Be more savvy with sharp­en­ing

Grab our sam­ple im­age and try it for your­self – it’s as easy as drag­ging a few slid­ers

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

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 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.

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