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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

There must be a better way...

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  #1  
Old 10-18-2009, 08:50 PM
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skydog skydog is offline
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There must be a better way...

Any suggestions on avoiding or retouching halos? I have a decent camera and good glass, but when I sharpen...even a little I see those dreadful halos. I typically used layer>desaturate>a little highpass filer and overlay to sharpen which does a good job, but I hate the halos. Typically I shot low ISO as well so I have little nose. I have cloned them out, but that really takes time. I can post a pic if you wish, but can't do so until Friday - out of town the rest of the week (still will be checking in, but no posts, and now access to webinars like Wed!..)
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:22 PM
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Re: There must be a better way...

Skydog, with HP sharpening you have no control over the amount of sharpening or the threshold. You would be much better off using Filter>Unsharp Mask and immediately after hitting the OK button, go Edit>Fade Unsharp Mask and just change the Blend Mode to Luminosity. That will prevent the halos and you will have a lot more control over what you sharpen and to what degree you sharpen it.
Regards, Murray
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:31 PM
bakerser bakerser is offline
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Re: There must be a better way...

Smart Sharpen in Lens Blur correction mode.

Or just use lower radii.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:57 PM
lokki lokki is offline
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Re: There must be a better way...

I don't think it's fair to say there is no control over the amount of sharpening or threshold with high pass... I've used it for years, along with other sharpening techniques. One thing that can be done about halos is to reduce the opacity of the HP layer a bit, then go into the Blend If... dialog and reduce the white sliders (split them by holding the Alt/Opt key to grade the amount of blending).

You can also target specific channels using the HP method along with the Blend If sliders; just choose the channel you want to affect. Note that this may exaggerate chroma noise, but depending on your output intent, this may not matter.

Another trick is to try using Hard or Soft Light blending, or use the results of the HP without a blend mode as an alpha channel for targeted sharpening.

Of course, having said all of this, I really do prefer Smart Sharpen (or better - do it in CR for general stuff, then output-specific sharpening in PS).
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:33 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Re: There must be a better way...

I use smart sharpen, the amount set to around 50, radius set small so I don't get the noticeable halos (often .5 to 1.0). I have worked with high pass, but smart sharpen just seems to work fine for me. So my normal workflow is to set the amount around 50 and then move the radius to taste.

The only time I use a high radius is when an image is really soft and I want to give the illusion of being a little sharper, so then it is set the radius first to visually match the width of the 'blur', and then set the amount to taste - that it is usually in combination with masks/blending modes etc....

When I used the high pass filter technique I always put the high pass layer in overlay mode before I ran the high pass filter so I could see the sharpening as I moved the slider.

I am sure you get this, but for other readers, always judge true sharpness by the detail you see, not the appearance of sharpness due to local contrast ... how easily can you count the eye lashes? kind of questions need to be asked when judging image sharpness. Good camera and decent glass is a tricky thing / doesn't guarantee anything, if a lens or image is ever so slightly soft for ANY reason, then digital will amplify that loss of detail because of the RGB sensors being in an array and the camera's image processor having to 'put' the image back together (this will magnify softness because some of the camera's guesses will be off), the only way you can rule out that variable is from testing ... I have a Nikor 50mm f1.4, I shot a theater job - the images were soft, then I tested and I was amazed at how soft it got in a hurry wide open, 2.0 was reasonably sharp and anything more open is kind of disgusting ... lenses can go soft at the smaller openings also and then the variables of camera movement and sensor size...
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:14 AM
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amica999 amica999 is offline
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Re: There must be a better way...

I've picked up a tip from Olaf Giermann: Dealing with light halos: dup layer and blend darken, with dark once, blend lighten...
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:23 AM
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gamedonechanged gamedonechanged is offline
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Re: There must be a better way...

Would someone be able to post up an example of what one of these halos looks like?

Thanks
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:39 AM
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Re: There must be a better way...

Here is an example...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg halo.jpg (70.9 KB, 101 views)
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:42 AM
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Re: There must be a better way...

Thanks for the ideas. The method I have been using I picked up from another source thinking it was a good one. Since then I stopped fooling around with the others until I realized how much distortion I was getting when I zoomed into the photo.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:38 AM
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Re: There must be a better way...

Lokki, what you refer to as control is unidirectional. By that I mean you can back off your HP sharpening from what you did to zero but you still have no control over the amount of sharpening - only what you sharpen (via the Radius). OK, I really should have used the term "very limited" control because you can use other Contrast Blend modes like Linear Light or Soft Light instead of Overlay. But HP is very limited. For example HP with a Radius of 5 px set to Overlay gives you the exact same result as USM at 5px, Amount=100, Threshold=0. But with USM you have a huge range available to you with the Amount and Threshold sliders.
Smart Sharpen offers you even more flexibility and control than USM.
Finally, High Pass filter is very inaccurate. If you are looking for an interesting diversion and an equivalent but more accurate alternative to HP, check out the following link:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?th...=439098&page=1
Regards, Murray
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