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Jill Morgan

Do any of you guys sharpen your images in PS or Lightroom?

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I have always been too afraid to use any of sharpening features of PS. I know Alamy does not like you to "over" sharpen an image. That can be a very ambiguous statement, as one mans idea of all right could be Alamy's idea of over sharpened. So I have stayed away from sharpening all together.

 

I have played with it, and found with Smart sharpen at 25% with a 3 pixel radius can enhance some of the images, but I back out from fear of the QC sin bin.

 

Do any of you use the Smart Sharpen option?

 

Jill

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Jill

I never sharpen for Alamy. As far as I know it is up to the end user to do their own sharpening according to their needs. Hence Alamy ask us not to sharpen.

Cheers

Col

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Jill

I never sharpen for Alamy. As far as I know it is up to the end user to do their own sharpening according to their needs. Hence Alamy ask us not to sharpen.

Cheers

Col

 

+1  Leave the sharpener for the pencils! :)

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I never sharpen intentionally, but if you're shooting JPEG, then there will probably be some in-camera sharpening added even if you turn it down to the lowest setting. With some cameras, I imagine that even RAW images get sharpened slightly. Only the manufacturers know for sure.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Sharpening?  Moi? My lips are sealed. Jill, you know we're not supposed to discuss politics, religion or sharpening.

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Every image I have ever processed has had a 'capture sharpen' applied to it. I simply use the default setting in ACR or a level 1 or 2 in DPP.

 

I use Smart Sharpen for output sharpening for one brochure client, their system doesn't allow for their own output sharpening so I make sure the delivered file is how I want the image to appear.

 

Don't do any output sharpening for any agency.

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Every image I have ever processed has had a 'capture sharpen' applied to it. I simply use the default setting in ACR or a level 1 or 2 in DPP.

 

I use Smart Sharpen for output sharpening for one brochure client, their system doesn't allow for their own output sharpening so I make sure the delivered file is how I want the image to appear.

 

Don't do any output sharpening for any agency.

 

^^^ This. Capture sharpening a raw file is analogous to in-camera JPEG processing so is absolutely fine, in my eyes.

 

Creative sharpening isn't really needed for my Alamy shots but if I thought that say, a model's eyes needed a bit of a lift, I think a little local creative sharpening is OK too.

 

But you should definitely not apply any output sharpening at all - that depends on publication medium (digital vs print; glossy vs matte vs lustre vs newspaper vs etc) and output image size.

Edited by Russell Watkins

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Sorry, I should clarify what I said: as Russell says above: no output sharpening.

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I think people need to quantify the degree of capture sharpening as Geoff has done before saying it is alright. This phrase has entered the literature in the last few years but without numbers has no meaning.

 

In actual fact, the Alamy guidelines say no sharpening at any stage including in-camera - notwithstanding the fact that this can't be turned off in some cameras for JPEGS. A discussion on this went down a few weeks back with no conclusion that I am aware of. In my opinion, you shouldn't need to sharpen images to pass QC. If you are needing to sharpen to get past QC, then you are probably doing something wrong technique-wise, as opposed to wanting to add a bit if sharpness just in case (Russell can provide a diagnosis of this psychological condition on request).

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Yeah I'm familiar with it. I have been a fan of the Real World series going way back and learnt most of what I know about raw processing from these guys. My argument here is that if it is not necessary to capture sharpen, then why do so.

 

Like you I like to work my images a bit in Photoshop (although I don't use smart objects) - mostly simple stuff like spotting and local contrast variations with adjustment layers. The spotting is about the only permanent change I make but I only want to do this once.  I save all the history in the metadata so I've a record of what I've done. If I was to add capture sharpening and at some point I required, for whatever reason, an image that had no sharpening at all, I would have to start over again. I made this mistake years ago with slide scanning. So my philosophy is no sharpening at all as per the guidelines because my images don't need it. And if they did, it could be added in PS and saved as a copy rather than in the raw conversion. I only sharpen when printing my own stuff in fact.

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Yeah I'm familiar with it. I have been a fan of the Real World series going way back and learnt most of what I know about raw processing from these guys. My argument here is that if it is not necessary to capture sharpen, then why do so.

