Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying Camera Raw sharpening as a filter, part of Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening.
In the previous chapter we focused in on some common ways that we can use Photoshop in order to sharpen and improve our photographs. Well, in this movie we'll build upon what we already know but this time we're going to stray off the well worn path and here we'll cover some more advanced Photoshop sharpening techniques. Well we already know that we can run a few different filters like un-sharp mask or even better, smart sharpen. Yet there's another filter which is often under utilized which can be incredibly helpful and it's camera raw.
You can run camera raw as a filter from the most recent version of Photoshop by clicking on the filter pull down menu and then by selecting camera raw as a filter. That's what we'll be doing with this photograph here. Let's go ahead and click off of that menu for a moment. This is a photograph that I captured recently for a client. And they want to post this image on their website. The image has already been re-sized. Next, I need to perform or apply some sharpening. So let's duplicate our background layer. Here we'll click into the background layer and drag this to the new layer icon.
Then double-click the layer name and let's just name this layer, Sharpen. Alright, next step is to navigate to our filter pull-down menu, and then choose camera raw as the filter. When you click on this menu item, it will launch this photograph in Camera raw, it's running camera raw here as a filter inside of Photoshop. You may notice that there are a few things that are different, yet for the most part, we have access to almost all of the same controls that we have with camera raw when we're running it in a stand-alone application.
It is worth pointing out as well that typically you want to work in camera raw at the beginning with the full-size photograph, but you can also always work on, or work with camera raw again as we're doing here, simply by targeting a layer and then going to filter and selecting camera raw. Alright, well enough on that, let's double click the zoom tool to go into 100%. Here we can view some of the details that we have in this image. Let's jump straight over to the detail panel and in the detail panel, I want to soften some of the noise, so increase my luminates just a touch here, not very much.
I'll bring down the detail slider here. I'm going to reduce just a little bit of the color noise as well and drop these values down. The reason why these values are lower is because this image has already been processed once in camera raw. On this second pass, there isn't that much more that I really need to deal with. Yet I am adding a touch more to soften the image, give it a nice over all feeling and sort of smooth quality to it. Next, we'll add some sharpening. Here this won't be dramatic or over the top, but we'll increase our amount.
We're going to drop that radius down and then get rid of all those little details. We want to keep that nice smooth quality. Bring up a touch of masking there. And I'm going to lower these values even more. You know when you're sharpening an image which is a lower resolution file, you'll tend to find that you'll have lower values overall just throughout the photograph. Alright, well I'll click on my before and after and what I'm looking for is just a nice subtle little snap to this picture before I send ti off to the client. And that's what I'm seeing.
There is good detail there. Just need to crank this up a little bit more and by bringing those values up. Just changing the overall look and evaluating that on the screen. It's tricky to try to find the right spot and talk at the same time but I think I'm getting closer here. Alright, well that looks good as far as my preview, before, and after. To apply these settings click OK. That will then render or apply those filter settings to this layer. Last step we want to take here is to change the layer blending mode to luminosity.
So click on your blending mode pull down menu. All the way down at the bottom, choose that blending mode there, luminosity. And that will then, select that for you. Now if you want to get more advanced you can choose this blending mode by way of a shortcut. Let me show you that. Let's go back to our blending mode of normal. If you select the move tool, and if you're targeting a layer, you can press Shift Option Y on a Mac, Shift Alt Y on Windows.
That's a shortcut which takes you to this luminosity blending mode. This is a much more advanced technique for choosing that layer blending mode. Yet, if you want to speed up your workflow, you may want to write that one down and try to see if you can't integrate it into your workflow. Again, on a Mac, it's Shift, option, Y. On Windows, that's shift, Alt, Y, which allows you to select the luminosity blending mode by way of a shortcut.
- Reducing luminance and color noise
- Improving details in portraits and landscapes
- Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
- Sharpening with filters
- Creating sharpening presets
- Using blending modes to avoid color problems when sharpening
- Smart filtering and masking
- Edge sharpening
- Batch sharpening