STEP BY STEP / Look sharp

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Zoom right in

Open ‘TYLR36.dng’ in Light­room’s De­velop mo­d­ule. To ac­cu­rately as­sess how in-fo­cus a photo is, look at it at 100% by click­ing the 1:1 op­tion in the Nav­i­ga­tor panel. Then drag the Nav­i­ga­tor’s white pre­view box around to closely ex­am­ine the fo­cus in sec­tions of the photo.

2 Check the de­tail

Tog­gle open the De­tail panel and click on the crosshair icon at the top-left, then move the cur­sor over the im­age in the main win­dow. Click to ren­der a 100% size view in the De­tail zoom win­dow. You can use this tool to check the sharp­ness of small de­tails within the photo.

3 Set the amount

In the De­tail panel, set the Sharp­en­ing Amount slider to a sub­tle value of 113 and Ra­dius to 2.0 to avoid too many vis­i­ble ugly haloes. To see how your sharp­ened ver­sion com­pares with the orig­i­nal, click the Be­fore and Af­ter icon at the bot­tom-left of the workspace.

4 Bal­ance it out

De­tails in the im­age now have more im­pact, but there’s also more pic­ture noise. The De­tail slider helps you get a bal­ance be­tween sharp­en­ing de­tails and keep­ing noise at bay. Hold Alt and drag De­tail to 100. A greyscale pre­view shows you sharp de­tail plus no­tice­able noise.

5 Re­duce the noise

Hold Alt and drag De­tail down to 23 to re­duce the noise in the sharp­ened ar­eas, but still see def­i­ni­tion in im­por­tant de­tails such as the petal edges. The Mask­ing slider be­low works with the De­tails slider to re­strict the sharp­en­ing to im­por­tant ar­eas only, while keep­ing noise at bay.

6 Add a mask

Hold Alt and drag the Mask­ing slider. At 0, the screen will turn white to show no mask­ing. As you hold Alt and drag the slider right, the masked ar­eas ap­pear in black. Th­ese masks pro­tect parts of the photo from be­ing sharp­ened, so you can keep some ar­eas (such as the petals) smooth.

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