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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 we are going to sharpen the detail inside the image, this is low frequency image, so we are going to sharpen accordingly, here inside Photoshop. Now bear in mind, we just gone through sharpening the image in the previous exercises inside Camera RAW for the source, for the digital photography process. Now we are about to heap more sharpening on top of this image, here inside Photoshop. Now conventional wisdom says that you are not supposed to do that, you are not supposed to sharpen an image multiple times, sequentially let alone in a row. I am going to tell you that done properly it produces fantastic effects, as you will see over the course of next few exercises.
Alright. So if you just joining me, you can catch right up by opening this image called Base Smart Object.PSD, that's found inside the 06_For_Detail folder and it contains a Smart Object notice that in this is a Camera RAW Smart Object, so if you were to double click on this Smart Object thumbnail here inside the Layers palette, you would bring up the Camera RAW dialog box, then you can switch over to your Detail panel and you could adjust to settings to taste. I am going to go ahead and cancel out off this dialog box, so I can return to Photoshop here. Now since I have already got this Smart Object, I can apply a filter to it and it automatically becomes a Smart Filter, but before I do that I want to make that I have a filter mask ready to go to convert in to an edge mask, so I am going to go over to the Channels palette and lets take a look at our channels here.
This is the red channel very, very bright inside of this portrait shot, as portrait shots are wanted to all of us resonate most brightly inside the red channel. The green channel contains the widest variety of luminance levels, so it contains a lot of detail and then the blue channel is going to be your darkest channel, often times it's your noisiest channel as well. So what I am going to recommend, where standard portraits are concerned, is that you want to go ahead low the green channel as a selection and convert that into your base filter mask.
So heres how we will do it. go ahead and press in order to Control key or the Command key and the Mac and click on that green thumbnail there to load it as a selection outline, then go ahead and switch back to the RGB view of the image. Go to the Layers palette and now lets go up to the Filter menu choose other and choose High Pass. Now the reason I like High Pass, it's two reasons I use High Pass for sharpening, for detail where low frequency images are concerned. First of all its a very simple filter to use, very straightforward, just has one value that you have to worry about and that's the Radius value.
Also its good at protecting the highlights and shadows, it doesn't clip highlights and shadows inside of the image unlike Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen. So I am going to go ahead and choose the High Pass Command. I will tell you that you want to keep the radius fairly high, something in the neighborhood, depending on the resolution of the image, something in the neighborhood of three to six pixels. So if you are working on a very high resolution image such as 10 or 12 megapixel image, you probably want to bump this guy up to about 6 pixels possibly that high, that's the high end.
But in our cases, this is just a 5 megapixel image, I am going to take this value down to 4.5, which is still pretty darn high, you might want to take it down to 3, but for now we will go with 4.5 pixels. I'll click ok in order to accept that modification. Now I have a quite High Pass, which grays out the non-edges inside the image, so we need to drop out those non-edges, so that we have a sharpening effect, not a weird gray effect going on inside the flesh. So you want to double click on the blending options. And by the way, notice very briefly, that Photoshop went ahead and automatically converted the selection from the green channel to a filter mask right there, that looks exactly like the green channel of course.
Alright. So we have got the green channel filter mask intact. Now lets go over to the little settings icon right there. Double click on it, in order to bring up the blending options and we'll change the mode from Normal to Overlay. Then I'm going to go ahead and accept that by clicking OK. Now we have successfully applied the High Pass filter. We have a filter mask intact. We need to modify that mask, of course, so that its not merely a luminance mask, which is what it is now a green luminance mask, but rather an edge mask and well do that in the very next exercise.
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