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  • Sharpening method: best?

    I am curious: what sharpening method(s) do you prefer?
    I talk especially about Adobe PhotoShop CS3 Extended.

    Often I find non-sharpened ("soft") pictures way better than when I sharpen them with software.
    Do some of you agree?

    Some questions:

    - what method(s) do you use
    - do you crop/resize first, then sharpen?
    or the other way round?
    - do you use extra sharpening settings in your camera(s)?
    cf. my EOS 400D gives the possibility to set up sharpness.

    I ask all this because I have problems processing most of my pictures ... when I come to sharpening, I have the feeling that I am ruining most pictures ....

    Please help!

  • #2
    I managed to do it right with one picture, but I donīt know how I did it!

    http://www.jetphotos.net/photolink.php?id=6258443

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    • #3
      Never sharpen in-camera.

      You can sharpen before you re-size but you will still have to adjust your sharpening after as well. There are many ways to sharpen, you will find a couple here..

      http://www.jid.me.uk/workflow/Workflow2/sharp.html

      Jid

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      • #4
        Jid, why should one neer sharpen in the camera?

        Is that because you canīt undo that sharpening? Or is there another reason?
        Thanks for the link anyway!

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        • #5
          The main reason being that PS is way better at sharpening than any camera ! Camera's are for taking pictures, computers are for editing

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          • #6
            Well, I played with both the camera and PhotoShop. My conclusion (as a beginner!):

            I really canīt get decent pics when sharpening pics in the photo processing.
            I ran through both workflows, but I canīt get anything acceptable when following them ...

            My results get way better when I let the camera itself sharpen the pictures.
            (which should not be regarded as critisim on the Jid-workflow, I guess it goes well with most photographers ) Besides, I donīt have time too spend 30 minutes at each photo. Unfortunately, I would say ...

            Picture Iīve been wrestling with (and it beat me!) is:
            http://www.jetphotos.net/user-uploads/temp009grjxb.jpg

            I guess I wasnīt born to photoshop. I regard it as a burden, really. Too bad ...
            But ... if anyone wants to have a go

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            • #7
              If you do not want to spend 30 minutes an image in photoshop, you can better forget about that image and stop shooting at dark and rainy days

              The image is low quality, mostly because it is saved at low resolution jpeg, but also a lot of noise because of the (dark/rainy) weather. It is possible to improve it somewhat, you can see the result in the right part in the picture below. Now the original might have more to work with, but overall I think that the quality is too low to make a decent image of it.

              cheer Pamela



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              • #8
                Not the best picture to start with. Dark and very soft. Here's about 10 minutes worth of work.

                It involved a work process something like this...

                1. Adjust histogram in levels.
                2. Create background layer.
                3. Adjust shadow/highlight. ( You say you're a PS beginner. I would normally say use curves to adjust highlights and dark tones but their use takes a bit of describing. If you do use shadow/highlight it is ESSENTIAL that you delete the sky after its use to avoid haloes. This is why I created a background layer at #2 above) I used shadow 10 and highlight 12.
                4. Adjust contrast ( I gave it +15 contrast )
                5. Sharpen overall three or four times at 100_0.2_0 USM setting.
                6. Delete the sky areas. I had to use the polygonal lassoo tool to draw around the aircraft in the sky areas as there are parts that are too similar in contrast to parts of the aircraft to allow the use of the magic wand tool to select the sky without also selecting parts of the aircraft.
                7. Delete the parts of the sky selected and then delete any other parts that have not been previously selected.
                8. Flatten the image.
                9. Selectively sharpen the windows and doors once or twice at 100_0.2_0.
                9. Save at maximum resolution (12 in PS)

                All this took me longer to type than it did to perform the above functions. !! No guarantee that it would be accepted but it shows what can be done with a poor image to start with. Imagine how much easier it would be with a properly exposed and less soft image
                Here it is.....




                EDIT. Pamela beat me to it....but...bugger, we're close aren't we lass ?
                Last edited by brianw999; 2008-06-04, 18:44.
                If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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                • #9
                  @ Pamela:
                  It was indeed clowdy, not rainy though. In our little country we donīt have too many sunny days, though itīs improving the coming months

                  @ Brian:
                  Thanks again for your explanation. If I could, I would buy you a beer, or maybe two
                  (I will travel to the States in october though ...)

                  @ both:
                  The quality is indeed pour, because I had to crop and resize in order to post it, it would otherwise be too big ...
                  I guess I have to wait for days with better weather.
                  But Iīm jealous of you guys that make pictures under bad weather conditions and create good pictures anyhow.

                  I take it you both share the thought that making photos under cloudy circumstances (with no sun at all!) is very difficult?
                  (Well, not shooting them off course, but processing them and getting them accepted )

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                  • #10
                    As the sky looks a bit noisy and spotty, a perfect finishing touch after the edits from Pamela and Brian would be a little bit of noise reduction which can be done in PS or another specialised program like Neatimage. This will smoothen the image a bit.

                    However, be careful as it can ruin your picture and make make it look plastic.

                    Roel.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hinkelbein
                      I take it you both share the thought that making photos under cloudy circumstances (with no sun at all!) is very difficult?
                      (Well, not shooting them off course, but processing them and getting them accepted )
                      IMHO the difficult thing in shooting with bad weather is not the post processing but indeed the shooting itself.

                      A standard picture, taken in bad weather will almost always look worse than that same picture taken in good weather.

                      Try to go for something that will make your bad weather picture look special, like spray, special light, clouds, a wet runway, a fine reflection or even fog.

                      It's harder and you will end up with a lot of frames ready for the bin. But now and then there will be a special one and that one is worth all the trouble.

                      Roel.

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                      • #12
                        This would imply that (at least in the Netherlands) you could only take pictures from may to september ... in the other months we mostly have bad weathr (= no good conditions ... cloudy, dark, rainy etc.)

                        And: when there is a sunny day for once I have to waste my time at work ...

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                        • #13
                          It's better to master your photography in good weather to start with and then move on to putting what you have learned into practise in less than good conditions.
                          If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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                          • #14
                            I certainly will.
                            Too bad I donīt live in more sunny areas

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                            • #15
                              At least you don't live in Manchester, ask Jid about bad weather. !!!
                              If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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