Monthly Archives: May 2013

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The weather at the bottom was so cloudy, we nearly didn’t bother going up.
Then, on the way up, it started snowing so heavily that most vehicles gave up and turned around.
But we kept going, and eventually we were rewarded with views like this.

I have always been in awe of Yosemite National Park, ever since I saw Ansel Adams’ amazing photographs.

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Sharpening – in camera, in ACR or in Photoshop? (plus the benefit of RAW)

For a while now, I have been unhappy with the artifacts created by the sharpening algorithm in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), so I thought I should do a comparison of the different places where sharpening can be done.

1. If you shoot JPG in-camera (or RAW+JPG), then some sharpening is applied in the JPG by the camera’s processor.

2. If you shoot RAW, then when you first open the image in Adobe’s ACR, there is a tab which allows you to apply sharpening.

3. Once opened in Photoshop, there are several Filters available for sharpening. My normal choice is Unsharp Mask.

To see the results of each, I set my camera to shoot both RAW and JPG at the same time (normally I only shoot RAW).

Sidenote: On this shot, one of the obvious benefits of shooting RAW is apparent: the sky in the JPG is totally blown out and cannot be recovered. However, with the RAW image, a quick tweak of the Highlights slider and a very subtle gradient and the clouds are rescued.

Firstly, the whole image, downsized to 1296 pixels wide (25% of the original).

a) In-camera

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b) ACR Sharpening

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c) Photoshop’s Unsharp Mask

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And now for 100% centre crops to see any artifacts.

a) In-camera

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b) ACR Sharpening

_MG_4811-ACR-Sharpening-CENTRE

c) Photoshop’s Unsharp Mask

_MG_4811-PS-UnsharpMask-CENTRE

What do you think?