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Last we spoke, I explained the three imperatives of Photoshop. It sees an image one channel at a time. It receives the image in terms of luminance levels and it loves areas of rapid contrast. Let me explain that last one. Imagine you are looking at an aerial photo, shot from the sky of a beach on a sunny day. On one side you have that beach, the sand highly reflective and therefore wildly bright on the other you have the ocean. It absorbs light and it's rich and dark.
Bright beige sand right next a deep aquamarine greens and blues. That is a rapid luminance shift. Light on one side turned suddenly dark on the other. In Photoshop parlance that's an edge. Photoshop can increase the contrast of that edge which makes the edge appear sharper and it does so using the Sharpening Filters. Bear in mind however, Photoshop cannot actually sharpen the focus of a photograph. Meaning that if a photo is badly focused in the first place Photoshop cannot reach back in a time and adjust the focus of your camera.
Time travel is impossible and Photoshop despite its considerable strengths cannot do the impossible, but it can take good focus and make it appear great. Meaning a decent edge around a person or an object or anything becomes reach out and touch it tactile, which is what this chapter is about.
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