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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.
Let's take a look at another use for Smart Sharpen, in particular how we can sharpen eyes. In this particular photograph, you'll notice I have this really shallow depth of field. I probably captured it at F/12. I was using this 85 mm lens that I really like for portraits. So, let's zoom in on this image to 100%. We can do so by either double-clicking on the Zoom tool, or we can press a shortcut. This is one of the shortcuts that I use all the time, so you may want to jot this one down. Here's what it is. On a Mac Command+Option+0; on a PC, Ctrl+Alt+0.
That takes the image to 100%. We can then reposition the image, so we can really focus in on the eyes. Next step, let's copy this Background layer. We can do so by clicking and dragging to the New Layer icon. Then we'll name this layer eyes. From here, we are going to navigate to our Filter pulldown menu. Then we are going to select Sharpen and Smart Sharpen. With Smart Sharpen open, what we are really interested in doing is focusing in on the eyes here. So let's bring our Radius and Amount down a little bit. We are going to use More Accurate this time.
So, we'll turn on More Accurate. We want to get a lot of those little details there. We are going to bring our Amount up and our Radius, really focusing in on the eyes. What I want to do is ignore everything else except the eyes. I want to add a little bit of sparkle here. So, you can see that really what I am doing is over-sharpening this area of the face. So again, I am just inching these up a little bit at a time to try to find a sweet spot. Now, one of the things that I notice right away is that the highlights look kind of horrible. They look overdone. No big deal.
We are going to mask this in, and then we can take care of that area later. All right. Well again we are just going to crank this up even more and more sharpening, which seems a little outlandish, but you'll see how this works in a second. Just to highlight More Accurate. Here's without that. Here's with it. Just brings out all these nice little details in the eye. Let me show you what I mean here. Again, before More Accurate, after More Accurate, all those little details in the eye look wonderful. All right. Well let's click OK in order to apply the sharpening.
Now in this case, I have sharpened too much of the image. Well, here is what we are going to do. We are going to add a black layer mask. To do so, hold down the Option key on a Mac Alt key on the PC, click on the Add Layer Mask icon. That will then create a black layer mask completely concealing any sharpening, so there's no sharpening right now. What we are going to do is paint it in. We'll grab our Brush tool. We are going to paint with white, and we are able to have that More Accurate on here, because these little teeny eye details are really going to look interesting.
Now, a lot of times what you want to do is kind of follow the direction of the eye, so you see I am starting from the middle and working my way out. You'll also want to be really careful not to sharpen the highlights. In my case, I sharpened the highlights a little bit. So, I am going to need to clean those up. Let me show you what I mean. See how when I sharpen that area the whole thing just falls apart? All that we need to do is paint with black and just make sure you get in on those highlights. You'll also want to make sure you don't sharpen the eyelid at all. So I am going to just make sure no sharpening there. All right, great.
Those eyes look really fascinating. Here we have our before and then after. Let me zoom in closer so you can actually see that, before and then after. Really bringing out some great detail inside of the eyes there. Okay, well now that we have done that eye sharpening, what I want to do is sharpen just the rest of the face a little bit as well. In order to do that, I can actually use the same sharpening layer. All that I need to do is to paint, but this time I am going to paint with white on a real low Opacity, something way down here.
Now, I'll go ahead and make my brush a little bit bigger. I am just going to paint over these areas where I want to bring out a little bit of detail, kind of will help tie this in just a touch here. So again, just bringing in a little bit of sharpness to couple areas of the image, which are in focus and sharp. Sometimes,it's nice to do this just so it doesn't look too unnatural to have really sharp eyes and then not to have sharpness anywhere else. Okay, well that's kind of fun. Just bring in some more detail up in some of those other areas.
Now, if we Shift+Click the mask that will turn it off. Here, we can see our before without the mask and then after, just bringing that in a little bit more subtly into specific areas. If we want to look at our overall before and after. Here we have it before and then after. Let me zoom in a little bit closer so you can see how that looks on the skin and the eyes. Here, we have it before and then after. Last up here as you remember is to take this to a blending mode of Luminosity. One way to do that is to select the Move tool and then to press the shortcut.
The shortcut on a Mac is Shift+Option+Y, on a PC that's Shift+Alt+Y, or you can always simply select Luminosity here from the Blending Mode pulldown menu. All right. Well that wraps up our work on this image.
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