Sharpen It!: Another Hidden Gem Revealed
Thanks to our Facebook fans for the over 3,000 Likes on every post we’ve made so far about “Hidden Gems” in Photoshop CS5! As promised, our expert and newly inducted Photoshop Hall of Fame recipient, Bryan O’Neil Hughes has more helpful hints for you, as a part of the “Hidden Gems” video series.
Bryan calls these videos – “snack size feature-ettes” – that can be consumed during a lunch break or used as a quick reference while working on a Photoshop project. Hidden Gems are those lesser known features in Photoshop, unique uses for existing features or new updates made since launch.
In addition to his Photoshop product management duties, Bryan himself is a photographer and author. Many of the images he uses in these videos are from his own personal travels. For instance, after his safari in Africa, he used the Sharpen tool in Photoshop CS5 to make certain aspects of an animal’s hair and features pop out. He also acknowledges that in cases where the (shallow) focus was on the animal’s nose, rather than eyes, he would aggressively use the new Sharpen to tool to “buy back” focus.
Why is selective sharpening in Photoshop CS5 so compelling?
Bryan: The enhanced brush-based, pressure-sensitive sharpening tool is ideal for selective sharpening. In addition to a level of control unavailable with a global operation, the fidelity (namely a lack of artifacts) is higher than any other method offered.
A user can quickly, easily and powerfully sharpen or recover focus in isolated areas – and in varied amounts; no need to duplicate layers, globally sharpen and erase. For photographers coming from Lightroom or Camera Raw, this sort of granular, specific control is exactly the sort of thing that Photoshop excels at.
What went into the development of selective sharpening to make it what it is today?
Bryan: This technology is the best that we could find and was actually sourced from outside Adobe. The legacy sharpening tool is much maligned for the artifacts it produces, but beginning in CS3 (Brightness & Contrast) and continuing in CS4 (Dodge, Burn and Sponge), we’ve isolated areas to improve results. Now the tool complements the needs of photographers and those looking to make detailed edits to images without compromising quality.
The Sharpen tool just works… in-fact better than any other sharpening method out there!
If you haven’t already checked out the latest Hidden Gems videos, you can find them on our Photoshop YouTube channel.