want to bring the details down, sharpen this in addition to the other sharpening. So now we're stacking up the effect. This isn't just High Pass. This is High Pass Camera Raw smart filtering and sharpening.
Alright well to apply these settings click OK and that will then render or apply those as a smart filter. The advantage of this of course is that it's now on a separate layer so we can turn this on and off. To view the overall effect we can click on the eye icon, there's before, and then click again and we can see the after. Let me zoom out so you can see a little more of the subject here. You should be able to see that nice snap, especially in that beard and how we brought out great detail and performed some really unique and amazing sharpening by combining these two filters together.
Alright well, after we've done all that the last step is to do some simple masking. Here we need to zoom out. So press Cmd minus on the Mac or Ctrl minus on Windows. And then we'll click into the mask. That is the white mask right here underneath the layer. The smart filter mask. We want to invert the mask and you can invert it by pressing Cmd i on a Mac or Ctrl i on Windows. If you ever forget that shortcut, just go to Edit then choose Fill and in the Contents pull down window select Black right there.
Alright, well next we need to click in to that mask, grab our Brush tool here. With the Brush tool we want to choose a nice big brush. I'm going to go really big here. Maybe 500 or 600 or so. We want a brush without any hardness. We want to paint with white. What about the opacity? Let's bring this up, maybe somewhere around 50%, just so we have the chance to paint this in with a couple brushstrokes. I'll go ahead and paint over that area, and this is a pretty general mask in this way.
I'm just generally sharpening up this part of the picture. If we were to zoom in on the photograph, back to that zoom rate so that we can see the details here, you can see that this effect is now only affecting this portion of the image. As I'm looking at my before and after, one of the things I'm realizing is I think that my High Pass amount isn't high enough, and my Camera Raw is a little bit too high. Let's customize those before we wrap this up. With the Camera Raw filter, I will double click the icon to open up my Blending Options, and then drop my Opacity down.
I think I softened and removed the details a little bit too much there. At least for my vision for this picture. So I'll lower the Opacity, which will lessen that effect. Then I'll go back to High Pass. I'll double click the High Pass filter in order to bring this back up. Here this will bring up my High Pass filter, and I'm just going to bring up the Radius a little bit more there, and then click OK. And then in doing that, you can see have a little bit of a stronger effect. Here it is, our before and then now the after.
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