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The majority of the time when we work in Camera Raw, what we're doing is applying what's called input sharpening. It's a sharpening that we apply early in our workflow in order to get the photograph to a good place. And often what we're doing in Camera Raw is we're working on our images in the basic panel as we saw in the previous movie, and then next, we're jumping over to the Details panel. To access that panel click on the third tab located right here, and here you'll notice that we have two different groups of controls.
First we have controls which allow us to add sharpening. Then we have a second group, or set of controls which allow us to reduce different types of noise. Down at the base of the dialog it gives us a warning message which says, for a more accurate preview, you need to zoom the image to 100% or larger when adjusting the controls in this panel. And that little warning is crazy important. It's so important because if we make an adjustment here, we can't even really tell what it's doing to the photograph. Rather, what we need to do, is to double-click the Zoom tool, which is a quick way to zoom in to 100%.
Here you can see our zoom rate is now 100%. Then press the Space Bar key, and click and drag to reposition the image so that we can actually evaluate how each of these sliders will affect the photograph. We need to get close to determine the appropriate amount of sharpening or noise reduction. Alright, well now that we've zoomed in, the warning message has disappeared and we can begin our work. And let's begin with sharpening. Here I want to just deconstruct how these sliders work. Rather than worrying about accomplishing great results, which we'll do later, let's really try to understand what each of these four controls do.
Well, here's the first one, it's Amount. It's pretty straightforward. Drag to the right, and it increases the intensity or the amount of the sharpening effect. Now, if you want a better preview, what you can do with all of these sliders is hold down the Option key if you're on a Mac, that's Alt on Windows, and then click on these sliders. Each will give you a different view. The Amount slider gives us a grayscale view, so that we can really just focus in on how this is changing the image in this view.
Sometimes this is a helpful perspective to try to find the sweet spot or just the right amount of sharpening. Again it's just a preview. It isn't changing the image. It's just giving insight into how the slider works. So Amount, think of as intensity and lets crank that all the way up, and let's do that for demo purposes. You know, often in Camera Raw or Photoshop if you exaggerate a slider you can teach yourself how it works. And that's what we're going to do here. Next we have Radius.
You'll notice that the Radius slider, it only goes from 0.5 up to 3. Why is that? Why have they limited it to such a low range. Well, they've limited it because typically you want a really low radius for lower resolution files. Maybe a little bit higher radius for higher resolution, or those files where you want a lot of edge definition, which we'll talk about later. To truly understand the slider though press Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows and then drag it to the left.
Here you can see the edges are pretty clean. As I drag it to the right it's almost like they're glowing and becoming more pronounced. And what Radius does is it, it, it radiates that sharpening effect out from the edge so, for certain effects you'll have higher radius' but most scenarios it actually will be pretty low. That's why the default setting is one. Alright what about Detail. Detail, drag to the left which you want to do for portraits and the small details aren't sharpened, drag to the right and you can bring out a lot of interesting texture.
Well now here at this setting you can see that the photograph isn't looking very good, but we can really start to see how the Detail slider is helping us to either protect, in this case the small details, or to apply the sharpening effect to that part of the photograph. Yet let's say that what we want to do is have a higher detail value but not sharpen everything. Well, that is where the Masking slider saves the day. And I mean that. Most images need a certain amount of masking, not all but most.
If you drag this to the right it's hard to even tell what's even going on. Yet, hold down Option on Mac, Alt on Windows and then drag to the right and all of the sudden you kind of have this interesting view of the image. What's going on here? Well, if you know a thing or two about masking in Photoshop, you may have heard someone say that in masking, black conceals and white reveals. In other words, the areas that are black will not be affected. They will not be sharpened. The areas that are white, will.
Let go of the Option or Alt key and that will take you back to the view of the image, and here you can see the sharping effect is primarily affecting the edges. So now that we've seen how all of this works, one of the things that we've started to see perhaps, is that how we work with these sliders and how we sharpen the image, whatever that is, sometimes what that can do is it can actually bring out some noise in the photograph. Well, that's one of the reasons why the sharpening and the noise sliders are grouped together.
Sharpening tends to exaggerate or bring out noise. Noise reduction tends to reduce noise obviously, but also soften the image. These two groups or sets of sliders work incredibly well together. So again, let's deconstruct how the next group works. Leave this image open, and we'll continue to talk about those sliders in the next movie.
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