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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 15 Aug 2010 (Sunday) 15:10
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Sharpening technique for Bird shots?

 
Pixels
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Aug 15, 2010 15:10 |  #1

I am wondering if there is any special sharpening process that would be especially applicable to bird pics...or is that a dumb question?
I use the sharpening slider in DPP for RAW shots with 7D,
and sometimes Unsharpen Mask in Elements, but would be interested to hear if there are any special tips/tricks, or things to avoid, etc.
I usually shhot at 800ISO with Shutter Priority set.


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canonloader
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Aug 15, 2010 18:14 |  #2

I set Unsharp Mask to 0.45, 0.3, 0.0, then I open each of the RGB channels and see which one is the softest. Then I will run the USM on it a couple times. It works pretty good and yet it's subtle. But I have found, since I got the MkIII, there is very little post processing to do. :)


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jgrussell
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Aug 15, 2010 20:31 |  #3

Be selective in your sharpening just as you'd be selective in your noise reduction. There's usually no reason to remove much noise from the bird itself but lots of reason to use NR on the background, just as an example. The reverse can be true for sharpening. Use layers.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 16, 2010 14:05 |  #4

I find it's different for each shot, but one rule is what Judy already mentioned: do it selectively. And be subtle.


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Pennington
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Aug 16, 2010 14:35 |  #5

Lately I've been duplicating the BG layer, then running the High Pass filter on it, adjusted so the outlines are faintly visible. Set the blending mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to between 30-85%, just by eyeballing it so that it doesn't look overdone. Then I go in with the eraser set to 45% opacity and about 60% hardness and erase any BG/OOF areas. I may do a second pass with the eraser if needed. Seems to look good when I'm done, subject gets sharpened nicely, and the rest stays soft.




  
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Tadaaa
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Aug 16, 2010 20:02 |  #6

Pennington wrote in post #10732515 (external link)
Lately I've been duplicating the BG layer, then running the High Pass filter on it, adjusted so the outlines are faintly visible. Set the blending mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to between 30-85%, just by eyeballing it so that it doesn't look overdone. Then I go in with the eraser set to 45% opacity and about 60% hardness and erase any BG/OOF areas. I may do a second pass with the eraser if needed. Seems to look good when I'm done, subject gets sharpened nicely, and the rest stays soft.

I like this method because it is A. reversible,, and B. I can sharpen my full res image and when I downsize it is still sharp.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 18, 2010 11:52 |  #7

It seems to me that High Pass sharpening with birds works a lot quicker and more accurate when you simply use a mask and paint in the parts you want sharpened. Or better yet, make a selection of the bird first, turn that into a mask and work from there. Using the eraser tool doesn't seem effective for birds, where you often want the whole background soft and OOF to make the bird stand out. Erasing the HP filter would then mean that you have to painstakingly remove all the sharpening around the bird with all its feathers etc. Not very effective I would think. Unless I'm missing something.

Personally I use layers and masks and sharpen with Smart Sharpen. It's quick, accurate and gives excellent results. You have all the control you would want, it's reversible, you can modify the mask etc.


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TooManyShots
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Aug 19, 2010 19:14 |  #8
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I think it really comes down to what lens you use and how sharp the shot original is. Me, just set the raw sharpening to 10. Sometimes maybe 8. That's about it. Of course, I am shooting with a 500L. That helps too. If you shoot with anything less than a 500L, you may need also need to work with fading a shallower DOF. Or maybe even add some blur to the background to smooth out noise as well.


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Pixels
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Aug 20, 2010 03:12 |  #9

TooManyShots wrote in post #10753328 (external link)
I think it really comes down to what lens you use and how sharp the shot original is.

I use 100-400L IS with 7D. I have checked the micro focus adjustments, and no adjustment was required.
I use DPP sharpening slider, usually to about 8 or 9, and get nice results; but they don't "pop" like some results I have seen from others who use this lens.


Canon 24-105 L IS USM,
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Canon 7D, Canon 1.4 TCII
Canon 10-22, Canon 420EX speedlite,

Olympus OMD EM5, 20-40 f2.8 PRO

  
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Sakura1234
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Sep 18, 2010 20:20 |  #10
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jgrussell wrote in post #10727716 (external link)
Be selective in your sharpening just as you'd be selective in your noise reduction. There's usually no reason to remove much noise from the bird itself but lots of reason to use NR on the background, just as an example. The reverse can be true for sharpening. Use layers.

Agreed. I don't believe there's a silver bullet solution for all.

Sharpening for birds will take your sharpening skills in post processing to a new height. :D




  
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scrumpy
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Sep 19, 2010 04:32 |  #11

Found an interesting page here regarding sharpening the so-called 'soft' images produced by high megapixel cameras.

http://www.ophrysphoto​graphy.co.uk …ialmegapixelsha​rpness.htm (external link)


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kampers
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Dec 13, 2010 07:31 |  #12

Thanks for posting that link.

I was at the point of thinking that I made a big mistake buying the T2i as when I viewed all my pictures at 100% or actual pixel size they nearly all looked soft and out of focus. The look much better when I fill the screen with the picture which is a resized photo.

My pictures look really good on the cameras LCD screen.

The article didn't say which software it was using to perform it's magic. I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and am reading a book "Missing Manaual" on this software right now. I am only into the first two chapters and have a long ways to go still. It's slow reading for me too. There is a lot of new information to try to absorb and most of the terms are meaninless to me at this point.

When I read about sharping photos and using layers and unmasking it's like reading a foreign language to me.

scrumpy wrote in post #10935717 (external link)
Found an interesting page here regarding sharpening the so-called 'soft' images produced by high megapixel cameras.

http://www.ophrysphoto​graphy.co.uk …ialmegapixelsha​rpness.htm (external link)


Canon EOS Rebel T2i
55-250 Zoom EF-S
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Sharpening technique for Bird shots?
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