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Real focus happens inside the camera's lens element. The sharpening features in Photoshop CS3 exaggerate the contrast along edges in a photograph to transform a well-focused image into an outstanding image. In Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, Deke McClelland teaches a host of sharpening and noise reduction techniques, including using filters such as Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, High Pass, and Reduce Noise. The training teaches the essentials of sharpening, including what it does, why it's important, and how the filters function. Plus, the training covers Deke's recommended best practices, including the four distinct varieties of sharpening, which can be used independently or in combination with each other. Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images is about how to transform images from looking good to looking their absolute best. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise I am going to introduce you to the sharpening controls that are available to you inside of Camera RAW as well as inside of Llightroom. Now I have got the Bridge trained on the 05_for_source folder that's available to you inside the exercise files folder and I have selected the Festive ornaments.dng file. I'd like you select it as well and then you can open this file inside the Camera RAW either by going up to the File menu and choosing opening Camera RAW or pressing Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac or you can right click on the image's thumbnail there inside of the Content panel and you can choose Open in Camera RAW from the shortcut menu.
Any of those techniques is going to work. That's going to open the Camera RAW inside of the Bridge, so the Bridge is hosting Camera RAW at this point. Now I am going to go ahead and enlarge the Camera RAW window so that fills up the entire screen, which I can do by clicking on this icon here or pressing the F key. F cycles you back and forth, in that way I am maximizing my space on screen here. Now as you may know if you have any experience with Camera RAW, you know that it's mostly- most of it's controls are dedicated to the task of adjusting colors inside of an image.
So you may very well wonder while you are sharpening the image for the source, should you also go ahead and accommodate its colors? Should you also go ahead and apply color adjustments and color corrections that kind of thing? And the answer is definitely yes. This a general rule of thumb when working inside of any Photoshop dialog box. As long as you have that dialog box upon screen, try to get as much work done inside the dialog box as you can. That's the way that you are going to apply the most nondestructive modifications possible. In fact when working with sharpening you want to go ahead and apply your color adjustments first, not because it effects the order in which Camera RAW applied its adjustments, but because of the fact your ability to gauge your sharpening adjustments.
So in the case of this image I have applied a variety of settings here inside of the Basic panel. I will just go ahead, just to give you a sense of what kind of changes I have applied. I am going to click on this little menu icon to the right of that word Basic and I am going to choose Camera RAW Defaults. This is the way the image looks when I have first opened it up inside of Camera RAW. I am going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit by pressing Ctrl+plus or Command+plus on the Mac. So this is the original version, the colors that are a little bit muted and they are also a little bit too cool. So I went ahead warmed things up and increased the Vibrance and Saturation values and I will just go ahead and show you by choosing Image Settings so I can bring those settings back.
The settings, the metadata instructions that are saved along with this file. So these are all nondestructive modifications, as I was saying in the previous exercise. And a variety of these values change when I chose that command. The exact settings aren't important. I just want to make the case that you want to go ahead and apply your color adjustments first. Then you'll want to switch over to this guy right here, Detail. Notice, its called Detail, not Focus, which is rightly so. These are not really focus adjustments. You can only adjust the focus technically speaking, when you are taking the shot.
But I don't want you to be thinking that we're sharpening for detail at this point. We'll be sharpening for detail in the next Chapter. Right now we are sharpening for source. We are sharpening in order to adjust for the anti-aliasing and noise and other artifacts of the photography process. So anyway I am going to go ahead and switch over to this Ddetail tab right here, or I could press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+3 or Command+Option+3 on the Mac. Notice that we have a total of four different Sharpening options and two Noise Reduction options available to us.
The order in which you apply these is not important because Camera RAW goes ahead and applies them in a most sensible order possible. So even though you apply your Sharpening first and then your Noise Reduction and then your color adjustments, Cameral RAW is going to apply the color adjustments and then the Noise Reduction and then the Sharpening. So it does its own thing in own order, no matter what. So you go feel free to work in whether of the order you want. Just make sure its a best order in which to gauge your changes. Now briefly I am just going to run through this very fast. Then we will spend more time with them in future exercises.
The Amount value changes the amount of sharpening you apply. Radius value affects the size of your halo, so that's very much the same as it is with Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen and so on. But the way that these values are calculated is very different. This amount setting and the amount setting goes as high as a 150. I will tell you right now. I am not going to change it right now but it goes as high as a 150. A 150% amount is very, very high inside of Camera RAW. It makes a big modification, much bigger than what you get with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen.
Next, we have a Detail option, which is going to smooth or sharpen the contours and then we have masking, which is going to apply edge masking and as I say we will come to each one of these options in our future exercise. We have got Noise Reduction. Luminance affects the luminance noise that is the arbitrary changes in brightness values, and then we have Color which effects the arbitrary variation in hue and saturation values. In addition to these Detail options right here we have a couple of other sharpening controls that are available to us inside of this tab. Lens Corrections. And you can get to this tab either by clicking on it or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+6 or Command+Option+6 on the Mac.
Now the settings that we are concerned with are these Chromatic Aberration settings toward the top of the panel here. We have got these two slider bars, which allow us to align colors with each other around the edges of the image. We will see how those work and then we have this Defringe setting as well. These all contribute to the overall sharpening, the appearance of sharpening inside the image. That's it for this exercise. Just an overall, just to give you a sense of what's going on here with the sharpening controls inside of Camera RAW. In the next exercise I will show you how to preview the results of your sharpening accurately so you can gauge the ideal settings.
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