Chapter 19. Controlling Sharpness and Clarity
IN THIS CHAPTER:
148 About Sharpness
149 Sharpen an Image
150 Blur an Image to Remove Noise
151 Blur a Background to Create Depth of Field
152 Create a Spin Effect
153 Soften Selected Details
154 Add Motion to an Image
One very important element of every image is its sharpness. The fuzzier the edges of the subject in your image, the less appealing the image becomes. When referring to sharpness, many people have a tendency to characterize it as a quality of edges, like the sharpness of a blade. In practice, that's inaccurate. The subject of a photograph looks sharp when all of its surface reflects light the way your eyes expect it to. If you sharpen every element of a subject, it will appear two-dimensional, like a frame in a comic book. An image looks sharp when a fuzzy subjectsuch as a catappears fuzzy but not overcompensated. A round object such as the globe of a streetlamp or a marble in a child's hand looks sharp when its deep, translucent interior looks just as hazy as the real thing. Sharpness is not to be confused with accuracy. If every element of a scene looked sharp in a photographperfectly in focus, nothing slightly blurredit wouldn't look real. The proper processing of a digital photograph requires you to be in control of sharpness, so you get to say what's crystal clear and what's background noise.
The sharpness of an image can be affected by several factors, such as low-light conditions, an out-of-focus photograph, camera movement, or even movement of the subject.
In these tasks, you will learn how to use the tools available in Photoshop Elements to control the sharpness of your images. Not only will you see how to sharpen an image, you will also learn how blurring the background can help to increase the overall sharpness of the subject in your image. You will also look at the effects of softening and adding the appearance of motion to your image.