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Thread: Sharpening for the web for MF

  1. #1
    Shelby Lewis
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    Unhappy Sharpening for the web for MF

    It's killing me... and I can't seem to find a good workflow.

    Do you all capture sharpen, then downsize... then sharpen again. No sharpening? No capture sharpening, but final sharpening? Sharpen after processing for color/density?

    Regardless of platform, I'd be interested in your thoughts about web processing. Obviously my images need less sharpening than before (although I can't stop myself from trying )... but I'm having trouble getting sharp but still natural-looking images at web size.

    Print? Beautiful. Web-sized... not so.

    Thanks!
    Shelby

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    ... Do you all capture sharpen, then downsize... then sharpen again. No sharpening? No capture sharpening, but final sharpening? Sharpen after processing for color/density?

    Regardless of platform, I'd be interested in your thoughts about web processing. Obviously my images need less sharpening than before (although I can't stop myself from trying... but I'm having trouble getting sharp but still natural-looking images at web size.
    ...
    No matter what the original pixel size or format, output sharpening is the third phase of sharpening required for digital images and must be performed per the output resolution and intended display device. This is per the digital sharpening schema articulated by Schewe, Fraser et al in "Real World Image Sharpening ...", which I digested into a quick summary:
    http://www.gdgphoto.com/articles/ click on #05.

    So the basics are

    - Input or capture sharpening ... depends on the camera/format/antialiasing filter, etc. ... from zero to whatever is needed for your particular camera configuration.

    - Creative sharpening ... depends on the scene and your intent ... from none to whatever suits the aesthetic need.

    - Output sharpening ... depends on the output product's pixel resolution and intended target device ... always some needed since output target devices and pixel resolutions differ widely.

  3. #3
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Thanks Godfrey,

    I understand the whole rationale behind sharpening workflows... and have been following similar routines over the years as I ran my photo biz... but different cameras and formats respond differently to sharpening specifics. ie, parameters when using smart sharpen, whether or not you use clarity in LR, unsharp mask settings, and so forth.

    What I'm finding is that my workflow hasn't really changed much as to when I sharpen, but the internal parameters are much more finicky. A canon 5dII and sony a900 could be sharpened similarly but generally with only minor adjustments to the level of sharpening applied... but my aptus/mammy combo doesn't like similar settings, even if they are backed off to almost nil.

    I quickly lose what I characterize as that "smooth-sharp" appearance to the images.

    On my 35mm images (especially on output for web) I tend to use a high "amount" level, with a very small "radius" number and only as much threshold as was needed. This doesn't seem to be working so well now, even if backed off to almost nil. I'll keep experimenting!

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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    You'll have to play a little bit, but my guess is if you are sharpening your Aptus like your Canon, you are probably over capture sharpening the files and then output sharpening makes them crispy. FWIW, I think the shots you have posted look perfect.

    Since it sounds like you are doing the bulk of your work in photoshop, try down sizing with bicubic instead of bicubic sharper.

    I always have been a big fan of Photkit Sharpener, partly for the control it offers.

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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    last step before saving for web is what i use later.
    Either "smart sharpen" if i am lazy or Nik's sharpener pro, if i am not. Have to dial it around 18-28 percent. If you got too many wee details (like landscape) - you have to make more magic dances..

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    I've found this web action setup by Jack is great for downsizing my p65+ files ... better than any workflow I've come up with.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=398

    The key is to get your file to an exact multiple of your final size in your first step, then downrez at 50% increments until you get there. A couple of the steps have a slight sharpening. I've made a couple of versions to get to final sizes different than the defaults for my Photoshelter previews, facebook, etc.
    wayne
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Yes support GetDpi with the web actions . That is all I use myself. Contact Jack

    All I do is a little capture sharpening and than run the actions . Honestly not bragging but my files look awesome on the web. Just the right amount
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  8. #8
    Member Frits's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Ah, glad I read this - PayPal $ 20 sent.
    Frits

  9. #9
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Thanks everyone... I just sent some bucks to jack for the resize action. I look forward to giving it a shot!

  10. #10
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Seriously these are really nice actions and in different sizes already setup for you. This site can use all the donations it can get like this. Nice way to help GetDPI
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  11. #11
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    I've already received these from Jack (QUICK!!! )... and given them a try. They are DEFINITELY worth it. Output is sharp, without losing the smoothness I associate with greater resolution and tonal width that is offered by these backs.

