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Split Frequency for Sharpening?

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  #1  
Old 05-06-2011, 09:39 AM
cesdls cesdls is offline
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Split Frequency for Sharpening?

Maybe everyone already knows about this, and I've just missed it. I've been playing with frequency separation and, just for the heck of it, I tried applying my sharpening to the high freq. (detail) layer. It just seemed to make sense since that's where the detail lives.

Anyway, what I found was beautiful, detailed sharpening with virtually no tendency to create halos. I've experimented with Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask and even High Pass sharpening and all seem to work wonderfully. I normally find I need to apply much stronger settings, but I love the effect. It's like lifting a veil without the normal artifacts.

Am I just late to the party, or have others been using this approach? Is this creating other problems in the image that I'm not seeing?
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:53 AM
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Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

You can also try to clip a Brightness and Contrast layer to the High Freq. layer, it has nice results too...
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:21 PM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

one of the best how to's on fs which include and action that has both sharpen and a heal non-destructively on the high pass layer pretty damn sweet...

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=636374
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:13 PM
cesdls cesdls is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

Thanks for the comments, and yes, I already have a couple of versions of the frequency separation actions, including the one mentioned.

My comment was really directed at a use of the high frequency layer that I've never found mentioned. That is to actually sharpen the HF layer. The results are quite a bit different from standard sharpening, or using a contrast curve clipped to the HF layer.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:52 PM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

Its pretty much net the same but to each his own understanding. Its why in the high pass sucks thread it is shown how to sharpen and non destructive edit methods was designed off of the simple principle of every type of different editing of the high pass layer can be done its basically a grey layer set to linear light you can run any thing against it not that you should lol so in the end what ever floats your boat...

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?th...=1#post9585669

Last edited by julianmarsalis; 05-06-2011 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:52 AM
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Bigdawgz Bigdawgz is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

i agree to each and his/her own i think it depends on the pic and lighting. Certain situations might work and then others it could result badly. But it can come in handy in some instances tho. I would not commit to it in every instance tho. Good question tho i have seen a few people ask about this. So the info coming from this thread could help someone down the line. Alot of high end retouchers try to avoid this but it can be beneficial in some projects tho. I think its recognizing the instances its good in tho. Determining when to use and when not too is the tough part but i think that comes from experience.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:48 AM
julianmarsalis julianmarsalis is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdawgz View Post
Alot of high end retouchers try to avoid this
That's precisely why they are high end. You can get the same effect without ever touching the high pass layer with a filter so why would you or should you really non destructive edits allow for the most flexibility and why many high end retouchers san short cuts they want the control of what happens to the pixel.

Last edited by julianmarsalis; 05-08-2011 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:10 PM
ME_wwwing ME_wwwing is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

if the photg has a sharp lens - no sharpening needed.

i like to sharpen only the darks. so i sharpen in the Darken Layer.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:37 PM
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Tony W Tony W is online now
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ME_wwwing View Post
if the photg has a sharp lens - no sharpening needed.

i like to sharpen only the darks. so i sharpen in the Darken Layer.
With digital acquisition I believe we do need sharpening due to the losses incurred during capture either through scanning or the camera. The quality of the lens has IMO very little to do with it as even with the highest quality lens there will be some losses for various reasons and therefore you will not be able to maintain the level of sharpness found in the original scene and consequently you will not be seeing the benefits of a good sharp lens or getting the best out of a mediocre lens

The sharpening may indeed be subtle but nevertheless usually required.

Sharpening for print or web are a different matter and each to his own preferences and tools
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:00 PM
cesdls cesdls is offline
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Re: Split Frequency for Sharpening?

I probably should have clarified that I'm really talking about output sharpening. When I do fine art photography, I print my work 16 X 20 or larger, and output sharpening is the last step in the workflow since it's dependent on the output size and resolution.

I'm finding that this technique is especially useful where there is lots of fine details. My theory is that since the High Freq layer has its own halos, sharpinging that layer tends to reduce the visibility of the halos as the sharpening halo and the HF halos cancel each other. (Adding a contrast adjustment to the HF layer increases the contrast and visibility of the HF layer's edge halos.)

I've done just a few tests, but if you do a difference-mode overlay of a HF sharpened image with a more conventially sharpend (Smart Sharpen or Unsharp Mask), there are subtle differences in the halos, and the HF sharpened appears to have finer detail.

Also, since this is an output step, I typically sharpen a sized copy of the original, never the original. I also apply the sharpening as a smart filter to retain flexibility since the only way to really see the effect is to make a full resolution test print.
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