Sharpening for Portraits
Okay, let's look at a portrait and let's go to this photo of Troy here and I'll zoom back out so you can see. Just verify it's a portrait, and we'll assume that we've already worked this photo. The first thing I would do to sharpen this is, Well, let's go ahead and zoom in on it. I would focus on the eyes. Of course. That's where we're drawn to in the photo. That's generally going to be the focus point in the photo, So I would go to here now this camera, this is Ah, I think this is John's five d mark two. He's got great lenses, so when we sharpen this, you're going to see that we can make it a little bit crisper. So don't think that just because, you know, if you have the highest quality camera that you're that your photos can't still use some additional sharpening. There's still that little bit of haze. But I've looked at some photos from his camera Ah, photo of myself, and I am amazed at the detail that he's able to capture. So I've got a portrait. I've zoomed in on the eyes. I don't...
see any noise that has to be removed. So I'm gonna come over to the preset panel and I'm gonna click on sharpened faces. And I could see over here in the detail panel what light room has chosen or what that preset was about. Okay, so it's got a lower detail setting, and it automatically has 60 of masking built in. So the preset, of course, because it's for faces, you know, it assumes that you want a mask out a good deal of the skin. So I would start after clicking on that preset by turning the switch on and off to see how much it did so I can see it's it's pretty subtle. I'll click and drag over to the other. I here take a look at this one. I tend to find that it's it's a little too conservative for me, so I will try adding, Ah, higher amount, bring up the amount a little bit more and then I'll pan around in the photo. I don't believe I mentioned this on the other one, but I'll always pan around on the photo to make sure that there isn't some other area of the photo where I'm going too far. So grass and hair are two places where you can sometimes pretty quickly see the effect of too much sharpening when his hair looks like If I take this amount all the way up, it starts to look like the hair is gonna break right, Like the hair has so much hair spray on it or it just gets too crisp. So let's go ahead and reset that amount. Maybe bring it back back in that range. Now there is no one answer for sharpening. We talked to 10 experts. You have him sharpen the same photo. They're gonna end up with 10 different answers. It's a preference issue in terms of how far you want to go with sharpening, and then I'm gonna zoom out. Well, the next thing I'll do is look at the skin. So am I bringing out detail, unwanted detail in the skin that looks OK there. Let's take a look at his chin here, so I'm kind of bringing out. It's subtle, but it's off right now, and I'm gonna hit the switch. So look at his chin or underneath his lip. I'm bringing out the stubble. I'm accentuating the stubble So this solution looks good everywhere except, you know, in his beard area. So I'm going to accept this as the global solution. Then I'm gonna go into the adjustment brush. I'm gonna zoom out a little bit. Control command minus. Go into the adjustment brush, reset my sliders, and I'm gonna paint with negative sharpness. Toe offset that now I gotta zoom back in so you can actually see this now. Anything beyond 50 noticed that is I'm painting now. I'm actually blurring the photo. So anything beyond negative 50 on sharpness is going to blur the photo. So if I stay at negative 50 I'm undoing the sharpening that I did globally. So I would just paint out that entire area to eliminate the sharpening that I did. So that's how you would deal with local areas that need more or less sharpening any more questions on sharpening. Yeah, not a question, but a suggestion. I kept my little detail window open, and it was actually perfect for this because I kept the detail on the I because that's what we're counting, running, sharpen. And then I kept the rest of the zoom in on the hair and the skin and everything else was I was adjusting. I could see on one spot the I and then always contrast with the other. Exactly. Right. And that worked out so awesome. Yeah, I like that. So he opened up this panel here, clicked on this little tool, clicked on the I to fix this part on the I, and then in the main photo is able to pan around. So great suggestion. Um, and Kim and vote photog asks, would you suggest doing skin softening before or after sharpening? I would do Well, I would do the skin softening first. But having the key is that in the sharpening, you're gonna mask off the skin, right? So when I zoom back out here just so that we can look at masking and I hold down the alter the option key notice that at 60 let me go back to the default here, OK, at 60 the skin is already masked off, so I'm not affecting that area that I was softening anyway, if I'm not masking off enough of the face, for example is I was panning around in him I got if I was still bringing out pours generally, and not just this double that I wanted to deal with. Locally, I would bring the masking slider up to maybe 70. So they won't be fighting each other this way because you're gonna be using masking question from our Walton 11 29. Does the amount very based on how many pixels are available, For example, if it's cropped or the original photo the sharpening amount while the amount is how brightened, how dark it gets, the radius is the number of pixels out. So I'm I'm not quite sure frankly, how that math works underneath that slider. Um, it's like, yeah, I can't address that one. OK, Jabo 234 asks. Is it possible to use negative sharpening to do localized blurring? Yes. Yeah, has recovered yesterday that a zai Just as I started to paint his chin, you notice how it turned blurry. That's because I was going with negative, more negative sharpening the negative 50. Anything from negative 5200 is gonna blur, so it's a great tool for blurring. Absolutely. All right, from from How about that? A question from Inca and Cypress. I have some sharpening on all of my photos by default. Is that because my my camera settings or a preference in light room, that's what light room will do with a raw file is assumed that you want 25 of sharpening, So I find that that's fine is the default. You could always reset the default to be zero, but I think it's a It's a good starting point. And it's also great for beginners who, you know, frankly are not ready to deal with the detail panel with sharpening. So the fact that your photos air already going to get a little bit of sharpening cut through that haze without you having to mess with it, I think, is a good thing for most people.