Lightroom 5 Sharpening

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by bigal1000, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. bigal1000

    bigal1000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 10, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Looking for help from Lightroom users here, in regards to sharpening raw files from my new EM5 old model. How do you folks go about it,thanks for any help you can send my way.
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    One of the best $25 photographic investments I ever made was with this guy: for his LR3 training video series.

    His LR3 video on sharpening was excellent, explaining how to tune all the parameters. IIRC it ran about 1/2 hour. I am sure his current product will be equally good.

    I have no connection to him other than being a very satisfied customer.
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  3. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    OK, the quickest way to start is the 2 presets that LR ships with, Sharpen Faces and Sharpen Scenic. Use the faces preset for scenes without lots of fine detail like faces but also for scenes where you don't want to have the viewer "focus" on find detail. I'll often start with the faces preset for landscape type scenes where what I'm really interested in is clouds rather than detail in the landscape. Use the scenic preset for scenes of various sorts where you want fine detail to be precise. You can get by with those 2 presets and simply changing the amounts of sharpening and adjusting the masking. Holding down the Option key on a Mac converts your image to a monochrome image which helps show the effects of the Amount and Masking slider more effectively while you're adjusting them and zoom the image to 1:1 while you're adjusting sharpening.

    That's the very basic way of doing it. It's hard to get bad results that way but you'll never get the best. It's a very good, simple, starting point.

    The resources I found which really helped me start to get a handle on sharpening all cost money. They were 2 books, Martin Evening's "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book" which comes out in an updated version for each new version of Lightroom and Jeff Schewe's "The Digital Negative", plus the lesson on sharpening in the Luminous Landscape set of training videos for Lightroom conducted by Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe. Those are all very good guides that cover the whole processing range for Lightroom plus Evening's book and the Luminous Landscape videos cover everything else in Lightroom as well. Some people learn better from video and some from reading. I'd rather start with reading and the Evening book would be my choice if I had to pick only one of those 3 guides. You might learn differently to me.

    From there it really becomes a matter of experience and developing your own working style. I started out just doing sharpening in the Detail panel and leaving it at that, one sharpening adjustment for the whole image. These days I set some basic settings in the Detail Panel and then use local adjustments (gradient and radial filters and the adjustment brush) to adjust the amount of sharpening and also clarity in different parts of the image so, for example, I will apply less sharpening to sky and clouds than I will to the landscape portion of an image, or more to the main subject and less to the background. You can go for a simple, basic approach or make it as complex as you like. It's up to you. I'd start with the 2 presets and get a feel for what they do, then spend some time learning what the various sliders do while working with one of the many books or video tutorials available. After that start looking at the effect of using the sharpening controls in the local adjustment tools. That's the learning approach I'd recommend.
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  4. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Real Name:
    I start off with:
    Amount = 30-35
    Radius = 0.8
    Detail = 25
    Masking = 40

    and work with it from there. This usually leaves the OOF areas alone which look terrible sharpened.
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