The Frame Itself

Explore the expressive possibilities of aspect ratio

The proportion of an image’s frame (or aspect ratio) is a fundamental part of the statement it makes. Aspect ratio influences the way both the photographer and his or her audience sees images. Many photographers choose particular camera formats (35mm, 645, 21?4, 6×17, 4×5) because they reinforce particular ways of seeing. For instance,... Read more

Sharpening With HDR Software

Enhance detail by boosting the differences between neighboring tones

HDR software is most typically used to render shadow and highlight detail, but it also can be used to enhance tonal separation and detail in any range of tones, even in images with extremely low contrast. The very same tools that are used to compensate for HDR side effects can be used to sharpen any image. Unsharpened image Sharpening with... Read more

Double Pass & Hybrid Sharpening

Get the best of USM and High Pass techniques

Different sharpening techniques make the world look different. A world of difference can be seen between the thin hard line of Unsharp Mask and the broad feathered line of High Pass Sharpening. Can you choose a combination of both? Yes, you can! You can choose the texture of one, the halo of another, and the line of yet another, applying them either... Read more

High Pass Sharpening

Try this advanced technique for creative sharpening effects

There are three methods of sharpening in Photoshop that we should all be aware of: Luminance, Edge and High Pass sharpening. In this order, the three methods become progressively more complex and go to greater lengths to reduce the accentuation of noise. 2) Image after low-Radius High Pass sharpening To minimize the accentuation of noise, Luminance... Read more

Layers & Creative Sharpening

Gain more control with sharpening layers

In the September/October issue of DPP, we discussed creative sharpening with the Unsharp Mask (USM). In this issue, we’re going to examine how to use layers to gain finer control over the USM when you’re using it creatively. There are many ways to modify sharpening effects using layers. 2a) Blend If sliders used to reduce clipping highlights... Read more

Creative Sharpening

Use Unsharp Mask for artistic effects

Precise sharpening can improve almost any image. It helps to know when to apply it, what type of sharpening to apply, how to apply it and where to apply it. Forget the filters Sharpen, Sharpen More and Sharpen Edges. They’re just default settings of Unsharp Mask. Even Smart Sharpen offers few advantages over Unsharp Mask; it’s particularly... Read more

Capture Sharpening

Working with RAW files

Optimal image sharpening is best done in three stages—capture (do it during RAW conversion), creative (do it in Photoshop) and output (automate it). Capture sharpening benefits all images. It compensates for inherent deficiencies in optical and capture systems. All lenses and sensors have specific characteristics and deficiencies. They don’t... Read more

Creative Sharpening, Part I

When to sharpen in your workflow

The vast majority of photographic images benefit from sharpening. Before you decide how and when to sharpen images, you need to decide why you’re sharpening them. The goal is to enhance detail rendition without producing distracting visual artifacts. You’ll find many conflicting philosophies and their accompanying strategies for sharpening images.... Read more

Using Lens Profiles

Correct a variety of distortions with Adobe’s extensive database of lens information

Adobe’s lens profile corrections are amazing. Lens Corrections automates correction of standard lens distortions, including geometric distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting. This feature also can be used to adjust perspective and rotation. Adobe provides support for a growing list of camera manufacturers, camera models and lenses—Canon,... Read more

Blend It Out!

How to erase unwanted moving objects from a scene

It’s a perfect shot! If only those unwanted moving objects (UMOs, i.e., a person or a crowd) in the scene would disappear. As long as the unwanted elements in your frame move, even just a little, you can make them disappear from your image by taking two or more shots and using Photoshop’s layering and blending capabilities. 1) First exposure ... Read more

The Art Of Elimination

Crop or retouch

As visual communicators, we’re responsible for everything that’s in the frame; we’re also responsible for everything that’s not in the frame. Deciding what’s in the frame and what’s out is a critical decision that can make or break an image. Here are two essential framing strategies. 1. Use the frame to eliminate distracting information... Read more

Lose Noise With Plug-Ins

Caponigro explains why and how he uses Noiseware

3) Noise Profile Information Who doesn’t have noise? If you don’t run into noise in your digital images, at least once in a while, you may not be pushing the envelope enough. You can photograph long after dark; if you haven’t tried it, you owe it to yourself to experience this—it’s magical. And if you find you don’t have a DSLR on hand,... Read more