Sharpening Tips Needed

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Jin, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Jin

    Jin TPF Noob!

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    Can someone please enlighten me.
    How much sharpening is too much sharpening?

    The photos look good when resized down from the original 100% of 4288x2848 to about 1000x600 ish, sharpened using Nik Sharpener 3.0.

    However at 100% it looks VERY noisy and grainy.


    RESIZED TO 1000X600 SHARPENED IMAGE:

    [​IMG]

    ORIGINAL 100% CROP
    [​IMG]



    Can someone give me some good advice on sharpening?
    I use Adobe Lightroom Only. With Nik Sharpener 3.0 PlugIn.
     
  2. Peano

    Peano TPF Noob!

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    Are you shooting raw?
     
  3. Jin

    Jin TPF Noob!

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    No, I'm shooting JPEG.
    Would it make a BIG difference to shoot RAW?
    I just need a good setting for sharpening to batch apply on all my photos during the last stage of PP.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The crayon example photo is sharpened just about perfectly for web viewing I think. On your 1000x600 example, the image looks very good on-screen.
     
  5. Peano

    Peano TPF Noob!

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    Adobe Camera Raw (the most recent version) has a much improved noise reduction/sharpening filter. But you could open your jpegs in Lightroom and use it. I did this with ACR inside Photoshop CS5:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Boutte

    Boutte TPF Noob!

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    Wow! That's impressive. I've never used noise reduction. Guess I need to.
     
  7. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lightroom 3 does have exceptional noise reduction capabilities, but in this case, Lightroom's sharpening functionality may have reduced the degree to which noise reduction would have to be used in the first place.

    It looks as if the noise artifacts are due, in part, to the fact that the sharpening algorithm was applied to the entire photograph. The problem with this is that sharpening really only needs to be applied to areas of the photograph that exhibit contrast, such as edges and textures. Applying sharpening to areas of the photograph that mostly have flat colors without any edges produces "ghost" sharpening which manifests as random noise artifacts.

    Lightroom 3 allows users to specify their sharpening levels, such as overall sharpening, radius, and detail... then, with a single slider, you can expand or contract a "sharpening mask" which allows you to dial in the sharpening based upon edges and contrasts within the photograph. Basically, you can thin out the sharpening to affect only the areas that will benefit from sharpening, rather than every inch of the photo.

    Undoubtedly, using RAW instead of JPEG will even further help reduce noise... but this also adds considerable work to the post-processing aspect of photography. I always use RAW for its added benefits, but it can be time-consuming.
     
  8. Peano

    Peano TPF Noob!

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    Yes, that was also my impression. It looks more like a small amount of noise that has been
    sharpened. I see this all the time in raw images. Here's an example at 300% zoom (in ACR). On the
    left is with sharpening applied. On the right, same sharpening applied, but with an edge mask.

    [​IMG]
     

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