Nikon soft­ware

Ge­orge Cairns shows you how to sharpen de­tail yet keep noise to a min­i­mum

NPhoto - - Contents -

Use Nikon Cap­ture NX-D to sharpen de­tail while keep­ing arte­facts such as noise to a min­i­mum

There’s a va­ri­ety of fac­tors that can make it a chal­lenge to get your pho­tos look­ing sharp. For starters, older Nikon D-SLRs have a built-in fil­ter that gen­tly blurs the shot to avoid pro­duc­ing moiré pat­terns in com­plex tex­tures. This low­pass fil­ter can also soften del­i­cate de­tails such as the text on our vin­tage ve­hi­cle and cre­ate a photo that lacks im­pact. Then, if you shoot with a wide aper­ture key de­tails may be­come blurred due to the shal­low depth of field. What looks nice and sharp on the Nikon’s LCD screen may turn out to look dis­ap­point­ingly soft when viewed on your PC’s big­ger dis­play.

For­tu­nately, Cap­ture NX-D’s sharp­en­ing tools are de­signed to tease out del­i­cate de­tails in a soft-look­ing shot. These tools work by in­creas­ing the contrast around the edge of ob­jects in the im­age, which gives them more im­pact. How­ever, when you sharpen a shot you run the risk of ex­ag­ger­at­ing noise caused by high ISO speed set­tings. Sharp­en­ing may also add un­wanted arte­facts such as blown out high­lights, clipped shad­ows and dis­tract­ing ha­los.

We’ll ex­am­ine ways to sharpen a shot while keep­ing arte­facts at bay. We’ll also demon­strate how to get a bal­ance be­tween re­veal­ing de­tail while re­duc­ing the pres­ence of ugly chromi­nance and lu­mi­nance noise. Even if your shot is per­fectly fo­cused most pho­tos will still ben­e­fit from a lit­tle post-pro­duc­tion sharp­en­ing, es­pe­cially if you want to pro­duce a print with more punch.

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