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Thread: Help with sharpness please!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Emily

    Help with sharpness please!

    Hi everyone,

    I took this photo yesterday and converted it to black and white in Photoshop. It looks nice and crisp in PS but when I open it in preview it looks quite blurry.

    Help with sharpness please!

    ........Actually, now that I have uploaded it to photobucket, it looks sharper....too sharp even. How confusing!

    Any tips for achieving a great crisp black and white photo would be most appreciated! And feedback on this shot is most welcome too.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Help with sharpness please!

    It looks pretty good to me Emily,

    Just be aware that it's important to evaluate down-sampled images at 100% magnification ... if an image is being scaled down by your browser or some other program then it will appear slightly soft.

    After down-sampling you "might" like to try an unsharp mask of around 50 to 100% @ 0.3 pixels for output sharpening.

    With regards to your photo above - the thing that caught my eye the most was how the bottom 1/2 of the image (legs and feet) competes against the top 1/2 - you might like to apply a GND filter digitally to change the balance slightly -- happy to show you if you'd like to see what I mean.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Emily

    Re: Help with sharpness please!

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'll jump on the computer later tonight when the kids are in bed to take a closer look at the magnification settings in each of the applications I was using. I'll also give the unsharp mask a go too.

    I would love for you to show me what applying a GND filter would do to the photo. What is a GND filter? Anything you can show me that will help me learn and improve is most welcome!

    Thanks again

    Emily

  4. #4

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    Re: Help with sharpness please!

    Hi Emily,

    A GND filter is a Graduated Neutral Density filter that's used to darken ("under-expose") on part of an image. It can be a sliding filter placed in front of the lens or they can be applied digitally. In this case I've applied one starting at the bottom of your photo so that my eye wasn't drawn to the very bright bottom portion of the image (I knocked it back 1.5 stops) - then it tapers off towards the top.

    I also reduced the image to 800px high and gave it a tiny output sharpen. Gave it a vignette to give the illusion of targeted lighting in the centre and then dropped a drop shadow onto it and ...

    Help with sharpness please!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Emily

    Re: Help with sharpness please!

    Wow! Thanks Colin! What a difference that makes I really appreciate you taking the time to show me how those few changes can make such a huge difference to the final product.

    Now, to put what I have learnt into good use!

    Thanks again!

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Re: Help with sharpness please!

    Hi Emily,

    You're very welcome

    I thought it was a great image that you created - well worth the effort. Well done

  7. #7
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Debbie

    Re: Help with sharpness please!

    It really is a precious photo. They're trying so hard to sit still and smile. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

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