Chapter 3. Sharpening Strategies

Building a Sharpening Workflow

In the last chapter, we saw that sharpening has to take into account several different and often contradictory demands. In this chapter, I'll offer a means of reconciling these disparate demands, while pointing out the potential pitfalls in doing so.

Having tried for decades to meet all the requirements imposed by image source, image content, and image use in a single sharpening operation, I've reluctantly concluded that it is in fact impossible to do so. Of course, this conclusion flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which dictates that sharpening should be applied in a single pass as either the last or next-to-last step (before conversion to final CMYK in an RGB workflow) in the image reproduction chain. But the conventional wisdom does have some foundation.

  • Back when the drum scanner was king, images were usually scanned directly to CMYK, at reproduction size, with sharpening applied by the scanner. The conventional wisdom workflow tries to replicate this.

  • If downsampling is done after sharpening, the image has to be resharpened, because the haloes get downsampled out of existence.

  • Multiple passes of sharpening tend to ruin images.

    These are all good points that deserve careful consideration, but let's look at the downsides to the conventional wisdom.

Real World(c) Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2(c) Industrial-Strength Production Techniques
Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2
ISBN: 0321449916
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 71
Authors: Bruce Fraser

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