Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down

Author Topic: Capture sharpening in Lightroom  (Read 2996 times)

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« on: March 05, 2019, 10:13:50 pm »

Ok, I admit right off the start that this is a highly subjective question/answer.  But I'm wondering how much capture sharpening to apply on raw files in Lightroom.  To keep this somewhat objective, should I be aiming for a bit of sharpness to counteract some of the general blur, or should I be aiming for "wow, that's perfectly sharp!"?
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12474
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2019, 11:34:51 pm »

Sharpening will not remove "general blur", in the sense that it will not make an out of focus photo in focus (unless it were a good case for some kind of deconvolution sharpening). For photos that are in-focus, use a 100% magnification and examine the photo as you sharpen it to make sure there are no visible halos and the sharpening results don't look forced. The idea is to enhance micro-contrast without making it obvious by creating halos and other artifacts.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

adias

  • Guest
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 12:24:14 am »

Ok, I admit right off the start that this is a highly subjective question/answer.  But I'm wondering how much capture sharpening to apply on raw files in Lightroom.  To keep this somewhat objective, should I be aiming for a bit of sharpness to counteract some of the general blur, or should I be aiming for "wow, that's perfectly sharp!"?

In Lr there is no capture sharpening. Sharpening is final edited image sharpening. There is print sharpening post edit, for targeted printing.
Logged

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2019, 01:04:22 am »

So Mark, would you aim for a crisp image, as opposed to just slightly counteracting the softness of the raw capture?

Adias, the sharpening panel in Lightroom is applied to the raw image, so it is indeed capture sharpening.  Output sharpening is what is used when you export at your preferred resolution.
Logged

adias

  • Guest
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2019, 02:58:08 am »

So Mark, would you aim for a crisp image, as opposed to just slightly counteracting the softness of the raw capture?

Adias, the sharpening panel in Lightroom is applied to the raw image, so it is indeed capture sharpening.  Output sharpening is what is used when you export at your preferred resolution.

That is not what Jeff Schewe (current developer of the sharpen technique/amount/module) calls it. Lr sharpening is applied to the edited image raw conversion + edits, ready to archive. Maybe Jeff can opine on this.
Logged

john beardsworth

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4559
    • My photography site
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2019, 03:21:20 am »

You may have misread him.

Tony Jay

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2949
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2019, 04:47:28 am »

In Lr there is no capture sharpening. Sharpening is final edited image sharpening. There is print sharpening post edit, for targeted printing.
I am sorry, from somewhere you have gotten the wrong end of the stick...

Tony Jay
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12474
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2019, 08:31:27 am »

So Mark, would you aim for a crisp image, as opposed to just slightly counteracting the softness of the raw capture?

Adias, the sharpening panel in Lightroom is applied to the raw image, so it is indeed capture sharpening.  Output sharpening is what is used when you export at your preferred resolution.

Bernie and Adias,

(1) Let's not get hung-up on whether to call it Capture Sharpening or something else - doesn't matter to this workflow in LR.
(2) Especially, as the user-determined sequencing of the operation doesn't matter in LR. You can apply it at whatever stage of image editing you want; LR looks after the correct sequence of processing when it renders the image.
(3) Bernie: be careful about "crisp" - when it starts to look unnaturally "crispy" is when you want to back-off a bit. This is to taste. There are no hard-wired rules.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2019, 07:24:13 pm »

What I mean by "crisp" is essentially a perfectly sharpened image.  Are we aiming for that with capture sharpening, or do we just remove some of the inherent softness of the raw?  Traditionally I just remove some of the softness and worry about sharpening it perfectly later on output.  But I've never been really happy with my final images in terms of sharpness.  I'm wondering if that's because I'm taking the wrong approach to capture sharpening.
Logged

digitaldog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15377
    • http://www.digitaldog.net/
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2019, 07:45:58 pm »

In Lr there is no capture sharpening. Sharpening is final edited image sharpening. There is print sharpening post edit, for targeted printing.
There absolutely IS capture sharpening in Lightroom and Jeff agrees (note, the capture and output sharpening in LR are based on our product, PhotoKit Sharpener).

https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=94614.msg772711#msg772711

Jeff Schewe wrote:
This is the biggest issue I have with your workflow...you should be doing noise reduction and capture sharpening in LR before taking it to Photoshop, or, in the very least, do the Noise reduction and sharpening in the ACR Smart Object.
Logged
Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12474
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 07:58:46 pm »

What I mean by "crisp" is essentially a perfectly sharpened image.  Are we aiming for that with capture sharpening, or do we just remove some of the inherent softness of the raw?  Traditionally I just remove some of the softness and worry about sharpening it perfectly later on output.  But I've never been really happy with my final images in terms of sharpness.  I'm wondering if that's because I'm taking the wrong approach to capture sharpening.

A "perfectly sharpened image" is a subjective concept. Sharpen to taste.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Wayne Fox

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4216
    • waynefox.com
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2019, 08:12:29 pm »

to me, capture sharpening isn’t a  specific “function” built into the software, but rather a sharpening step in a multi sharpening workflow as taught by Bruce Frasier along with the others from Pixel Genius such as Jeff and Andrew. Capture sharpening is extremely subtle, and to me a vital step in any good workflow.  It’s purpose is to remove softness introduced by the digital process, such as from anti alias filters and such. Lightroom’s sharpening functions to me are primarily capture sharpening oriented, and for most people the defaults will serve them well.  Over sharpening a full image may easily lead to that over crispy look. You could turn all that off and then head to photoshop to “capture” sharpen, the follow that with creative sharpening, but I think LR does a great job so to me that’s just more work.

