Tuesday, April 10, 2007

USM -just say no...

You’re going to read a lot about image sharpening on the web –maybe you find yourself here because you did a search for USM and got my page. Some people will actually tell you that you have to resort to using USM just because you shoot with a digital camera.

Most of them have galleries filled with over sharpened images…

But I’m not going to tell you how to use UnSharp Mask, I’m going to tell you not to. Because you might be able to use it to make a soft image look sharper, but you can’t add information to an image that you didn’t capture with the camera –the computer isn’t that smart.

You should work on your technique instead.

If you take a sharp photo then there is no need to resort to tricks to make it look sharper, it’s just not necessary. Take the above image for example; I used whatever default sharpening Photoshop Elements 5 applies during RAW conversion and I ran Noise Ninja to take out the sensor noise and that’s the only sharpening that I did. If you click on the image for a larger version you’ll see that the bee has hair growing out of its compound eye –and it was moving when I pressed the shutter button. If I can take an image like that one then so can you –I’m not special.

Image editing is a very valuable tool –don’t let it turn into a crutch…
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