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Thread: How much sharpening is needed? (LF, PS & NIK)

  1. #1
    Member BronBronBron's Avatar
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    How much sharpening is needed? (LF, PS & NIK)

    Hi,

    I have LR, PS and NIK software.
    I'm wondering the best workflow or use of sharpening photos with this software.
    I'm new to LR (moved from Aperture) and a PS novice, so go easy!.
    I am quite familiar with Nik effects and mostly used them as a plugin from Aperture/LR, but want to improve my PS use and knowledge, so workflow questions arise.


    My typical workflow.
    1. Sharpen in LR (develop - details)
    2. Export in PS - use Nik Raw Pre-sharpener (smart object). I don't sharpen everything, just apply where needed.
    3. PS editing and then Hi-pass sharpening.
    4. Save back into LR.
    5. When exporting from LR there is also another output sharpening for screen (standard) which I typically apply.


    Wondering:
    a) if all these sharpening steps are needed?
    b) were would I use Nik output sharpener?
    c) Suggestions for improvement? (i.e.: have I got the right idea)

    thanks for any info
    Bron

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    Seems like a lot of sharpening to me.

    I do sharpening last (either after PS editing or in PS after LR editing) and try to choose a method at that stage that suits, usually high pass but maybe selective sharpening for something like eyes on a portrait.

    This is also relevant to the thread and you may be interested.
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ur-photographs

    P.S. - I don't use Nik software so can't help there.
    Last edited by Hamster; 25-06-2015 at 1:42pm.
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  3. #3
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I would go crazy doing all those steps, just to do some sharpening. Sharpening is usually the last step for me. I use plugins to bring out small detail in photos, rather than photoshop, and then see if a dose of unsharp mask is needed at the end. The "Amazing detail" filter in Perfect Effects is pretty good at bring out details, and there are very good masking tools in Perfect effects to bring out the detail exactly where I want it. It is often too good, so I have to back the opacity of it down a bit. This can be done in Perfect Effects, or by dropping the opacity of the layer created in Photoshop by Perfect Effects.

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    Thanks Hamster. I thought that was too much sharpening. I think I need to experiment and look much closer to the final results.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks farmmax. Good advice "some sharpening"

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Sharpening should be the very last thing you do before saving your fully edited photo. Sharpen once... at the end of your workflow.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

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    Thanks for the tip Ricktas.

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    Member Dougt's Avatar
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    Be careful with excessive sharpening as most replies have stated, sharpen only at the end of the edit. If you over sharpen the image will look hard and you can get a halo around edges. Picture a mountain with a bright outline, that is a sure sign of over sharpening.

    If an image is correctly exposed and in focus then one has to ask "why sharpen?'
    Other causes of blur apart from hand shake is too big or small aperture, the sweet spot of most lenses is about 2 or 3 stops above maximum aperture.

    Post editing your image may need small adjustment to Levels. If the colour, say red was brighter than it should be then that causes flare in the red areas in the image and this will definitely make the image fuzzy in those areas.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    That's assuming the image is at normal size and it holds for some cases, but if it has been re-sampled - in either direction - a
    final sharpening is sometimes required. It doesn't matter the reason why, really, just that if an image needs it.

    The original Q did not have any parameters, so it is open, and context has been supplied along the way.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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