Another Wife's photo + RAW SHARPENING QUESTIONS, please

Started Jan 5, 2011 | Discussions thread
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akjos
akjos Veteran Member • Posts: 4,595
Another Wife's photo + RAW SHARPENING QUESTIONS, please

OK guys. After being flamed a LOT especially here in D700 forum, with my last couple attempts of extracting my wife from background and 2 horrible looking edits and using overall not suitable photo for the purpose I eased off my meds ( seriously , I've been sick with almost a pneumonia since dec 23 ) and at least went out to my little balcony at least ( first time in 8 days) and reshot my wifes photo.

I haven't shot in few months until last few days ( over 1/2 year) nor I played with photoshop, so my judgment combined with heavier doses of different medications was impaired a lot I guess

I think I happens to everyone. More or less often. You do something ,think it looks cool and then you look at your work later and say wtf was I thinking....
So I apologize and please bare with me.

Anyway I came up with this, It is not much of a portrait , because I only took few shots of exactly same pose .

It was A TEST of RAW vs JPG SHARPNESS.

Ever since I started shooting with RAW about 1.5 years ago with my d300, I always struggled with file sharpness / sharpening.

I shot 2 sets, one at f5 and one 2.8 with high enough shutter speed to eliminate any handshake. As usual, jpg set to 5 or 7 in camera ,and that's with 24-70,( which is sharp ,but not THAT sharp ) was WAY MORE pleasing then RAW file which looks like shot with plastic lens almost in comparison.

SO I ASK, can someone PLEASE give me SPECIFIC tutorial, how to sharpen raw photos and to output? I read a lot last couple days, and a lot of methods are way too complicated, There HAS to be simplier way.
I saw one cool tutorial and it somewhat works but still no cigar....
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/unsharp-mask.htm

I tried unsharp mask with 20 % to 50 -60 rad. to knock off some haze first, and then in separate layer use unsharp mask or smart sharpen with 150-200% 0.3- 0.7 pix ( dep . on file size) and treshold 0-5 dep. on content, and blend that using luminosity blend mode. Works pretty good, but again, works much better on already semi- sharp jpg rather then on RAW. When I add more sharpening it starts to look too artificial.

There was also a lot of controversy in different articles or video tutorials with sharpening ONLY as a last step, vs PRE sharpening raw unsharpened file ALSO before other editing .
I see plenty of TACK sharp photos here, so I wonder HOW.
Thank for all the help.
the original jpg sharpness at 5 in camera
http://www.pbase.com/jps1979/image/131616651/large ( original size below)

here is the edit (from jpg). Nothing extra, I'm trying to learn, that's why I don;t mind some extra harsh comments here and there. So come on and flame away...

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