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Using a wide-radius Unsharp Mask

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Local Contrast Enhancement for Perceived Sharpness

One of the simplest and most effective tools for making a low contrast image into one with more impact is to increase local contrast. That presumes you have already made appropriate black-point and white-point adjustments.

Using a wide-radius for sharpening, some images will come alive with more depth and “punch”.

A amount of 10% is a good starting point; adjust to taste. In general, an amount of 5-10% adds some appeal while remaining reasonably subtle. Amount greater than 10% can be appropriate for very low contrast images, but a black-point and white-point adjustments might be more appropriate for starters.

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Variants Default, +USM, +USM and Smart Sharpen available in full article

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