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How Not To Oversharpen?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:51 pm

Sadly I have a tendency towards oversharpening. A couple of minutes ago I deleted all my edited images cause I want to get decent results before saving.

Looking for advice on avoiding oversharpening and appropriate sharpening techniques.

Thanks in advance.
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RE: How Not To Oversharpen?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:22 pm

(this is all in Photoshop, on resized photos)

I create a new layer, sharpen that layer (using Unsharp Mask), and then erase any areas that are oversharp, which lets the original (unsharpened) layer show in those areas. Then Flatten Image when I'm done, which merges the layers.

With the equipment I'm using now, my typical sharpening values are:

radius: 0.3 or 0.4
strength: between 70 and 90
threshold: 1

I usually only have to do one pass of sharpening. If I do a 2nd pass, oftentimes it's because one part of the airplane appears softer, in which case I'll just sharpen that area.

Other people swear by Smart Sharpen, but I haven't tried it.
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RE: How Not To Oversharpen?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:01 am

I can only give you one tip, and that helped me, even trough I've only 2 pictures in the database jet.

After the sharping-process in Photoshop, I duplicate the layer and then i click on the eye for the original layer down in the right corner. Then i just start to rub out the oversharped parts, like regestrations, names and so on.

I hope this helped you something anyway, greetings!
Photo equipment: Canon EOS 60D | Canon 70-200 F4L USM | Canon 18-55 3:5-5:6 |
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RE: How Not To Oversharpen?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:59 am

Here is my process. Haven't had a oversharp or soft rejection in a while so I think it works well...

Using Photoshop CS5, I resize to final size which is either 1024x or 1200x on the wide end depending on the quality. Then I duplicate the layer and add one pass of USM at 500%, radius .2 and threshold 2. If that is a tad too much overall, I'll adjust the opacity of the top later which controls the strength of the top layer. Usually though I leave opacity of the layer alone but I will create a layer mask and using the brush tool set to 30% strength and paint over specific areas of the photo that are oversharp. Then after that I will flatten the image and use the sharpen tool and 25% strength and go over areas that need a little extra kick. Nose, cockpit windows, and wing root/engine and pylon are areas that benefit from selective sharpening with the sharpen tool.

That's it! The trick is recognizing what a properly sharpened shot looks like on your screen. Due to differences in monitors, photos might look good on your screen but soft to the screeners or vice versa.
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RE: How Not To Oversharpen?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:54 am

Smart sharpen, radius 0.3, 75%.

You're done.
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