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Thread: Advice with sharpening

  1. #1
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    Default Advice with sharpening

    Hi Guys, I'm really confused and hoping someone can put me straight here!!!

    When I take a pic I initially correct WB and exposure and apply some sharpening in ACR. Then I open it in Photoshop, make additional adjustments if required then reduce the size to approx 1000 pixels in the largest dimension and resharpen it before saving "for web and devices" to be subsequently uploaded to F&P.

    "Educational topic #3 Downsizing for web" suggests reducing the image size in steps and applying mild sharpening after each downsize step. I have heard others say sharpening should be done only after all other adjustments are done and the image has been reduced to its final size.

    I would appreciate your advice as to what is the best way?

    Thank you
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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    Hi Richard as with all things post processing I doubt if there will be concensus on a single best way. I dont apply sharpening in ACR, you can select it to be applied to the preview only. After all my editing in photoshop I sharpen using 'Smart Sharpen' this tends to apply the sharpening principally to the detail rather than colour so less chance of haloes, over sharpening etc. In smart sharpen I generally use 0.4pixel and 140%. I then duplicate my image twice one I call 'print' and one is for downsizing. I may give a little second sharpen to the print one while looking at it at near full size at a lower pixel setting and sharpening amount often 0.2 and 80%. The image I'm going to post on the forum say I downsize to 1024 pixels, look at it at full size ( Alt+Cntrl+0 ) and then give it a second sharpen usually 0.2pxl 60 -70 %. Each time after using smart sharpen I 'fade smart sharpen' a comand available immeadiately after using sharpening under the 'edit' drop down menu, this is set to luminosity 100%. I have this saved as an action so it is done with one key stroke. So there you are more things to add into your imaging equation along with all the suggestions I'm sure others will have
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

  3. The following user says thank you to Trevor Murray for their reply:

    Richard Jackson (01-04-2012)

  4. #3
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    Richard,

    there's varying ideas floating around on sharpening, in summary the consensus appears to be that you should only sharpen when ready for output, be it print or web and it's the last step. This link goes into sharpening in some detail:

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rc...I1GwRA&cad=rja

    What you are doing is a variation on the scheme outlined in the link, capture sharpening followed by output sharpening. The other important thing is to view it at the right magnification in photoshop, web output should be viewed at 100% as oulined by Trevor. Prints should be viewed at 50% (crtl + or ctrl - till the view is at 50%) 100% looks a little ugly and is hard to judge. By criteria is to get it looking ever so slightly over sharpened on screen before outputting to an inkjet printer. If you do capture sharpening you don't want to overdo it. I save all my master files without sharpening, then it can be used for any purpose you like.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Thanks Trevor and Chris for your helpful advice.

    Most of my sharpening is for images I view either on PC alone or for P&F presentation and when I sharpen I do it whilst viewing at 100% actual pixels. If I 'capture sharpen' as well as 'output sharpen' is the result inferior, better or the same, as I would get if I 'output sharpened' only?
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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    If you're only doing web stuff I'd just bring it in with default sharpening in Raw, save an un sharpened full res master then downsize to produce your web version and sharpen that at 100%.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisRoss View Post
    If you're only doing web stuff I'd just bring it in with default sharpening in Raw, save an un sharpened full res master then downsize to produce your web version and sharpen that at 100%.
    I basically do this, except:

    I apply no sharpening in Raw.
    I make all adjustments (except sharpening) to full size/res master file and save.
    I then resize for web, smart sharpen, add watermark and export.

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    I never sharpen RAW files even during conversion. My final step for web - after saving a master psd file - consist of an action for merging layers (I use adjustment layers) convert to 8-bit (from 16-bit), sRGB profile and resize to a web size (I make one at 1,280, one at 1,000 and one at 700 pixels on longest sides). If I remember correctly, and I will check, I no longer apply any sharpening unless I need to as for some reason they look sharp enough as processed without any more applied. Although rarely I will sharpen some key features, such as eyes.

