En­hanc­ing de­tail

Mac Format - - PHOTOGRAPHY -

Aper­ture, Light­room and iPhoto each have ded­i­cated slid­ers for en­hanc­ing the level of de­tail in an im­age. None of them can re­cover fine de­tail that wasn’t cap­tured ini­tially, but they can in­crease the ap­par­ent tex­ture, crisp­ing up con­trasts and edges in a more sub­tle man­ner than the ded­i­cated con­trast tool.

Use them with care, be­cause it’s easy to over-bake the ef­fect and in­tro­duce haloes around sharp con­trasts. These are easy to spot, and it doesn’t take a trained eye to re­alise that they point to some­one us­ing am­a­teur edit­ing to com­pen­sate for sub­stan­dard pho­tog­ra­phy.

Pix­el­ma­tor doesn’t have a ded­i­cated De­tail tool, but you can use the Sharpen tool (from the tools pal­ette) to paint over ar­eas that you want to make sharper. Ap­ply­ing this to eyes in a por­trait shot can make a big dif­fer­ence, and im­me­di­ately draws the viewer’s at­ten­tion.

If you’re work­ing with raw im­ages from a reg­u­lar cam­era or DSLR, you can en­hance de­tail within Adobe Cam­era Raw when im­port­ing shots into Pho­to­shop, but if not then try du­pli­cat­ing the im­age on a new layer, ap­ply­ing an high pass fil­ter on the du­pli­cate (Fil­ter > Other > High Pass) and then chang­ing the blend mode of that layer to Hard Light. You can then use the opac­ity con­trol or layer masks on the new layer to ad­just the strength of the de­tail en­hance­ment within the over­all frame.

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