Sharpening Techniques for Larger Prints

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by NJMAN, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    I am trying to find a better technique for sharpening my photos, specifically for sharper looking prints at dimension of 2x3 inches up to 10x13 and even larger up to 12x16 if I can (given the fact that the photo has sharp focus of course).

    I saw a post one time that mentioned using unsharp mask with settings 350%, radius 0.3, and then sharpen again at 15%, radius 40. But not sure how the threshold was supposed to be set. It was ksmattfish: http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=84621

    Just curious as to what settings you use for unsharp mask in photoshop, and if you use a combination of settings or if just one setting works better. I have a good method for sharpening web size images, but need something better for medium to large prints.

    Any insight on this would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This technique was also posted by ben (originally?) and works reasonably well. His instructions said Threshold was to be 0 both times.

    I do the microsharpening first. The 0.3pixel radius brings out some very fine detail and along with it noise unfortunately. I find the unsharp mask with a large radius actually does more to increase contrast and adjust tone rather than sharpening. I only do this if it is called for in a given image.
     
  3. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply Garbz! :)
     
  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I just wish somebody could tell me how to sharpen up my mind.
     
  5. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My daddy always said the 3 signs of gett'in old were:
    1) loss of memory and
    2,3) can't remember the other two.

    I can now confirm my father was a very wise old man. (even if he couldn't remember my name. lol )
     
  6. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Seagrams lime gin. I am at my peak with some distilled grain in my blood.

    As for the sharpening technique - thats an interesting way to do it. And it does give some pretty nice results. If youre using Unsharp - putting anything other than zero on threshold will make it do what its sposed to do - unsharpen an image you have.
     
  7. tedgtfan

    tedgtfan TPF Noob!

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  8. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the good tips everyone!
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    If you a create an action with resample on that enlarges 10% and put it on function key, then use it the key several times to enlarge your image to the size you want, you will find that there is NO LOSS in sharpness.

    It is in Scott Kelby's book and several others and it works extremely well.

    skieur
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use 20% @ 60 pixels and then 400-500 @ .01 pixel and increase the pixel slider in increments of .01 until it just pops and then back it down by .01.

    mike
     
  11. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I've got the kelby books and don't remember him saying you don't need to sharpen? In fact I'm sure there's a section on sharpening that discusses ways to sharpen. Every digital image, especially RAW images, need some sharpening.

    Also NJ is not increasing the size by very much (if at all). Using my 20D I can print a 16x12 at 200ppi which will be fine for an image this size. All you need do is use the crop tool - fill in the size you want and leave the resolution blank. No need to upres the image at all.

    Crop the image and pick your preferred way to sharpen. I mostly use LAB sharpening but there are other ways too. Convert the image to LAB mode and select the lightness channel (it's greyscale). Then use Unsharpen mask (I use radius 1 - amount 150 but you can adjust till it looks right to you) and convert back to RGB. This stops any colour halo's being formed by sharpening as all you are doing is sharpening the lightness channel. Works pretty well and you can sharpen a bit more than you normally would.

    Lots of ways to sharpen and all work well. Purely personal choice. The High Pass filter is one that is used a lot for sharpening too.

    As noted above the first part will sharpen your image somewhat. You can adjust the amount to suit. The second pass will add contrast. I believe the new "Clarity" slider in Adobe Camera Raw works like this.

    I usually add contrast by duplicating the original background layer and changing the blending mode to soft light and adjust the opacity to suit.
     

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