Sharpening in RAW

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Fox Paw, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Fox Paw

    Fox Paw TPF Noob!

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    I've read that sharpening should be the last processing step. Makes sense. I've also read and heard that as many adjustments should be made in RAW as possible. Makes sense. But the two notions leave me scratching me head about whether and how much to sharpen an image in RAW. I usually do, some, and sharpen it again at the end. I'm not sure that's right. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As I process and then edit my RAW I don't do noise removal or sharpening until the very end in my editing - so my RAW gets coverted with no sharpening and opened into photoshop elements - levels, curves, and a few other edits are done then noise followed at the end by sharpening
     
  3. Fox Paw

    Fox Paw TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Overread.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Bruce Fraser, author of the "Real World Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop", recommends a 3 step sharpening method. A slight after capture sharpening, selective sharpening of subject matter that needs it, and then a final global sharpening based on output type and size.

    I'm using CS2. I find that the sharpening slider bar in Camera Raw often enhances artifacts, noise, and chromatic aberration particularly at high contrast edges, and that I can do a much nicer job in Photoshop with USM and/or Smart Sharpen. I also get better results reducing luminous noise in PS than ACR, although I do leave the color noise reduction set to the default in ACR.

    When in doubt, make test prints, and judge with your own eyes and the eyes of your peers.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have done a little bit of selective sharpening - its a tricky skill to make sure that you don't oversharpen that area and lose the integration with the blurry background. As for prints I have read that one can boost sharpening more when printing with less of a downside, though I have never tried (not got a good enough printer to ever see the difference with ;))
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I think sharpening first is generally a bad idea, especially where people are involved. It makes fine retouching more difficult. It also limits your ability to use processing techniques that increase apparent sharpness.
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you know only a minor retouch is necessary (change in colour, maybe a gradient map) then sharpening first is not different from sharpening later.

    That said NEVER sharpen twice in an attempt to reach the same effect. It'll cause haloing.
     
  9. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    The Doenoe method in the link above is 2 levels of sharpening. (done twice)

    All sharpening causes halos - it just whether or not it's pronounced enough or sized in a manor, to be noticeable. It's kinda how sharpening works - or more correctly it's one of the results of that kind of filter. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "...in an attempt to reach the same effect." though.
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    He means that successive sharpening is exponential, not additive. It magnifies the local effects of previous sharpening steps. I have some tests around here to prove it.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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  12. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    No need to prove it. That is correct. I just didn't catch the meaning. Thanks for the clarification!
     

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