Sharpening is not as convoluted as most people make it out to be, yet it tends to be a question I get a lot. Especially from beginner photographers who are starting to develop a workflow. You may have been told that you have to sharpen your photos at the end of your workflow.
That’s just wrong, in my opinion. There are actually several different ways that you can sharpen your photos and you can do it (almost) whenever you want in your workflow.
I’ll tell you all about my 5 Best practices for sharpening today! It’s the Why, What, Where, When and How of Sharpening.
This takes sharpening to a whole new level of control. Thank you!
Rock on! Sure does 😉
Blake, I am so happy I found such an informative and creative teacher about two years ago. You have helped me enormously in my photo editing and how I do my work flow. I have learned so much from your courses and emails I’m still amazed by it. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge with us!
That is just the best thing to hear today 🙂 Thank you for encouraging me to try and impress you more!
Always informative and worth the time. Especially glad to be reminded Linear Light blend mode is one that should be adjusted with fill.
But if you are planning on reducing size for the web shouldn’t you sharpen after the reduction in size??
Not necessarily and if this then that. I would say there are a lot of variables, how small is the reduction? How much sharpening before the reduction? The best-case scenario would be to experiment. I can’t give you an answer for every scenario, at some point you have to experiment and look at them side by side and make your best judgment call. I don’t sharpen after reduction in most cases, but don’t let my workflow decision sway you if you feel differently.
Wondering why you choose linear light blend mode vs. Overlay/Soft Light/Hard Light.
Thanks for all the great content, Blake!
How about brushing in Detail to the areas you want using On1?
I wouldn’t recommend it. I would stay in Photoshop, there is no need to go into ON1. The sharpening in Ps is superior, there are many more options.
A good reminder for me. I use blend if on every image because of your tutorials. As of late I have not been using blend if on the mid-tones for sharpening. I will make that adjustment.
Because of you I have experimented with duplicating the layer and adding a black layer sandwiched in between the same two images.
Using blend-if I split the dark slider over to the right side. This brings in true blacks into the dark parts of the top image. With the lower pure black layer I adjust the fill and/or mask areas of the image so that the dark areas are darker resulting in less noise or zero noise in those dark areas. It brings in an added level of contrast just in the black areas.
Like-wise I do the same with a pure white layer sandwiched in between….works great too.
Love your stuff and the way you think. I camp out using Photoshop’s LAB Color Space but much of what you teach on I apply it in the LAB world.
Keep up the good work Blake! I really appreciate your dedication to your work!
Hi Blake, nice work as always…. ;-).. but I have a question what version of Camera raw do you use? I have the 12.4 version and I don’t have the masking tool in “Detail”.
Thank again and my best regards
It’s there, click the down facing triangle.
I cannot agree with some of what you say here.
Yes, a mild capture sharpen in ACR is almost mandatory to counteract the losses in digital demosaicing and the effect of any anti-aliasing filter.
Yes, selective/creative sharpening should be done to draw the eye to centres of interest but this is best done at the end of all other editing and after noise reduction. Sharpening inevitably sharpens artefacts and noise so if it’s done early, subsequent edits will multiply these defects.
Finally, output sharpening is done as the last stage for a specific destination (web/print) and size, paper type and ink/printer. This is an automated process and rarely needs manual intervention.
I may be wrong, but it sounds like you are agreeing with me on all points 😂
I would disagree with your assessment of output sharpening. You would still want to use blend if to ensure nose and highlights don’t receive over sharpening. It does require manual input to ensure those areas are not over sharpened.
Another great video on great sharpening practices Blake…many thanks!
Blake, you always seem to hit the proverbial nail on the head!! I knew about this sharpening technique a few years ago, but had lost track of the details. Your refresher was exactly what I needed to get back on track. I put it to work immediately on a difficult pic, and it made a noticeable difference. Many thanks for your work and your focus on Photoshop instead of Lightroom. I look forward to every tutorial!
Blake, you’re the carpenter and the architect of photography and a very successful one at that. Keep the tools sharpened.
You use linear light, I have always used soft light, can you explain the difference please ?