 

Like you I like to work my images a bit in Photoshop (although I don't use smart objects) - mostly simple stuff like spotting and local contrast variations with adjustment layers. The spotting is about the only permanent change I make but I only want to do this once.  I save all the history in the metadata so I've a record of what I've done. If I was to add capture sharpening and at some point I required, for whatever reason, an image that had no sharpening at all, I would have to start over again. I made this mistake years ago with slide scanning. So my philosophy is no sharpening at all as per the guidelines because my images don't need it. And if they did, it could be added in PS and saved as a copy rather than in the raw conversion. I only sharpen when printing my own stuff in fact.

 

 

Capture sharpening is about being able to assess local contrast etc in the image as you further process it. It's not about making it pass QC - it's part of the creative process. There's an old Bruce Fraser (IIRC) article where he explains the reasons.

 

I don't work my images a bit in Photoshop, I work them a lot, a hell of a lot. If I was worried about capture sharpening (and I'm not) I would adopt a LR workflow for all my work. You can then turn off the sharpening to the background file and drag and drop into the layer stack to overcome your issue.

 

As for the guidelines, they are there because Alamy is a crowd-sourced agency. If people don't understand the difference in amounts and types of sharpening, they shouldn't sharpen. Agencies which deal with, shall we say..... more experienced photographers, allow capture sharpening and have guidelines for it...Getty and the commercial agecies for example.

 

Let's not forget that when asked at a contrib meeting, Alamy (James??) said you could sharpen a bit (or words to that effect). Alamy has on occasion said not to oversharpen...mind you at the same time it says no sharpening. Go figure.

 

I'm not saying that anyone has to capture sharpen, simply that it's part of the creative process and Alamy, and every other agency I know of, will allow some.

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I don't sharpen but occasionally increase local contrast slightly with the Definition slider in Aperture.

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Ditto clarity in LR. Not 'sharpen' as such but the I shoot jpegs.

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Yeah I'm familiar with it. I have been a fan of the Real World series going way back and learnt most of what I know about raw processing from these guys. My argument here is that if it is not necessary to capture sharpen, then why do so.

 

Like you I like to work my images a bit in Photoshop (although I don't use smart objects) - mostly simple stuff like spotting and local contrast variations with adjustment layers. The spotting is about the only permanent change I make but I only want to do this once.  I save all the history in the metadata so I've a record of what I've done. If I was to add capture sharpening and at some point I required, for whatever reason, an image that had no sharpening at all, I would have to start over again. I made this mistake years ago with slide scanning. So my philosophy is no sharpening at all as per the guidelines because my images don't need it. And if they did, it could be added in PS and saved as a copy rather than in the raw conversion. I only sharpen when printing my own stuff in fact.

 

 

Capture sharpening is about being able to assess local contrast etc in the image as you further process it. It's not about making it pass QC - it's part of the creative process. There's an old Bruce Fraser (IIRC) article where he explains the reasons.

 

I don't work my images a bit in Photoshop, I work them a lot, a hell of a lot. If I was worried about capture sharpening (and I'm not) I would adopt a LR workflow for all my work. You can then turn off the sharpening to the background file and drag and drop into the layer stack to overcome your issue.

 

As for the guidelines, they are there because Alamy is a crowd-sourced agency. If people don't understand the difference in amounts and types of sharpening, they shouldn't sharpen. Agencies which deal with, shall we say..... more experienced photographers, allow capture sharpening and have guidelines for it...Getty and the commercial agecies for example.

 

Let's not forget that when asked at a contrib meeting, Alamy (James??) said you could sharpen a bit (or words to that effect). Alamy has on occasion said not to oversharpen...mind you at the same time it says no sharpening. Go figure.

 

I'm not saying that anyone has to capture sharpen, simply that it's part of the creative process and Alamy, and every other agency I know of, will allow some.

 

 

I understand and all that you say is valid so no argument with that.

 

It's just when a phrase like capture sharpening, which has a very specific meaning in the Bruce and Jeff vernacular, starts to mean something very different - even down to in-camera JPEG sharpening. The original meaning relates to a very subtle process. 

 

For me, I've played about with it in its original context but really see very little or no benefit with my images. If I want to use it on a processed PSD file, all I would need to do is run it back through the raw converter. 

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I only apply the default DPP picture style sharpening (+3) to reduce the effect of the aggressive AA filter of the 7D. Never sharpen in LR or PS for Alamy though. IF sharpening normally it's done via High Pass Filer layer and Soft light blending mode. I'm sure you'll sleep tonight knowing that lol 

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