Week 12 – Sharpening, Brightening, and Shadows/Highlights

Week 12 Assignment 1 – Sharpen an Image

The ability to sharpen an image and make it look like it isn’t blurry in the details is very important. Before we had digital photography it was a tedious process to create an unsharp mask. You basically created a blurry reverse copy of your original negative and then pre-exposed your paper with it using an enlarger. All that to sharpen your image creating more details or lines in your image. Photographers would call it local contrast, kind of like contrast in the details. Today with Photoshop it is so easy, it is almost criminal. There is a reason photographers went to so much trouble to create unsharp masks for their images, because they make them look so much more detailed.

Lynda Tutorials you need to watch:

Deke McClelland – Photoshop Top 40

  • 5. The Sharpen Filters (must see!)
    Deke turns the image into a smart object so you may want to watch number 18 Smart Objects too!

Chris Orwig – Photoshop CS5 for Photographers

      • 10. The Masking Panel
        Masking and selective sharpening (must see!)

YouTube/DansCourses Video Tutorials:

In this video, I demonstrate the unsharp mask filter and the sharpening tool

Turning it in:
Due Date: End of week 14
I want you to sharpen an image and post before and after JPGs to your Picasa account and the DansCourses.com Forum. Deke converts his image into a smart object before using the sharpening filters. Smart Object is a great tool but it makes the Photoshop file very large and impossible to email me as an attachment, so you will need to save your final before and after images as JPGs and then post them to Picasa and the Forum. Thanks!

Week 12 Assignment 2 – Selectively Brighten or Sharpen an Image with Layer Masks

In this assignment you will duplicate your background layer, lighten it with levels, then selectively reveal the highlights or lightened areas using a layer mask and a paint brush. Please use my video tutorial as your example for this project. Send me your Photoshop file so I can check your layer mask. You can also use this same technique to selectively reveal sharpening or selectively apply levels or curves.

In this video I use layer masks to selectively brighten an image

Turning it in:
Due date: End of Week 14
Send me your Photoshop file (.psd) as an email attachment so I can check your layer mask.
Week 12 Assignment 3 – Fix a backlit photo using the Shadows and Highlights tool

In this assignment you will fix an image that is too dark and too light. This can happen if you take a portrait shot where the sun or light is behind the subject. We call this being “backlit” and it forces the foreground to appear too dark and the background to appear possibly too light. Pretty much everyone who shoots photographs has run into this situation.

Lynda Tutorials you need to watch:

Chris Orwig – Enhancing Digital Photography with Photoshop CS2

  •   16. Expanding Exposure
    Understanding shadows/highlights (must see!)
    Using shadows/highlights 1 (must see!)
    Using shadows/highlights 1 (must see!)

YouTube/DansCourses Video Tutorial

In this tutorial I use the Shadows and Highlights tool

Turning it in:
Due Date: End of week 14
Correct an image that is backlit (the foreground darks are too dark and the background lights are too light) using the Shadows/Highlights tool.Post before and after JPGs to Picasa and the DansCourses Forum.

Author: Dan

Dan teaches computer networking and security classes at Central Oregon Community College.

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