The ability to use masking can also make it a very useful creative sharpening technique, and in fact I’ve on occasion used it on the tiff file that comes back from Lightroom. For creative sharpening, applying additional sharpening in a local adjustment can also works OK,(it would be very useful if you could also used the other properties of sharpening, especially masking when adding sharpening to local adjustments. ) So usually Photoshop is a better tool for creative sharpening and LR is better suited for the subtle yet necessary step of capture sharpening before you sent the data over to PS.

I tend to use Focus Magic quite a bit, whether that can be considered “capture” or “creative” I’m not sure, since it is also very subtle.  But it’s always a second step in sharpening, I don’t turn off LR’s sharpening so Focus Magic can do all of the sharpening.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 12:25:43 am by Wayne Fox »
Logged

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 09:33:08 pm »

A "perfectly sharpened image" is a subjective concept. Sharpen to taste.

Your missing the jist of the question.  Am I sharpening it to a point that I would judge that it doesn't need anymore sharpening at that size, or am I just somewhat removing the softness of the image inherent in raw capture?
Logged

digitaldog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15377
    • http://www.digitaldog.net/
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 09:34:11 pm »

Your missing the jist of the question.  Am I sharpening it to a point that I would judge that it doesn't need anymore sharpening at that size, or am I just somewhat removing the softness of the image inherent in raw capture?
Go to the source in terms of this workflow:
http://creativepro.com/out-of-gamut-thoughts-a-sharpening-workflow/
Logged
Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 09:36:44 pm »

Thanks Wayne and Andrew.

Wayne, you possibly know this already, but I had a conversation (via the forum) with Schewe a couple of years ago and he pointed out that the local adjustment sharpening uses the same settings for all the sliders in the global sharpen panel.  So if you have a satisfactory masking in the global sharpen, you'll get it also in the local sharpen.  I'm recalling this from memory, so I hope I got that right.
Logged

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2019, 09:42:59 pm »

Looking at that article from Bruce Fraser, he states that you want to use a "modest" amount of sharpening for capture sharpening.  That seems to imply that you don't want to give it 'perfect' sharpness right at capture.
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12474
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2019, 11:11:00 pm »

Your missing the jist of the question.  Am I sharpening it to a point that I would judge that it doesn't need anymore sharpening at that size, or am I just somewhat removing the softness of the image inherent in raw capture?

No, I wasn't missing the jist of your question. I'm suggesting that you sharpen to taste, regardless of the applications you use. Just be aware that different tools work differently in different software environments, so adapt your practices accordingly. For example, if you use Photoshop and within it you use Photokit Sharpener, the advice Andrew and Wayne provided makes sense. Reading the excellent manual that comes with that product will give you ample guidance on how to approach it. If you sharpen in Lightroom, there are two stages of sharpening. The stage in the print module is there to deal with the softening that would otherwise occur in printing. How it is applied depends on resolution and physical dimensions only and not a matter of taste. You implement it, but don't worry about its effect, because if working properly, you won't notice it. In Lightroom the sharpening you have most control over is the tool in the Develop Module, and you use that one to taste. There is also excellent instruction on how to use that tool in what Andrew linked, and also importantly in Martin Evening's Lightroom books. But however you approach it, how much you apply and where in the photo is subjective.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2019, 11:17:51 pm »

"Sharpen to taste" is meaningless in the context of the question.  Wayne and Andrew (via Bruce Fraser) have answered the question.
Logged

Wayne Fox

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4216
    • waynefox.com
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2019, 12:31:55 am »

Thanks Wayne and Andrew.

Wayne, you possibly know this already, but I had a conversation (via the forum) with Schewe a couple of years ago and he pointed out that the local adjustment sharpening uses the same settings for all the sliders in the global sharpen panel.  So if you have a satisfactory masking in the global sharpen, you'll get it also in the local sharpen.  I'm recalling this from memory, so I hope I got that right.
I do remember that.  But my thought process would be to still use the normal sharpening for capture sharpening, and often a mask isn’t even necessary or desirable,  then use a local adjustment for some creative sharpening, where I might want to use an aggressive mask, for example to bring out the detail of the small veins in a leaf without crunching up the smooth areas between them.  I can’t crank the mask up in the normal sharpening dialog because now it might remove areas of capture sharpening I would like to retain.

regular sharpening sometimes works great for creative sharpening if you’ve already headed to photoshop and are now working with the resulting tiff file. I've done that a few times.
Logged

bernie west

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 319
    • Wild Photo Australia
Re: Capture sharpening in Lightroom
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2019, 12:56:44 am »

Yeah, I think you are right about the masking for local.  When I had my D810 I used to shoot surf photography (still do sometimes with an XPro2; I look a bit weird..) with only a 200mm lens, so I was always cropping in quite a bit for the final image.  Manual focus lens as well (couldn't afford an actual Nikkor or Sigma autofocus).  So I was always pushing resolution and sharpness.  I've often found myself pumping up the local sharpening but also the local noise reduction to compensate for the sharpening of noise in the skin/body.  Having the ability to apply masking locally would have been a better option.

edit:  actually I tell a lie.  It was an autofocus lens, but old and not all that sharp.  Currently I'm shooting with a Nikkor AIS 300mm on my XPro2.  That's manual focus, of course, and along with the Xpro2 really quite a ridiculous set up for surf photography. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 01:30:16 am by bernie west »
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up