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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Sharpening photos

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Old 08-25-2008, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 31
Sharpening photos

Working with restorations and even with current photos I have found that the photos tend to be blurry if they are aged or if there was underexposure or camera movement. For CS3 it appears there are many plugins for purchase and also recommendation of using USM on the LAB mode. I have not really been able to find anything to focus in the pics.

Please share methods and ideas.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:30 PM
luc0815 luc0815 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2
Re: Sharpening photos

One pretty good tool is the Focus Magic plugin.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:07 PM
bd-in-pdx bd-in-pdx is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 13
Re: Sharpening photos

I discovered the sharpening LAB method here and it works wonders.
Convert your image to LAB
Select the Lightness channel only
Unsharp Mask to your liking
Convert back to RGB (or whatever method you normally use)

For my purposes this has been the most useful and highest quality sharpening technique I've ever used.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:22 AM
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drcscape drcscape is offline
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Re: Sharpening photos

Actually you do not have to switch modes at all for the above technique. Just unsharp mask in RGB (or CMYK). Immidiately afterwards, you need to fade the sharpening (go to edit>fade) in luminousity blending mode at 100%. This creates the same result as sharpening the Lightness channel in LAB mode.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:31 AM
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Verywierd Verywierd is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 252
Re: Sharpening photos

Please note that images that are really out of focus or seriously blurred due to movement of the camera or subject (as opposed to not quite sharp), cannot be fixed by any software or technique, short of painting in the details by hand or finding a suitable replacement in another photo and cutting and pasting. Do not spend money on sharpening software expecting miracles. You will be disappointed. Just do a search for "blur" in this forum. Most of the retouch results look more like oil paintings than photographs.

All the usual sharpening techinques available in Photoshop or any other image editor will also increase the "noise" in the image as well as sharpen the edges. By the time you get any kind of sharpness out of a very blurred image, the noise will be so great that your picture will look like it is made up of coloured sand.

One of the most powerful techinques for recovering a truly blurred image is deconvolution. Here is a freeware application that does deconvolution. Just try it and you will find out how difficult it is to get any kind of useful result.

Look for - Image Analyzer 1.29

I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to sharpen an image, just realise the limitations of your tools before you start.
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