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Archive 2004 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes
  
 
Geert Van Look
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


Hi everybody, first post here.

I recently purchased my first DSLR and I couldn't be more happy with it. After showing my photo's to some people I got comments that they seemed oversharpened. This is one shot in particular that got some comments:

http://img137.exs.cx/img137/5628/img02340wi.jpg

(I hope the linking works )

Do you think it's oversharpened, and if so what do you think is the best way of sharpening and how do you apply USM?

Off course, other comments and criticisms are also always welcome.

This was taken with 300D, 28-105mm, 1/320 sec, 7.1 aperture and iso 100.

Here's two more shots:

http://img137.exs.cx/img137/6891/img02224uh.jpg

same 300D and lens, 1/200 sec, 7.1 aperture and iso 100

http://img137.exs.cx/img137/2708/img02230dk.jpg

Again 300D and 28-105mm, 1/320 sec, 8.0 aperture and iso 100

Comments and criticisms are always welcome! I've got a thick skin, so don't hold back.



Dec 16, 2004 at 09:46 PM
masterfrodo
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


They look very crisp on my monitor. Oversharp? Maybe a tiny bit on the first picture, but difficult to say unless I saw a print.
I like photos to be crisp



Dec 16, 2004 at 10:47 PM
hugh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


Hello Geert,

Welcome to the forum. I'll give you my take on sharpening first, because many will disagree . Keep in mind that I'm using a high res LCD. The sharpness of LCD is so much better than CRTs that many images that look OK on CRT will look too sharp on the LCD. Sharpening should be done as just about the first step in your work flow. The exception is on noisy scenes, which should be processed with Clean Image or Noise Ninja first. I use USM at 500%, Radius .3, Threshold 0. A few images can stand .4, and a very few .5.

Yes, all three posted images have the 'too sharp' look. If you click the Preview off and on in USM and much of a difference, it's probably too much.

The second and third images appeal to me much more than the first one. On the second one, I'd crop just at the top edge of the blue sky. On the third just at the top of the row of plantings so they are not included.

Hope this gives you something to think about. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

hugh




Dec 16, 2004 at 10:50 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


Do a search on USM, both on this site and on the web. There are many ways to do it and most of them that I have seen suggest doing it as the very LAST step.

There is nothing I hate more than an over-sharpened image.



Dec 17, 2004 at 02:02 AM
Alan Klages
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


Welcome Geert,

I am viewing on a CRT monitor and the images look a tad too sharp. I like crisp images also, but maybe a bit less would be better. I sharpen as the last step in my work flow and I also sharpen again after resizing if I am posting on the web. I guess the key is personal taste, do what you like.



Dec 17, 2004 at 02:21 AM
rdsherwood
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


I'm using an LCD. Maybe a little on the sharp side, especially the first one, but not too bad.

A trick I picked up somewhere that works well on some files is to USM with parameters of 25, 50, 0. I'm not sure how it does it, but the effect is to "tighten up" the whole picture and add contrast. Sometimes the results are very noticable, other times less so. I usually follow up with 80-120, 0.4, 0 for general sharpening. Sharpening is usually the last step in my workflow.

Out of curiosity, what did you use to sharpen these images, and at what parameters?

Regards,

Ron



Dec 17, 2004 at 02:53 AM
Tim ONeill
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


Geert,
Like others, I think the first is over sharpened, and the other two look nice and crisp to me, if a little oversharp on my CRT. Which parameter are you using on the 300D. If you are using Parameter 1 (I think) which is the default setting quite a bit of sharpening is done in the camera. This is nice for prints, but may be too much for monitors.
Tim



Dec 17, 2004 at 04:19 AM
Javier Rey
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


For me the first one is really over sharpened, but the other two pictures looks splendid for my taste, Perhaps a bit too crisp but not bad.

Javier



Dec 17, 2004 at 03:45 PM
 

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nutek
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


hugh wrote:
I'll give you my take on sharpening first, because many will disagree . Sharpening should be done as just about the first step in your work flow. The exception is on noisy scenes, which should be processed with Clean Image or Noise Ninja first. I use USM at 500%, Radius .3, Threshold 0. A few images can stand .4, and a very few .5.hugh


Hee OK I disagree here. Sharpening should be done last, after you have done all other post-processing like curves. Also it depends on whether you are sharpning for the web or for print. If sharpening for print, hugh's settings (500, 0.3, 0) is recommended. I have been using 300, 0.3, 0 myself, and that is also what Canon recommends in its latest workflow brochure. For web, you require a different set of settings, the most commonly recommended ones are (85, 1, 4), but I find that too much, and thus use (45, 1, 4) instead. Alternatively, you can try (45, 0.1, 0) for the barest hint of unsharp masking. I like using the latter one because it doesn't give as digital a look as (85, 1, 5) or (45, 1, 4) does.

Assuming equal camera and human capability, sharpening is a function of printed/display size AND of level of detail in the picture, so you should figure out the best settings for your own types and sizes of pictures.

- wenyao


Edited by nutek on Dec 19, 2004 at 12:07 AM GMT (Reason: added bold text for emphasis...)



Dec 17, 2004 at 07:36 PM
masterfrodo
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


hugh wrote
I'll give you my take on sharpening first, because many will disagree . Keep in mind that I'm using a high res LCD. The sharpness of LCD is so much better than CRTs that many images that look OK on CRT will look too sharp on the LCD. Sharpening should be done as just about the first step in your work flow. The exception is on noisy scenes, which should be processed with Clean Image or Noise Ninja first. I use USM at 500%, Radius .3, Threshold 0. A few images can stand .4, and a very few .5.