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    I'm not sure why people don't sharpen the raw file when converting, there's no real downside to it if you have a gentle touch , it just the first step in the process, have a read of the link I supplied, Jeff Schewe really knows what he is talking about. If you don't like the sharpening provided by your Raw converter you can turn the edge sharpening workflow there into an action quite easily. Basically what you are dealing with is undoing the the effect of the anti alias filter and the de-bayering which produces the RGB image from the bayer array with its pattern of red green and blue filtered pixels all of this masks detail. Then when you re size this also loses sharpness from the interpolation routines. The amount you need is quite variable but I haven't seen a digital (or scanned) image yet that doesn't need sharpening at some level. What the linked article talks about is sharpening without bringing up artifacts or sharpening grain or noise.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisRoss View Post
    I'm not sure why people don't sharpen the raw file when converting, there's no real downside to it if you have a gentle touch , it just the first step in the process, have a read of the link I supplied, Jeff Schewe really knows what he is talking about. If you don't like the sharpening provided by your Raw converter you can turn the edge sharpening workflow there into an action quite easily. Basically what you are dealing with is undoing the the effect of the anti alias filter and the de-bayering which produces the RGB image from the bayer array with its pattern of red green and blue filtered pixels all of this masks detail. Then when you re size this also loses sharpness from the interpolation routines. The amount you need is quite variable but I haven't seen a digital (or scanned) image yet that doesn't need sharpening at some level. What the linked article talks about is sharpening without bringing up artifacts or sharpening grain or noise.
    Thanks for all your expertise guys and thanks Chris for the link to the article. I had a thorough read of it today and made an action to 'capture sharpen' which seems to work quite well. I now feel I have a much better idea of what I am trying to achieve.
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jackson View Post
    Thanks for all your expertise guys and thanks Chris for the link to the article. I had a thorough read of it today and made an action to 'capture sharpen' which seems to work quite well. I now feel I have a much better idea of what I am trying to achieve.
    Interesting that you made an action to capture sharpen. Didn't you like the 'Capture Sharpening' done by your Raw Converter? ...and if so what didn't you like about it?
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Gates View Post
    Interesting that you made an action to capture sharpen. Didn't you like the 'Capture Sharpening' done by your Raw Converter? ...and if so what didn't you like about it?
    Hi Geoff I'm still learning and have a long way to go. Currently I save my files as DNG and do basic WB & exposure adjustment in ACR. Until now I applied sharpening in ACR and then opened the image in PS for tweaking, prior to downsizing and resharpening it for web.

    The problem I found was that it is easy to oversharpen the RAW file using ACR, which itself is no big problem as you can undo it. However, when you open the RAW file in PS you can add more sharpening but you cant unsharpen. This is a pain so my current thought is to do the capture sharpening in PS using an action rather that doing it using ACR.
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jackson View Post
    Hi Geoff I'm still learning and have a long way to go. Currently I save my files as DNG and do basic WB & exposure adjustment in ACR. Until now I applied sharpening in ACR and then opened the image in PS for tweaking, prior to downsizing and resharpening it for web.

    The problem I found was that it is easy to oversharpen the RAW file using ACR, which itself is no big problem as you can undo it. However, when you open the RAW file in PS you can add more sharpening but you cant unsharpen. This is a pain so my current thought is to do the capture sharpening in PS using an action rather that doing it using ACR.
    OK. Just trying to wrap my head around what you've done...

    So you now do not apply sharpening via the Detail Tab & you've set the Camera Raw Preferences for apply sharpening to "Preview Images Only". Correct?

    Btw, If you open your raw image in PS as a Smart Object you can always double click on the image thumbnail in PS and it will take you back to ACR and you can change any of the settings.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Gates View Post
    Btw, If you open your raw image in PS as a Smart Object you can always double click on the image thumbnail in PS and it will take you back to ACR and you can change any of the settings.
    Didn't know that! That is very handy indeed, thanks for the tip Geoff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Gates View Post
    OK. Just trying to wrap my head around what you've done...

    So you now do not apply sharpening via the Detail Tab & you've set the Camera Raw Preferences for apply sharpening to "Preview Images Only". Correct?

    Btw, If you open your raw image in PS as a Smart Object you can always double click on the image thumbnail in PS and it will take you back to ACR and you can change any of the settings.
    Thanks Geoff, I have just realised I had my RAW preferences set to; apply sharpening to "all images" rather than apply sharpening to "Preview Images Only". TrevorM mentioned this at the start of the thread but I didn't twig what he was talking about at the time. Thanks for your help and hopefully I will get my act together soon!

    cheers
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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    as Trevor said once you get it the way you like it do a action you will save time and you will get it right every time its easey to get a bit lost in the sharping

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