Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Questions
blogan Contributing Member • Posts: 683
Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

I just read a post where the poster suggested to the OP to stop sharpening the sky. Is this possible to not sharpen the sky and sharpen other areas of the image? Or was he just taking about images with a lot of sky in them.

I'm using aperture by the way.

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goanna Contributing Member • Posts: 638
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

I don't use apeture but I am sure it  is possible.

It is certainly very easy in LR4 and I could not imagine that it would not be very different for Aperture.

To not be able to exclude sharpening for the sky would be a major reason not to use the software.  For me it would be a pre-requisite for any photograph processing software.  And I understand that Aperture is a good product so if it omits the ability to exclude sharpening of the sky I would be very surprised.

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Sunshine_boy
Sunshine_boy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,823
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?
1

blogan wrote:

I just read a post where the poster suggested to the OP to stop sharpening the sky. Is this possible to not sharpen the sky and sharpen other areas of the image? Or was he just taking about images with a lot of sky in them.

I'm using aperture by the way.

To be able to sharpen certain areas only, you need to have layers and layer masks. I don't know if Aperture does. PS does and it's quite easy. Copy the original layer to a new layer, sharpen the new layer and then use a totally black mask over it. Paint with white on the mask, with a variety of opacities to get the required degree of sharpening over different areas from no sharpening (black on mask) to full sharpening (100% white opacity on the mask).

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gwlaw99 Senior Member • Posts: 1,113
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

Sunshine_boy wrote:

blogan wrote:

I just read a post where the poster suggested to the OP to stop sharpening the sky. Is this possible to not sharpen the sky and sharpen other areas of the image? Or was he just taking about images with a lot of sky in them.

I'm using aperture by the way.

To be able to sharpen certain areas only, you need to have layers and layer masks. I don't know if Aperture does. PS does and it's quite easy. Copy the original layer to a new layer, sharpen the new layer and then use a totally black mask over it. Paint with white on the mask, with a variety of opacities to get the required degree of sharpening over different areas from no sharpening (black on mask) to full sharpening (100% white opacity on the mask).

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You can also use adjustment brushes in Lightroom or ACR.  I don't think aperture has them

benross Contributing Member • Posts: 996
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?
1

blogan wrote:

I just read a post where the poster suggested to the OP to stop sharpening the sky. Is this possible to not sharpen the sky and sharpen other areas of the image? Or was he just taking about images with a lot of sky in them.

I'm using aperture by the way.

In Aperture, click on the brush icon on the tool bar below the main viewer window. From the drop-down you can choose  many adjustment functions and 'Sharpen' is one of them. Once selected you have floating window HUD that gives you more control on how you want to apply your sharpen brush, its size and its strength. It also has an eraser and 'feathering' option. You can also choose to have a colour overlay that shows where exactly you have brushed on the image.

First you choose certain strength for your brush, and when you finished, the adjustment is applied with that strength.Fine tuning that strength will be possible with the slider it leaves behind in Aperture Adjustment palette. From that Sharpen slider in Inspector Adjustments palette, you can also revive the sharpening brush, with its floating brush HUD and rework on the image.

OP blogan Contributing Member • Posts: 683
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

Thank you for that. I'll give it a try.

goanna Contributing Member • Posts: 638
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

Sunshine_boy wrote:

blogan wrote:

I just read a post where the poster suggested to the OP to stop sharpening the sky. Is this possible to not sharpen the sky and sharpen other areas of the image? Or was he just taking about images with a lot of sky in them.

I'm using aperture by the way.

To be able to sharpen certain areas only, you need to have layers and layer masks.

You do not have to have layers.

In LR in the Developmment module under sharpening, hold "ALT" key while adjusting the mask slider and presto. Sky instantly eliminated from sharpening much more quickly than layers in PS/PSP5X or adjustment brush in LR/ACR.

I don't know if Aperture does. PS does and it's quite easy. Copy the original layer to a new layer, sharpen the new layer and then use a totally black mask over it. Paint with white on the mask, with a variety of opacities to get the required degree of sharpening over different areas from no sharpening (black on mask) to full sharpening (100% white opacity on the mask).

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Elimelech Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

In Photoshop you can sharpen areas that are only within the selected boundaries

MikeFromMesa Senior Member • Posts: 2,849
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

goanna wrote:

In LR in the Developmment module under sharpening, hold "ALT" key while adjusting the mask slider and presto. Sky instantly eliminated from sharpening much more quickly than layers in PS/PSP5X or adjustment brush in LR/ACR.

Forgive my ignorance but what, exactly, is the "mask slider" in LR4? Or are you referring to the sharpness slider under the masking controls?

I have been using LR for a year or more (LR3 and then LR4) and I never knew that it was possible for sharpen only part of an image without selecting part of the image and then using the masking controls so this is of great interest to me.

goanna Contributing Member • Posts: 638
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

Hi Mike

Under the detail section when in the develop module there are three sections

1 X Sharpening

2 x Noise (Luminosity and Colour)

Hope I got that right, I am about 17 hrs by plane away from my PC and doing this on Android Tablet so I hope I remember the details.  As it is all automatic for me I may have forgotten the exact terminology.

So in the Sharpening section there are 4 sliders.

1 Amount

2 Radius

3 Detail

4 Masking.

If you hold down the "ALT" key while sliding the Masking slider you will see what parts of your photo are going to be sharpened.

The ALT key also works for the radius slider to help you decide the correct radius.

From memory it does not work for the detail slider.

Try it. It is my second favourite adjustment in LR after the Clarity slider.

This facility has been available since LR3 from memory.

Cheers

Graham

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goanna Contributing Member • Posts: 638
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

By the way it will only be available if old photos are update to >2011 Process

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,868
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

blogan wrote:

I just read a post where the poster suggested to the OP to stop sharpening the sky. Is this possible to not sharpen the sky and sharpen other areas of the image? Or was he just taking about images with a lot of sky in them.

I'm using aperture by the way.

Depends on software you are using.  In Photoshop, you simply select the area (with a selection tool) and then sharpen, using the sharpening technique use.  I use High Pass Sharpening.

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MikeFromMesa Senior Member • Posts: 2,849
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

Thank you. I have tried that and it works pretty much exactly as you said.

If I ever knew this I had forgotten it so I am grateful for your detailed post.

MikeFromMesa Senior Member • Posts: 2,849
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

goanna wrote:

By the way it will only be available if old photos are update to >2011 Process

I  think you probably mean the 2012 Process.

goanna Contributing Member • Posts: 638
Re: Is it possible to sharpen just certain areas of an image?

Correct Mike

A little bit of senility setting in, I am an old codger, there was not a 2011 process was there?

I have a feeling though that it worked in LR3. So correct me if I am wrong, does that make it process 2010 perhaps.

I am in the UAE at the moment touring light with just my Android Tablet and do not have access to LR to check the detail.

Cheers

Graham

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