:confused: Too much clarity

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by Crdome, May 10, 2013.

  1. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    I've recently started working with RAW files in PhotoShop CS6. Frequently I push the Clarity slider to appx +24. is this too much?

    Note: These images are not identical. In the 1st I used a perspective crop to square the weight. Also it was processed from a camera JPG. Your comments greatly appreciated.


    Processed from RAW using +24 clarity
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/91846136@N04/8724233045/" title="Weight R227sm by MyCrome, on Flickr">[​IMG]"500" height="407" alt="Weight R227sm"></a>

    Processed from JPG
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/91846136@N04/8725412448/" title="Weight J227 sm by MyCrome, on Flickr">[​IMG]"500" height="396" alt="Weight J227 sm"></a>
  2. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I don't think it's too much for that image which may even stand a bit more.

    You can't pick a value and say "above this is too much". Clarity is in large part a mid-range contrast adjustment and how much an image can stand depends on the lens used and the contrast in the image which depends on the light falling on your subject and its contours and colours amongst other things. Sometimes you won't want to use as much as you have here and other times you may end up using a lot more. Forget about numbers, go by look. It really will vary from image to image, sometimes by a lot.
  3. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Real Name:
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    For the subject I think it is perfect. It really brings the weight out of the picture.

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Real Name:
    I think that is pretty normal. Most of my images have +25 clarity, and a few have none or a bit more. Just do what feels right/natural to you.
  5. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    +1 to what David said. On certain shots, where I don't want a lot of mid-range contrast, I will even pull the Clarity slider into minus numbers (LR not PS - I don't know if the numbering system is the same). But mainly I use it to add some mid-range "pop" with plus numbers - I think I have gone to +40 on some "normal" images, and even +100 on "creative" images.

    Get a good large calibrated monitor, then trust your eyes.

    Your image looks fine at +24 to me.
  6. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    How much to use also varies from camera to camera. With my E-M5 I regularly use 25 to 30; with my old E-3 I usually set it between 35 and 38. Very occasionally I set a minus clarity, to enhance a diffused, misty effect.
  7. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Real Name:
    Importing into LR, I have a default +25 clarity preset that 'auto-loads' on all new images. Just my own personal taste.

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. bluzcity

    bluzcity Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    Real Name:
    What they said and I don't usually use clarity on portraits of women or children.
  9. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    I find the second image more compelling.
  10. sac

    sac Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 5, 2012
    Vic, Australia
    Real Name:
    I prefer the first image for the detail in the ball(?), but like the impact of the shadow in the second image. I would probalby increase the shadow in the first image.
  11. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I usually don't go above 20 with clarity (LR) unless I'm processing a picture of a pet, then I really crank it up. It's amazing what clarity does for fur (seriously!).

    But I don't think 25 is over the top.
  12. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    Everyone: Thanks for your comments and suggestions. This is a pretty cool tool, and I find it interesting that a number of you often st your levels at that 25+/-, which I find myself working at.

    David, Caimi, and Baxting thanks for your observations.

    Les and John, I did find working on the negative side can produce very interesting and surreal effects on other subject.

    Brent (bluzcity), I take note of suggestion with portraiture.

    Tom, fur is noted.

    Vin and Steven, I concur with your comments about darker values of the second, which was only an after thought once it noticed the weight wasn't vertical in the first. I will rework the image again attempting the best of both.

    Again, thanks to all.

  13. redalien

    redalien Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    Real Name:
    Everything I could think of has been already said, so I just post a pic with +100 clarity, not much fur on this fellow but still it did wonders for the image to crank clarity up.

    Brutus by Tamas F, on Flickr
  14. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Pretty much in line with what everyone else said. I have a +25 Clarity preset that runs on every single image I import, and very rarely do I decrease it from that, though I often increase it.

    For portraits of women and kids, I tend to leave it at 25 or less, AND I may go in and use an adjustment brush to reduce Clarity further to soften wrinkles and lines.

    For animals and landscapes and other inanimate objects, I will quite often bump Clarity up to 30-42 depending on the light, subject, and look I'm going for. For animals in particular their fur seems to respond really well to clarity to give it a more crisp and detailed look.

    EDIT: Oh, and for really dramatic images I have been known to use +100 Clarity too. As Tamas' example shows sometimes it works well depending on the subject & scene.
  15. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    Tamas -I see what you mean.

  16. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    Thanks Jay - I need to learn making of presets to work with Raw images once I get the feel of possible adjustments. My GH2 is the first camera I've had that produced Raw files which could be read by Adobe products. I upgraded from PhotoShop CS to CS6 quite a leap. I also have Lightroom 4, but will it add to what CS6 produces?


  17. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I understand your dilemma...I too have "tossed & turned" when post-processing for clarity...
  18. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    Thanks Red Tail -As I experiment with the "clarity" feature, I don't get the feeling it causes degradation of the image like using the sharpening tool would, but I wasn't sure. That's why I raised this flag.