Sharpening is all in the Details
Sharpening is one of those things that we all do, but we are never really sure if we are doing too much or too little. This tip helps you have a little more control.
I have cranked the sharpening all the way up so you can see it… but you will want to probably not be this heavy handed. 😀
Most of us can kind of figure out what Radius and Detail sliders do under Sharpening by moving the sliders back and forth, but Masking seems a little sneaky and hard to see. If you use The Option/Alt key while moving the masking slider you will now be able toÂ see what areas are being affected. The white lines represent where the sharpening is being applied and the black areas are left untouched.
Once you let go of the Opt/Alt key, the image goes back to normal. Now you can be a little more confident to crank up the sharpening more than you may have in the past because you are only applying the sharpening in the key spots without messing up the skin and other areas.
HI – I used this tip until this week’s update (10/11/19) but the alt key (masking)seems to have stopped working after the latest update? Has anyone else found this problem?
How would this sharpening technique compare to a plugin like Nikâ€™s Sharpener? Which one would be best?
As always I can count on getting awesome information from lightroomkiller tips. Thanks for the post, because you’re right…it’s kinda hard to know how much sharpening is too much.
How would this sharpening technique compare to a plugin like Nik’s Sharpener? Which one would be best?
although I use the masking tool a lot, I have realized that I loose detail in areas that should not be affected by the sharpening according to the masking. Since realizing this, I use masking a lot less and much more conservatively.
This sharpening is applied before exporting and, therefore, resizing the image, right? Shouldn’t it be applied AFTER resizing it? I use to resize it in Photoshop with Preserve Details and then apply Smart Sharpen. What do you think? Thanks.
A raw image needs sharpening straight out of the camera due to the nature of optics and sensor capture related limitations. Period. If you’re judging your initial sharpening at 100% view on a screen, your image is going to be suitably sharp in LR.
You then need to re-process that high quality image state to look right on paper/screen (export or print module). They do the 1) resize and 2) addition of output sharpening if you choose it, to match the resolution, media pairing you indicate in that order.
The first sharpening is to cleanup sensor limitations and get your image crisper at any display level, the export/print sharpening is to get the best looking image on the specific media at the final size and resolution.
You can get more highly refined, and selective results in CC or using other sharpening tools, but for a lot of purposes you can live with the LR results and be happy with its results.
make sense ?
Thanks for the answer. But should the pre-sharpening applied to raw files be the same, no matter the dimension of the photo? Is the amount value absolute or relative? LR, has a preset for landscapes and portraits, which sharpens with the same values, 8MB, 16MB, 24MB, etc… resolution photos, hence my doubt.
WOW, thank you for sharing.
Great tip – but I’d like to know how output sharpening in export should be used alongside the Detail sliders. I always find output sharpening is so subtle that I need to crank it to max – would I be better off adding extra in the Detail sliders and cutting back in output??
Leveraging a technique Scott documented in the March 2, 2015 show. Instead of varying the brightness stepwise in output files, make virtual copies of an image and in an orderly, trackable method create jpgs at 100% quality – varying the sharpening and detail parameters . Plug those 100% ppi output sized images into the cells and then print (or have printed) with no other adjustments. You’d then have a good working sheet to refer to when setting your Amount, Radius, Detail, Masking.
The Alt/Option key is also valuable when you decide the Radius and the amount of Detail when Sharpening. I’ve never seen anyone mention that – I’m I the first one to notice it? 😉
Great tip – thank you!
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