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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.
Alright, now lets talk about sharpening a high frequency image, and once again we are going to take the image into Camera RAW to sharpen for the source, and then we are going to take it into Photoshop to sharpen for the detail. Now I have got the Bridge once again trained on the 06_for_detail folder, that's inside the exercise files folder. I would like you to go ahead and select the Cabs and buildings.jpg image. This image comes to us from Damir Spanic, once again of iStockphoto.com. By the way, if you scroll down your list a little bit here, you will see the original Coffee to go.jpg image that we opened a few exercises back, notice it has a little settings icon in the upper right hand corner of the thumbnail. That indicates that now the Bridge considers this to be a Camera RAW file, and it has some Camera RAW settings saved along with it.
If you don't want those Camera RAW settings to be assigned to the JPEG file anymore, which I suggest you don't, then go ahead and right click on the thumbnail, choose Develop Settings. Then choose Clear Settings, like so and that will get rid of those settings, and now that will open as a normal JPEG file in the future, because after all you have already got some PSD versions of the file, if you want to revisit those Camera RAW settings. Aright, I am going to go ahead and select Cabs and buildings.jpg once again, and I am going to go to the File menu and choose Open in Camera RAW or press Crtl+R, Command+R in the Mac, in order to open up the Camera RAW interface here.
I will go ahead and fill the screen with the interface once again. Now this is a high frequency image, meaning that there are a lot of rapid luminance variations inside the image. So we are switching from highlights to shadows, back to highlights very quickly, all over the place. There are all kinds of fine details inside of the image as well, and a cityscape is a very typical kind of high frequency image, just as things likes trees and plants and landscapes end up being high frequency images as well; basically distant shots which are taking in a lot of objects at once.
Now I am going to go ahead and switch over to the Detail panel. I want to be able to see the grill of this taxi cab here at the 100% zoom ratio. I am going to crank up that Amount value once again, so I can keep track of what's going on. Now I know in advance this time, I know that in a second pass I am going to be sharpening the detail inside the image inside Photoshop, so as long as I am in Camera RAW, I just want to sharpen for the digital photography process and nothing more. So I am going to enter those same settings I showed you in a previous exercise, which are 0.6 for the Radius, lets go ahead and take the Detail value down to 0, so that we are not bringing up much noise inside the image.
I am going to take the Masking value up to 30 once again. Now this image does actually have some weird stuff going on inside of it. If I zoom in very closely on the windshield, for example, you can see that we have some weird colors that are showing up around the edges of the windshield, and this is happening in other places inside of the image as well. Part of what I think might have happened here is that when this image was originally either converted from the RAW file format to JPEG, or when it was photographed as a JPEG file, the converter didnt end up running any kind of color noise reductions.
So I am going ahead and apply the standard 25 value here, the standard 25 color value. That does take some of the color out of that windshield. Now I am going to go ahead and scroll upward towards the top of the image. You can see in the top right corner of the image, let me go ahead and move up here, we don't have scrollbars inside of Camera RAW, so it does takes some time to get to different locations when we are working at the 400% zoom ratio. You might be able to make out that we have a little bit of magenta going along the top of these windows, and once again, we are in the upper right hand corner of the image, and we have some cyan that's outlining the other portion of the windows as well.
We can get rid of that by switching over to the Lens Corrections panel, and I could fool around with the Chromatic Aberrations slider bars, they don't turn out to do that much good where this image is concerned. What does a fair amount of good, it's subtle once again, but it does work, is to switch Defringe from Off to All Edges. And did you see that? We just got rid of a lot of coloring that's going on inside of those windows. If we zoom out a little bit, I think that's a better idea to zoom out and then scroll down here to the cab, and then of course zoom back in, you will see that we have taken some of the color out of the edges of that windshield as well.
Its not completely remedied, we still have a few color artifacts going on, but its much better than it was before. Alright, so those are the settings I am going to apply. Once again, set defringe to all edges, and then inside of the Detail panel we have got Radius-0.6, Detail-0, Masking-30, Color-25. One change that I do suggest you make, I think the Amount value is a little too high here, lets go ahead and knock that down to about 60, its going to do better where this image is concerned. Then I want you to press the Shift key and click on the Open Object button, down there at the bottom of the dialog box, in order to open the image as a Camera RAW Smart Object inside Photoshop.
Alright, so we have now successfully sharpened for the source, I believe anyway, and we are now going to move on to sharpening for the detail inside of this high frequency image in the next exercise.
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