Your the first I have heard of that recommends sharpening at the beginning. This is an obvious no no, as the perfect example is of resizing an original (that has been sharpened) to a size to be used on the web. After resizing, the image always needs sharpening, which in your case would mean sharpening again.
Sharpening is the last thing you should do, not the first.



Dec 17, 2004 at 07:56 PM
Geert Van Look
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


Thank you all very much for the help and welcome!

They look very crisp on my monitor. Oversharp? Maybe a tiny bit on the first picture, but difficult to say unless I saw a print. I like photos to be crisp

Thanks, yeah, I like them crisp too, but too much isn't good either.

Hello Geert,

Welcome to the forum. I'll give you my take on sharpening first, because many will disagree. *snip*


Thanks for the welcome and tips Hugh. I usually sharpen last, and clean up noise after that because sharpening usually increases the noise. But I'm definitely going to try your method out! Thanks for the advice on cropping too. I usually like to include lots of sky, and I really should pay attention to not overdoing that.

Do a search on USM, both on this site and on the web. There are many ways to do it and most of them that I have seen suggest doing it as the very LAST step.

There is nothing I hate more than an over-sharpened image.


Welcome Geert,

I am viewing on a CRT monitor and the images look a tad too sharp. I like crisp images also, but maybe a bit less would be better. I sharpen as the last step in my work flow and I also sharpen again after resizing if I am posting on the web. I guess the key is personal taste, do what you like.


Thanks!



Dec 17, 2004 at 08:01 PM
Geert Van Look
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


I'm using an LCD. Maybe a little on the sharp side, especially the first one, but not too bad.

A trick I picked up somewhere that works well on some files is to USM with parameters of 25, 50, 0. I'm not sure how it does it, but the effect is to "tighten up" the whole picture and add contrast. Sometimes the results are very noticable, other times less so. I usually follow up with 80-120, 0.4, 0 for general sharpening. Sharpening is usually the last step in my workflow.

Out of curiosity, what did you use to sharpen these images, and at
...Show more

Thanks for the trick! If I recall correctly I used USM, with parameters 100, 1, 0 first, then resized in steps of 80% (bicubic) and between each resize 20, 1, 0. I saw that or similar amounts recommended somewhere else. I guess they liked their images sharp.

Geert,
Like others, I think the first is over sharpened, and the other two look nice and crisp to me, if a little oversharp on my CRT. Which parameter are you using on the 300D. If you are using Parameter 1 (I think) which is the default setting quite a bit of sharpening is done in the camera. This is nice for prints, but may be too much for monitors.
Tim


Yes, I'm using Parameter 1. Maybe I should set the in camera sharpening to 0 and do the rest in PSE.

For me the first one is really over sharpened, but the other two pictures looks splendid for my taste, Perhaps a bit too crisp but not bad.

Javier


Thank you for the comment!

Hee OK I disagree here. Sharpening should be done last, after you have done all other post-processing like curves. *snip*

Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely try it out too.

edit: I broke the reply up in two posts, to make it look a little less cluttered.



Dec 17, 2004 at 08:04 PM
Dblais
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


I'm surprised to see so many people recommending specific settings for USM. In my experiences, those settings entirely depend on the image size, resolution, final image purpose and specifically on the image content. No two images are exactly the same and thus require different USM settings. I couldn't possible recommend specific settings without seeing those effects on a specific image.

This first image is a perfect example, and yes, it's been oversharpened. The side lighting on the ground cover literally creates millions of hard contrast edges, which are going to dramatically emphasize sharpening. Because the visual space between each hard contrast area is so small, the halo effect disrupts the continuity of ground cover, which is the majority of this shot. Thus, it's necessary to ease up a bit on the sharpening to create a more natural look. It's very easy to oversharpen this type of scenic (I've done it!!). Think of times you've had to sharpen images with a lot of grass, clumpy dirt, etc. Other images with softer, smoother transitions between light/dark delineations can handle, and may require, much higher USM settings.

Just my thoughts -

Don



Dec 18, 2004 at 03:49 PM
Mmusicman
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


hugh wrote:
...The sharpness of LCD is so much better than CRTs that many images that look OK on CRT will look too sharp on the LCD...

I couldn't agree more! I recently upgraded to 19" LCD and found previous photo's I had sharpened looked too sharp on LCD. I have now moderated my settings accordingly...especially since LCD's are becoming more common.

I personally don't usually sharpen photos for print, but definately sharpen them when resized for the web. I also believe in this case the sharpening should be done last, but only moderately.

Like zooming and everything else, you have a tendency to over do at first.

The trick is to obviously make it un-noticable...(like make-up...just enough to look natural...)



Dec 18, 2004 at 04:14 PM
nutek
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes


Dblais wrote:
I'm surprised to see so many people recommending specific settings for USM. In my experiences, those settings entirely depend on the image size, resolution, final image purpose and specifically on the image content. No two images are exactly the same and thus require different USM settings. I couldn't possible recommend specific settings without seeing those effects on a specific image.

This first image is a perfect example, and yes, it's been oversharpened. The side lighting on the ground cover literally creates millions of hard contrast edges, which are going to dramatically emphasize sharpening. Because the visual space between each hard contrast
...Show more

Agreed. Every picture will require different amounts of USM.
But if you're say batch processing for a web gallery and don't have time to fiddle with every single picture, those settings that I recommended give a good starting point or provide default sharpening on most types of pictures.



Dec 18, 2004 at 07:11 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · question about sharpening, and some shots from the Ardennes



Thanks for the welcome and tips Hugh. I usually sharpen last, and clean up noise after that because sharpening usually increases the noise.


Which is why it is recommended you apply USM and then "fade USM" and select "luminosity" mode, or convert your RGB or CMYK file into Lab and only apply USM to the Lightness channel.




Dec 18, 2004 at 10:17 PM







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