Do updated features and more flexible fine control over sharpening make it worth the upgrade? Why sharpen images? One of the key aspects of making our images look that little bit better is the correct application of sharpening.
This varies with the size and purpose of the image. Some work we specifically supply -without- sharpening, since we know some but not all clients are happy to take care of it for their own uses of the images.
Even with such high resolution and top quality lenses, the raw camera file will need some slight sharpening when it is converted. After working on an image for a while, we will often resize it for printing at a particular size.
However, printing is a process that inherently loses image detail. This varies with printing technology and paper types. By applying sharpening to an image you are trying to give the greatest -impression- of sharpness and detail. The amount and type of sharpening required depends on many factors, such as the size of the print, the type of image, the particular printer, and your personal taste. This allows you to go back and re-adjust filter settings.
Both the Sharpener Pro 3. The software is available in a range of bundles and upgrade options. You can order by download or there are boxed versions. The basic settings allow me to view the image in different ways and adjust the amount of sharpening. Do remember that many of the images you see in this article have been resized and resampled to show on a web page.
They are also compressed JPEG images, so easily lose detail. Note too, that sharper images produce larger JPEG files, so this may be a factor. The first one is of an interesting sky in colourado last fall Hwy south of Toponas. It was taken on a Canon 1Ds3 with a 14mm lens.
The file opens up in the Sharpener Pro window. I need to set the type of sharpening required. Display — Sharpens for display devices such as monitors and projectors.
Continuous Tone — Sharpens for continuous tone printers such as prints found at photographic labs using silver-halide based papers and dye-sublimation printers. Halftone — Sharpens for halftone printers such as large web or sheet-fed presses. Variable Tone — Sharpens for printers that use a hybrid of inkjet and halftone screening techniques. The levels of sharpening will thus be based on the print size for your image another reason to set the print size before sharpening.
Ideally, we like to know where they are going to be placed, since you can sharpen a print much more if it is going to be viewed from no closer than 10 feet. Remember that printer resolution DPI is not the same as the image resolution used for the print, in this case PPI pixels per inch — often erroneously referred to a DPI.
Working on your image There are a number of different ways of looking at your image to decide on appropriate settings.
One of the things I like about using this software is that it gives me a good starting point to work from. Remember too, that a print intended for a location where no-one is expected to get closer than say 10 feet, can be sharpened appreciably more than one where people brush against it.
We often supply large prints for commercial use, and knowing where they will be positioned is an important aspect of providing an optimal print.
In the simple display example earlier, I just altered the overall strength of the sharpening. One of the strengths of Nik Sharpener Pro 3 is the way that you can fine tune the sharpening. Notice the three settings Structure, Local Contrast and Focus.
These alter the sharpening at different scales on the image. Structure is an easy one to show. In the example below I cranked it up, and you can see that the structure of the clouds is greatly enhanced.
Equally, local contrast when turned down is clear to see. Nik Software describe the settings as: Structure — Controls the fine details and textures within the image. Increasing this slider emphasizes fine details throughout the image while decreasing this slider reduces the appearance of fine details for smoother surfaces. Local Contrast — Controls local contrast throughout the entire image. Increasing this slider will increase the edges of small objects throughout the image while decreasing this slider will lower the contrast of edges, applying a diffusing effect.
Focus — Controls the adaptive sharpening of fine image details and large areas of the image. Increasing this slider will increase the overall strength of the adaptive sharpening and decreasing this slider will decrease the adaptive sharpening, applying a slight blurring effect to the image. I prefer to do any major alterations to the look and feel of the image to the master file.
You can either apply the filter to a copy of the layer sharpened, or to the original layer itself. This is selected in the settings panel.
In a strongly coloured image, such as below, this is not always that easy. The horizontal bar above gives an idea of scale for the printed image. Note the black layer mask associated with the new sharpened layer. This allows me to paint in sharpening to areas of the file that need it.
Yes, but not necessarily -all- of the image. The net effect is that I can make the print feel a lot sharper than it is and emphasise different areas. Another example would be sharpening some areas of a face less than others.
The fine detail in all the twigs and branches can easily end up over sharpened compared to other parts of the image. There are also too many of them for me to start painting in effects. The pictures are from Rutland Water in the UK earlier this year and capture the views at sunset on a rather chilly day. The intense colours give a pretty good feel as a print for what it was like there, although when printed, some of the intensity seen here is lost.
This is another aspect of how I prepare images to make good prints — not necessarily to look their best on screen.
The default levels of sharpening produce slight halos around the twigs against the dark blue sky. One way of localising adjustments is to use the Control Point option. This description from Nik Software: By analysing the colour, tonality, detail, and location, the Control Point automatically determines where and how to apply certain effects, based on your needs.
Move your mouse over the image below to see placing. The control point has Radius, intensity, structure, local contrast and Focus adjustments. You can have a number of control points and fine tune different parts of your image. If you move your mouse move the image below you can see how the influence fades off. I wondered if instead of the twigs being sharpened, it was the solid bits of blue in the sky?
Fortunately there are more options. In addition to control points there is another mode of selection — by colour. An eye-dropper can be used to sample a colour range for applying sharpening. Notice how the noise in the sky is increased too.
Conclusions Compared to the earlier version of Sharpener, version three seems to require less intervention and fine tuning to get very good results. The default values suggested by the software seem more appropriate that before, although as with any global sharpening technique, you still need to check images for artefacts that might show in a print.
You will need to experiment with the package, and probably need to do a few small test prints to get the hang of sharpening. Despite the help this package offers, you will get consistently better results after a few trials.
Remember that what you see on the screen is only an intermediate stage in getting to a good quality print. The software is not cheap, but for our business, getting that extra bit of quality in our prints is important. Summary Easy to use package offering sharpening options to improve the look of printed and display images. Sharpening options are also available for sharpening RAW camera files after processing by other software.
The software is runs on Mac and PC and is available in a number of bundles and upgrade options. System requirements V3 Mac OS Enjoyed this article? Other areas of our site that may be of interest It covers all of Keith's specialist articles and reviews.
Articles below by Keith Google's picks for matching this page.
Oct 31, · 14 Best Knife Sharpeners (Review) in Sunrise Pro Knife Sharpener. CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON The Sunrise Pro Sharpener is not the most glamorous or expensive sharpener on our list but it does one thing extremely well: it sharpens just about any kind of knife to whatever level of precision you’re after. It’s easy to use and mounts. Sharpener Pro 3; Sharpener Pro 3. Follow New articles New articles and comments. Keyboard Shortcuts; Batch Processing through Photoshop; Pre-sharpening TIFF files; In-Camera Sharpening; Sharpening based on what appears on monitor; Control Points; . Dec 28, · Nik Software's really excellent program for sharpening images. You have a lot to play with here. More Nik stuff at yftddx.me Jul 16, · This item: Edge Pro Professional Kit 4 Knife Sharpener System $ Only 3 left in stock - order soon. Sold by Oldawan Tools To Stay Sharp and ships from Amazon Fulfillment/5(4).