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Thread: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

  1. #1
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    I shoot with a Canon, and when I first look at a picture in DPP, I generally turn up the sharpness to 3 or 4 (with portraits).
    Recently I began learning some new tricks with retouching portraits, and I am now wondering if this is best practice or not? Since the last thing I do now is apply a USM to the photo anyway? Maybe it doesn't matter?
    What is your sharpening 'work flow' (for portraits).
    For that matter, I also usually add a tick of conrast and saturation in RAW too. Any other tweaking I do in GIMP.

    Thanks

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    Brian

    I'm sure people will offer you their views. But whilst you wait, go to View Tag Clouds below this message at the left hand side and choose 'Sharpening'. You'll find a lot of information in the threads that are then listed.

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    DPP is a rather basic Raw Converter, although some people find that it is all they need in the way of editing.

    From what I remember of DPP which I only now use for checking Exif etc, the sharpening options are a bit limited so you may prefer to do all your sharpening with Gimp; usually in 2 or 3 stages.

    Most people with gimp seem to use other third party converters which are either free or cheapish; although you can easily spend over £100 for some of the more expensive options.

    We have recently discussed which Raw Converters are best but I don't think we actually reached a consensus on any one version.

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    Brian, if you go to Nik Software's website: http://www.niksoftware.com/completec...w_lesson.shtml you would notice that they have this kind of workflow:

    1. Clean the RAW file by using a noise reduction program or command.
    2. Do brightness/ contrast adjustment on the image.
    3. Apply color correction, and photo-retouching
    4. Sharpen the image.

    I would agree with this workflow, though personally the first thing that I normally do is to correct the white balance immediately after I load the image to photoshop.

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    I sharpen at the very last step of my process.

    I'll open a RAW file in Nikon Capture NX - sort all the usual levels, curves, white balance etc.
    Push it across to Photoshop for cropping, further processing (if needed) and then I save it as a Tiff......without sharpening it.

    If I want to print it large then I will sharpen it and save the altered file keeping the original Tiff for future use.

    If I am going to use it for the web then I'll resize it and then sharpen it before saving it as a Jpeg.

    These two uses have very different sharpening needs so I keep them separate. Typically a file for printing will need a bigger radius and higher percentage to give the final paper picture a bit of bite whereas a web file will need a more careful treatment to make it pop on a monitor.

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    I sharpen at the very last step of my process.

    I'll open a RAW file in Nikon Capture NX - sort all the usual levels, curves, white balance etc.
    Push it across to Photoshop for cropping, further processing (if needed) and then I save it as a Tiff......without sharpening it.

    If I want to print it large then I will sharpen it and save the altered file keeping the original Tiff for future use.

    If I am going to use it for the web then I'll resize it and then sharpen it before saving it as a Jpeg.

    These two uses have very different sharpening needs so I keep them separate. Typically a file for printing will need a bigger radius and higher percentage to give the final paper picture a bit of bite whereas a web file will need a more careful treatment to make it pop on a monitor.
    This is exactly what I do. Any sharpening applied BEFORE tone adjustments is biased and technically destroys data (albeit, unnoticeable in general).

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    I'll jump on this thread and say thanks for the ideas and suggestions aswell! I have pretty much just been twisting knobs and moving sliders as I've felt like, but having an actual workflow seems better and should net a better result in the end, yes?

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    Hi Brian,

    The short answer is "you usually need at least 3 sharpening passes".

    I wrote about it a while ago, if this helps ... When/How to Best Sharpen a Digital Photograph

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    Donald, I didn't know about the cloud tags!? Thanks

    Colin, thanks for the link, I'll give it a look.

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    go to View Tag Clouds below this message at the left hand side and choose 'Sharpening'. You'll find a lot of information in the threads that are then listed.
    Please pardon my ignorance as I am brand new. I can not seem to locate these "Tag Clouds" . Where exactly are they located? I looked on this page and the topic list page. I also tired using "ctrl + F" to search the page. I am using the Firefox browser with Ad Block plugin installed. Are they possibly hidden because of this?

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    Re: When Do You Sharpen When Shooting Raw (Portraiture)

    If you look below the last post, currently this one, you will see a line which says 'Tags for the thread' and below that 'View Tag Cloud' which gives some links which may be helpful.

    It isn't something that I use but may be helpful if you are searching for a particular subject.

    ps. Is there a first name to go with Noob photog? It doesn't matter except some of us like to give 'personal' replies which includes being on 'first name terms'.

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