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Working with Pressure Sensitive Tablets
Monday May 3, 2004
by Katrin Eismann

Katrin Eismann outlines the use of pressure sensitive tablets in image processing.

Book Review: Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging(Updated)
Monday April 26, 2004
by IR Staff

IR Staff reviews Peter K. Burian's latest book, "Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging."

Digital Workflow for RAW Processing: Part IV - Batch
Thursday April 1, 2004
by Jeff Schewe

The fourth in a five part series, Jeff demonstrates the application of settings from one image to a series of images within Photoshop.

PDF Presentations
Thursday March 11, 2004
by John Paul Caponigro

John Paul Caponigro discusses an under-used feature of Photoshop. Allowing you to use the automate function to create universally viewable PDF slideshows!

Black and White Conversion
Monday March 8, 2004
by John Paul Caponigro

A outline of Black and White conversions as well as a free Photoshop Action.

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Software > Inside Photoshop > Photokit Sharpener Observations and Comments

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AuthorSubject: Photokit Sharpener Observations and Comments   [Go to Bottom of Page]
John Hollenberg
Posted on Wed Sep 3, 2003 9:02 PM

I have installed the demo for Photokit Sharpener and have been playing with it
for the last couple of hours. My initial impressions are very positive. Software appears to be very well thought out, lots of options to experiment and play with.
Up until now I have been using Bill Atkinson's sharpening method, so I wanted to compare Photokit Sharpener against my current routine to see if there was any improvement.

This was a very informal comparison, totally lacking in methodology. I selected
half a dozen of my favorite landscape images (4 were scans of 35 mm slides with Nikon Coolscan 4000, 2 were from RAW files from Canon 10D converted with Capture One LE). These images generally contained a lot of high frequency detail. I made a duplicate of each in Photoshop and applied the Bill Atkinson Method (BAM) to one. The other was processed with Photokit Sharpener (PS) using Narrow Edge Capture Sharpening (35 mm positive or Digital Medium Resolution). Images were then resized to approximately 12X18 (or 12X16, etc. depending on aspect ratio of original) without resampling. Capture sharpening for inkjet was done with 180 dpi for digital images and 300 dpi for slide scans, since that was the file resolution. I didn't bother to print the images (lack of methodology!) because I just wanted a rough comparison with a known standard. Images were aligned in Photoshop so I could Alt-Tab between them to compare differences.


Five of the six images were better with PS. The main differences I saw were:

1) An increase in very fine edge detail (feature sizes approx 5-8 pixels) - it was
like the images were a tad out of focus with BAM and then "popped" into focus
with PS
2) Problems with halos sometimes present for BAM, didn't see them for PS
3) One photo was better with BAM compared to default for PS. It may have been
a personal preference, it may be that I can duplicate the results of BAM in
PS with a bit more experimentation on this one photo. Also note that for this
one photo (a portion of a Cattleya orchid shot with 100 mm macro lens at life
size with Canon 10D) I may have been preferring an edge artifact.

I have one minor suggestion. I had to look around for the PDF manual. Would have been nice if the installer had offered to put a shortcut to it on my windows desktop, or somewhere in the start menu (I couldn't find it there).

Now for a couple of questions about workflow. The one issue I saw was that using the default method for capture and output sharpening there was a significant increase in noise (sharpened grain?) in areas without detail (e.g., clear blue sky).
I didn't print to make sure it showed up on the print, but being sensitive to noise in the sky and based on previous experience I believe that it will.
What is the best way to deal with this? Possiblities include:

1) Use Neat Image. Where in the workflow would you suggest applying this? Before
Capture Sharpening?
2) Mask off the sky from the Capture Sharpening (but probably won't help much as
most of the noise increase came with sharpening for output)
3) Use a smoothing brush on the sky before doing output sharpening
4) Mask off the sky from the Output Sharpening. Manual says NOT to do it at this
stage, but I am unclear why.

Thanks for any input.


... this thread contains expert advice from Andrew Rodney, Jeff Schewe, Bruce Fraser, Anthony Cardinale and Martin Evening.

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