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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.

Lesson 7, "Sharpening for Effect" is a way for you to sharpen different portions of an image to heighten an effect on the image. You might sharpen the eyes, smooth the skin, or blur the background to bring the attention forward. You accentuate the details that need accentuating the most.

Lesson 8, "Sharpening for Detail" is the more traditional point of sharpening when you are targeting for the page or the screen. Here you will want to flatten, save as, and re-sample the image before you sharpen. These are further defined for pre-press and inkjet.

Sharpening is a very complex subject that can be difficult to understand. With so many different views, here is one that boils it down; if you can say that 10 hours of video is boiling it down. I really like Deke McClelland's presentation in this video. He brings it down to earth in an easy to understand dialog. I really like the introductions to each chapter which is a film of the instructor explaining what the lesson is all about. I think that it makes the instructor more real than just hearing them talk in the voice over.

You can get Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images two ways. One is as a DVD training package Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images and the other is part of the online training experience at Lynda.com. The DVD Training Package is $149 USD and includes Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images as well as containing everything you need.

The online training Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images comes in three flavors. Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). Annually at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year which get all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

You can use Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images as a training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It is of benefit to anyone who needs help understanding Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images. You can also try out most of the first lesson and more for free at Lynda.com.

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About T. Michael Testi

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