Be more savvy with sharpening
Grab our sample image and try it for yourself – it’s as easy as dragging a few sliders
01 Grab your image
Open portrait.dng, either by getting it from the cover disc that came with this issue, or by downloading it from bit.ly/start-41. We’ve already tweaked the colours and tones in our shot for this tutorial, but don’t worry, you can still sharpen the unedited image.
03 Recognise artefacts
To understand how the sliders work, set Amount to 150. This will increases the strength of the contrast change around edges. Set Radius to 3. This increases the spread of the contrast change around the edges. These extreme settings make our model’s skin pores all too obvious.
05 Mask it
The Masking slider also helps you to protect clear areas, such as the skin, from the unwanted sharpening. Hold down Alt and drag the Masking slider to the right to see a monochrome preview. The white areas show you which details are being sharpened. Set the Masking slider to 75.
02 Set sliders to 0
Take the Zoom tool and right-click to see the image at 100%. Hold down the space bar and drag the image so that you can see the model’s eyes. Now click the Detail tab and drag the four sharpening sliders to the left so you can see exactly how soft the photo really is.
04 Reveal key details
Reduce Amount to 41 and Radius to 1.8. Tick the Preview box to toggle between a sharpened and unsharpened version of the image. Hold down Alt as you drag the Detail slider. The greyscale preview shows you which details are being sharpened. A value of 17 works well in this case.
06 Finish editing
Click Done and the changes that you’ve made to the Sharpening sliders will be stored with the file. You can then open it in the future and continue fine-tuning the settings. Sharpening can create noise, which is why there’s also a Noise reduction section in the Detail tab.