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Since the beginning of the photographic art form, photographers have been searching for clearer and sharper images. Now, you don't have to settle for what was captured in camera; you can perfect your photos in post-production. In this course, Chris Orwig tackles sharpening in three programs: Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop. They all have their strengths, so he shows you how to get the best results from specific sharpening challenges with each one. Chris shows you how to reduce noise and sharpen with sliders and make selective adjustments to certain areas of raw images. In Photoshop, he uses powerful filters like Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen to sharpen larger areas of pictures, and masking to paint in sharpening. Last, he shares two advanced techniques, one using high pass sharpening and another that limits sharpening to the edges of your images.
In the previous movie we talked about how we can use the adjustment brush in order to selectively sharpen specific areas of our photograph and we looked at how we can use this technique in order to improve the details that we have in the face area of the photograph. In this movie I want to focus in on another area and highlight a few other helpful techniques when working with this tool. We're going to focus in on this beautiful painting which she has created. So lets zoom in on that area of the image. Press Cmd+on a MAC a few times or Ctrl+ on Windows.
Then what we need to do is to click on the New option in order to create a new adjustment. Now the adjustment that I want to add to this area is to sharpen it. We'll leave our sharpness and noise reduction settings right where they are. Then I also want to add a few other things as well. As long as we're doing some work in this area, why not add a bit of contrast. Maybe we'll add a bit of clarity and then some saturation as well. Just to add some visual interest to this part of the photograph. All right, well in order to paint the adjustment into this area, we have a unique situation.
We have a really hard, or defined edge. If I try to paint over that area, well my brush is obviously going to cover the painting but also the subject behind the painting. Unless, of course, we work with what's called auto mask. If you scroll down to the bottom area here, you can turn on Auto Mask and then to see how auto mask works, turn on Show Mask as well and choose a really bright or vivid color. Now, what this will do is when you position your cursor over this part of the image, if you click to Paint, you'll notice that it will make an adjustment but then the adjustment will stop at the edge of the painting. Well, how in the world is this happening? Well what this tool does is it favors the crosshairs in the center of our brush.
Let me make the brush a little bit bigger here so we can see this even more dramatically. It favors the content underneath the crosshairs. Then it extends out to where the circle reaches, obviously, and it seeks to apply the adjustment and then try to stop it where there's some sort of difference. And if we work with a brush which is too big, sometimes it gets a little bit carried away and spills over into those areas. We'll talk about how we can clean those up. Yet nonetheless we can start to see how this helps us out immensely. How I can quickly go along these edges.
And this is primarily limiting my adjustment to the painting, and not affecting the subject as much as well. You know, as you start to make adjustments like this, what you may need to do is to turn auto mask off as you start to get to the inner area that you want to adjust, like this area here. Lets turn this off, and lets just paint freely now over this area because it won't limit the adjustment and really pay attention to the crosshairs. It's just going to paint this in wherever the brush is and whatever the brush size is.
So I can now move and work a little bit more quickly. Well what about a situation like down below, where it spilled over into this part of the picture? If we need to erase from that area, we can click on the Erase button. And with the Erase brush here, we can turn on Auto Mask as well. So that as we erase, we're only erasing up to that edge. We aren't erasing the entire size of the brush. Rather, we're erasing a little bit more intelligently and protecting the area on the inside which is being affected.
So, with a few simple full adjustments, we're able to make some really important corrections here. And again, I'm just going to fix this top part as well. And I think this looks really good. Next what we need to do of course, is to turn off this hideous Show Mask overlay. And it was helpful, but now it's distracting. So let's turn off the visibility of that. And let's take a look at how we've improved the photograph. If we click on the Preview check box, we can see here's the before, and then click again, here's the after. Perhaps we want to sharpen that even more, or maybe we want to add some more contrast to this and darken those highlights a little bit, add even more clarity and color saturation.
Again, just to add a little bit bit of snap to that part of the photograph. And as we've talked about before, when you evaluate something up close, you also want to zoom out. You'll press Cmd- a few times in order to zoom out and see the whole picture. And you want to click on the Preview checkbox, and make sure that your adjustments look good in the overall context of the photograph. And in this case, I think we've done a great job. Yet again, more importantly, we looked at how we can take advantage of that little hidden feature at the base of this dialogue, which is Auto Mask, which is really helpful when you're seeking to paint in this adjustment into a defined area.
And as we saw in this image it worked well with the painting, and we also saw that sometimes it's best to have this off, like when we painted in our adjustment to the face where we simply wanted a softer or smoother, a more natural transition. So now we know the best of both worlds, how we can use this tool in order to start to selectively sharpen and improve different details in our photographs.
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