Putting the Tools to Work






Putting the Tools to Work

Building a Sharpening Workflow

In the last chapter, I covered a large body of sharpening and noise reduction techniques. In this chapter, I'll show you how to put the techniques together to make a complete sharpening workflow. The primary goal of the sharpening workflow is, of course, optimally sharpened images, but other benefits accrue too.

  • Images that have been optimized for source and content become "use-neutral" master images that can easily be resampled and sharpened for multiple outputs.

  • Much of the workflow can be automated (though creative localized sharpening cannot). An automated sharpening workflow can help you make hundreds of images good, so that you can reserve the manual work for the smaller number that need to be made great.

Sharpening on layers does, however, create very large files, so I'll also discuss when to apply sharpening layers in the workflow, and when it's safe to flatten them. Last but not least, I'll show you how to use Photoshop's actions to automate as much or as little of the sharpening process as you wish. In these days of digital capture, we have to process a great deal more data than we did when film was king, and actions are a key survival strategy if we want to avoid drowning in data!



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