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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.
Lets start things up by taking a look at how to sharpen a low frequency image. By low frequency, I mean gradual transitions between luminance levels, between highlights and mid-tones and shadows inside of the image. Now you typically want to treat any portrait shot as a low frequency image, even if it has a busy background with a lot of rapid transitions. Lot of rapid luminance transitions in it or if the person is wearing busy clothing with a lot of tight fabric patterns and so on. Even So you want to go ahead and treat it as a low frequency image because that is the most forgiving kind of sharpening that you can apply and after all we do want to be forgiving even with beautiful people like this one, right here.
Now I should tell you that we are going to start things up from the very beginning. So we are going to sharpen for the source. Bring the image in the Photoshop as a Smart Object and then we are going to sharpen for detail inside of Photoshop and sort of mix and match our source sharpening and our detail sharpening. You will see, it's a fairly elaborate process when done properly. Now I have the Bridge showing down the 06_for_detail folder, that's inside the exercise files folder and I have gone ahead and selected this image right here, that's called Coffee to go.jpg.
Don't fret about the fact we are only seeing couple of thumbnails on screen right now. You are going to see more thumbnails inside of your folder because I am building the images up still as I am talking to you. Anyway, this image, this wonderful image here comes to us from photographer Quavondo Nguyen. I just love that first name, Quavondo, of iStockphoto.com once again and lets go ahead and start by sharpening the image for the source, as I was saying. So I am going to bring the image in Camera RAW. It's my favorite way to work, not necessarily the only way to work but I think its the best and most effective way to work and so I go up to the File menu and choose Open in Camera RAW, and I do want to mention something to you at the outset here.
I have noticed in this particular version of the bridge just may it be fixed by time you are working inside the bridge but every so often this command will appear inexplicably dimmed as if you can't apply it to JPEG images or TIFF images which you can. You should be able to do that on a regular basis, no matter what and the only kinds of files you really cant effect are layered files like, made of PSD documents. You cant open that inside Camera RAW but JPEGs and TIFFs, are just fine. If the Open in Camera RAW Command appears dimmed, here is a little trick.
You go to the Tools menu. This is mostly works 95% of the time. I have had it failed couple of times but it mostly works. Go up to the Tools menu choose Cache and choose Purge Cache or Folder, blah, blah, blah. Essentially purge the thumbnails, that's what you are doing for this particular folder, and that should take care of your problem. Then you should be able to click on this file and all should be well. If not you may need to sort of click between folders and just fool around a little bit. It's weird. I don't know why the bridge does this. But anyway, probably a bug. I am going to go up to the File menu choose Open in Camera RAW, Ctrl+R or Command+R in Mac in order to Open the Camera RAW dialog box.
Lets go ahead and zoom in on her eyes here and I am going to make sure that I am seeing the image at the 100% zoom ratio. Right now it's a 117 or whatever, that's what I am saying. I will go ahead and press Ctrl+minus or Command+minus on the Mac in order to zoom out a little bit. Now lets switch over to the Detail panel right here. Now I should warn you just because we are seeing the Amount value of zero for sharpening doesn't mean that some sharpening hasn't been applied before to this image. It's very possible that the original photographer sharpened this image to some extent.
Either when they originally opened the image in Camera RAW and saved it out as a JPEG or during the editing cycle. It's very possible this image is already been sharpened in advance. It doesn't look like it to me, that's why I am going ahead and treating it as a completely unsharpened image. Alright. So I am going to go ahead and take this amount value up to 150% just so that I can gauge the proper values. Obviously this is way too much and then I might take the Radius value up to 1.5 since this is a low frequency image. We saw on the previous chapter that when you are working with a low frequency inside of Camera RAW, you want a low amount which we don't have so far but we will.
A low amount, a high radius, a low detail value and a high masking value. So lets leave the detail value where it is, at 25 and then I am going to Alt or Option-drag the masking value over here to about 17, looks pretty good to me. That's going to protect most of the skin and reveal the real edges around the eyes and the mouth and the nose and the ears and so on. Now that we have done that, lets go ahead and backup the Amount value, and I am going to take it down to lets say something along lines of 50%, maybe a little higher just so that we can see the effects of our sharpening very easily on screen.
Lets go and take it a 60% here. So just so that you can see the difference. This is before and this is after and just in case that isnt reading super well on the video, lets go ahead and zoom in and click here to the 200% view size. This is the before view and this is the after view. So a fair amount of sharpening that we are applying. Next what I want you do, I want you to press and hold the Shift key, then I want you to click on this button down here, that says, Open Object. Go ahead and click, while the Shift key is down, then you can release Shift. So you just want to Shift+click on that button.
In order to open the image in Photoshop as we have done and of course, we have also gone ahead and opened the image as the Smart Object, as you can see over here, inside the Layers palette, we gave little Smart Object icon down in lower right hand corner of the thumbnail. Alright, so this is good. We have now sharpened for source and we have taken the detail into account. In the next exercise, we are going to apply a second pass of sharpening. Sounds a little dangerous but it works beautifully actually. We are going to apply a second pass of sharpening in order to take into account just the detail not the source.
Just the detail inside this image.
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