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subtle sharpening??
- i was going to post this with the action file added to the post so you could take it and use it, but this board does not seem allow that type of file to be uploaded, hmmm a bit unfortunate, it's only a small 4kb thing and little things mean a lot - so i could e-mail it on if anyone's interested, or there is a picture of the action down below so you could DIY maybe - or maybe everyone knows this stuff or isn't interested . . . anyway . . .

so no one likes sharpening right? . . . well then, why not write about it -

yes - sharp lens / good camera / well shot = no need to sharpen - but sometimes a very fast candid street shot grab with even the fastest best'est nicaney lens = unfortunate missed focus and a wish for a sharper shot - so -

briefly, here is a photoshop action that, for me, makes surface sharpening (without halos on hi-con edges) work - it is very speedy and simple to use - the action runs in seconds -

i hope this might work for those who use Ps and who might not have used this short cut - not many words of explanation here for those who know Ps, but more words of explanation below the pictures might help explain it . . . hopefully.

this acton file finishes at the selection stage waiting for you to use that selection to copy your soft layer and place it above your sharp layer to remove the hi-con edge halos -

in this action's routine the sharpened layer is called Layer 1, the soft layer is the original background - so for it to work easily first up, label your layers that way -

immediately below are some pictures showing the result of using this routine, they are 100% crop full size at very high usm sharpening in noiseninja for this demo - you might not want to treat skin this way, but it's only a demo -

1st pic - the original picture from acr

[Image: 1238776212_d7npJ-O.jpg]

2nd pic - surface sharpening for skin texture = bad hi-con body-to-background transitions

[Image: 1238943072_xcvJL-O.jpg]

3rd pic - the sharpened pic with hi-con edges removed via this glow-edge action

[Image: 1238945290_XbAxk-O.jpg]

4th pic - a wipe between 1st and 3rd pics.

[Image: 1238942873_YHVqz-O.jpg]

5th pic - and you can use the same selection on a different run to add def. from bod. to bg - endless possibilities

[Image: 1239313412_XAtgr-O.jpg]

6th pic - a list of the action

[Image: 1238942705_N936o-O.jpg]

7th pic - the curve to make it work

[Image: 1238774825_qHU9p-O.jpg]

8th pic - the layers of this simple demo

[Image: 1238942578_L2Dkh-O.jpg]

- more detail anyone? -

. . . it seems to me that the glowing edges filter in photoshop is a useful and quick routine to aid in subtle sharpening -

having tried to get the most detail from highlight areas and still wanting more detail extraction from a picture, "surface sharpening" (increasing contrast of low contrast edges to apparently reveal more detail) could be worth a try, but unsharp mask is a blunt instrument, ie. in order to gain enough low-con edge sharpening to be useful, the high-con edges become over done - so what to do?

well it's possible to paint the sharpened layer back to the unsharpened (or lesser sharpened)layer by hand to remove the unwanted halos, but this is slow and boring work especially on a complex picture - whereas this action does the job very quickly and easily -

- so, the glowing edge filter detects edges in a picture and adds a nice soft glow - so lovely - and this can also usefully be converted to a nice soft matt to remove ugly hi-con edge halos -

looking at the action pic(6) should show the workings =

1. the glo-edge width settings are suitable for my camera(a900) but might need a tweak for different pixels / file size -

2. if the curve adjustment was not there the resulting selection would remove all the sharpened edges, but by compressing the lower levels(the lo-con edges)to black, this part of the sharpened layer is allowed through, whereas the hi-con(high level)edges are suppressed by taking the selection from the unsharpened layer -

and of course (if focus has been missed) simple usm is not so good for sharpening in dark places - so sorry, in that case please find another way out - exit here -

and, this is my lot for a bit - what a relief you say . . . . so, enjoy a lovely spring up there . . . ttfn [Image: cool.gif]

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