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Video Training Review – Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images With Deke McClelland From Lynda.com.

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True focusing happens in the camera and lens; all that you can do from within Photoshop is manipulation. The sharpening that occurs here is a method of exaggerating the contrast along the edges to change a focused image into an incredibly focused image. In Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images Deke McClelland will show you the essentials of sharpening, what it does, how it does it, and why it is important. Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images is about how to transform images into the best that they can be.

Your trainer for this library is Deke McClelland. McClelland is a well-known expert and lecturer on Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and the broader realm of computer graphics and design. To date, he has written 85 books that have been translated into 24 languages, with more than 4 million copies in print. This library is divided into 8 lessons and runs 10.5 hours.

Lesson 1, "How Sharpening Works" begins by explaining how sharpening works. The goal of this training video is to teach you how to make each and everyone of the images that you produce, the best that they can be. This is about what sharpening does, why you need it, and how it works. Here you will learn about sharpening and noise reduction work, the effects they produce, what is going on in the background, how you make use of them, and how you can gage the results.

Lesson 2, "When to Sharpen" challenges the conventional thought that you sharpen only at the end of all of your corrections. The logic goes that sharpening an image destroys pixels and sharpening multiple times deteriorates the image. But there are good reasons for sharpening earlier. You may need to compensate for the capture process, for demosaicing, for anti-aliasing, or a host of other reasons. You sharpen potentially four times; for source, detail, effect, and output.

Lesson 3, "The Sharpening Filters" are generally expressed as command under the filtering menu. There are the sharpen and blur tools, but these are not so good. The sharpening filters though are very good and they compare neighboring pixels to create the illusion of sharpness. That said, it is by blurring pixels that gives the illusion of sharpness. One thing to note, the good commands have dots after them.

Lesson 4, "The Sharpening Support Staff" shows that filters like Smart sharpen and High Pass are just one part of the equation. You can't live without them, but you still need more. That’s where filters like the Median filter, Surface blur, and Reduce noise come in allowing you to smooth over digital noise, film grain and non edges before you rely on the sharpen filter. Then there are Smart Objects which allow you to apply filters nondestructively, and filter masks which allow you isolate edges and non-edges so that you can focus in on the area that you want to modify.

Lesson 5, "Sharpening for Source" is where you sharpen immediately after you open an image. This is for compensating for the noise and softness introduced by the capturing device as it tries to resolve banding, harsh transitions, and the creation of colors that the image sensor may have missed. The focus here is on raw images captures from your camera and being processed by Adobe Camera Raw.

Lesson 6, "Sharpening for Detail" shows that close ups have gradual or low frequency transitions and need different attention than wide shots which have rapid or high frequency transitions. Even with images that fall in between these two there is usually a predominance of one frequency or the other. What is the frequency is the question that you have to ask when you are sharpening for detail.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.