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Old 10-25-2010, 02:11 PM   #3
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KevinM's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,060

Hi Brian,

When you do the sharpening operations on your photos, are you using the viewer on the pop-up box that shows the image at 100%? I highly recommend doing that. Attempting to judge an image from the full-screen PSE viewer will throw you off. I've found that almost any sharpening pass will make the full-screen image look awful, but when you zoon in to 100%, you'll get a much better idea what it would look like if you actually printed it.

The actual numbers to use in your sharpening passes depend upon a number of things. Your camera already does some sharpening and how you have that set up will dictate what you do on subsequent passes. I usually do one pass on the full size image before I save it as a TIFF. After I resize it for RP, I do another pass with drastically reduced settings. Generally, I look at the pop-up window that shows the image at 100%, start with low-ball settings and adjust upward slowly until the image FIRST starts to look sharp....and stop there. Sure, it will look even sharper as you go even higher with the Amount and Radius settings, but bad things start to happen (halos etc) when you do.

I've never had the problem of having my shots look too soft. I tend to like a very sharp photo and a few of the Screeners here used to complain of corneal lacerations when looking at my early photos. In the last year or two, I've backed off on my algorithm and when in doubt, I usually go a little softer than I'd like, because I know even that will be pretty sharp. It sounds as if you need to do the opposite and get just a little more aggressive with your sharpening. Rather than get rejections, post some samples here and let folks give you some opinions. That's my suggestion.

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
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