    Heartily Recommended

    (plus we all know GetDPI is a class act... and the purchase of these goes to support the site)

    A quick example (hopefully a good one?)... and I did add a touch of output sharpening to this after running the action which might have pushed a tad too much, but this looks more natural (especially around the eyes) than some other images I've posted today:



    Thanks Jack/Guy!
    Shelby

  12. #12
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    I have sent $20 too - very few MF files look really good at web res - and next time I see one I will ask how they did it.

    The picture above looks OK... and too much rez/contrast/sharpening would not be good for a child portrait - Guy's landscapes look OK.

    I always thought that downrezing *4, 9 or 16 would give the best results as you are downsampling without re-sampling.

    With an ff 35mm camera you have to downrez *9 to eliminate the AA blur, and *4 to eliminate the Bayer interpolation blur, so you need a 36Mpx file to downrez to 1Mppx for and ideal web file?

  13. #13
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Little trick here is a 900 x1200 which the site actually reduced it too but the original was done at 3000 pixels. Go here see the preview than double click that to get to 3000. Now this was with capture sharpening reduced clarity on the image in C1

    http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/show...hp?i=13052&c=9

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Here is another done the same way.. Here is the link to expand to 3000 pixels wide

    http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/show...hp?i=11823&c=9

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  15. #15
    Member Frits's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    I had my own workflow in PS CS, but I can appreciate the approach in Jack's action.
    Here is one I did with Jack's action of a quick snap of my (much!) better half with her Caribbean tan .
    I know: lousy light / background, one of those that takes all of 2 minutes without any preparation .

    Frits

  16. #16
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    My goal in creating the actions was to maintain fine detail and not kill smoothness at the same time -- not an easy task, especially when downrezzing MF files or files from cameras with no AA filter. Main trick is to get your native sized file looking the way you want it before running the action. Only other nit is I include a less than 20 MP original file set and an over 20 MP original set -- and that's a bit arbitrary, so if you have an 18 or 22 MP camera you want to try both sets and go with whichever you prefer.

    Thanks again to all who purchase these, the small bit of revenue does really help us maintain the site!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  17. #17
    Member Frits's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Only other nit is I include a less than 20 MP original file set and an over 20 MP original set -- and that's a bit arbitrary, so if you have an 18 or 22 MP camera you want to try both sets and go with whichever you prefer.
    Ah, interesting comment here Jack.
    So for your action's 20 MP reference: is it 20MP as the MP spec of the back is concerned or is it the MB's of the original TIFF?
    Point in case: I have a Phase One H P25+. It is a 22 MP back, which produces a final 8 bit TIFF of about 65 MB (after initial processing of the 16 bit file of some 135 MB).
    Last edited by Frits; 22nd March 2011 at 07:54.
    Frits

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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    I like Godfrey's sharpening summary: input > creative > output, in three stages. Whether you do your input sharpening as part of your RAW workflow or through photoshop (or a plugin), it's still a necessary step in order to properly evaluate and edit your photos.

    When compared with film, capture sharpening for digital at modest ISO settings has a whole lot less variables: sharpen to the point where detail is resolved, but stop before any effect of sharpening is obvious. Oversharpened edges don't reduce well; it's better to err on the side of modesty rather than overdoing it. Another thing that I think a lot of people miss is that it's crucial to view at 100% magnification when you're sharpening.

    On output for the web, I nearly always fall back on high pass sharpening or USM at small radius (0.2 or 0.3), with the former technique worth the extra steps on larger images where selective sharpening and extra precision is needed, and the latter technique quick, easy, and reliable for everything else.
    Last edited by matthewpereira; 22nd March 2011 at 11:29.

  19. #19
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Frits View Post
    Ah, interesting comment here Jack.
    So for your action's 20 MP reference: is it 20MP as the MP spec of the back is concerned or is it the MB's of the original TIFF?
    Point in case: I have a Phase One H P25+. It is a 22 MP back, which produces a final 8 bit TIFF of about 65 MB (after initial processing of the 16 bit file of some 135 MB).
    Number of pixels on the native sensor. So with your 22MP back, you may want to experiment with both sets and choose the one that renders best for you. Also, because of the way CS deals with portrait versus landscape sizes and how I have to accommodate that inside the action, you may find one works generally best portrait and the other is better for landscape if your sensor is close to that 20MP change point.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  20. #20
    Member Frits's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for the web for MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Number of pixels on the native sensor. So with your 22MP back, you may want to experiment with both sets and choose the one that renders best for you. Also, because of the way CS deals with portrait versus landscape sizes and how i have to correct for that, you may find one works best portrait and the other for landscape if your sensor is close to that 20MP change point.
    Thanks for the confirmation Jack.
    Frits

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