STEP BY STEP / Look sharp
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.