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Excessive Sharpening

A really rough ride happens when your tires are low, unbalanced, or flat! You have to maintain the proper air pressure level (neither too much, nor too little) in all four tires to avoid this problem. Like posterization, excessive sharpening creates a rough ride in your photo. In fact, when you look at the jagged textures and extreme color transitions in the examples below, you will agree that it is a really rough ride!

Many photographers use their editing program´s sharpen/focus mask when they want a better resolution in their image. These filters make an image looked more focused by “forcing” or contrasting the transitions between colors. That´s why we recommend that you sharpen your images in the camera, not afterwards in editing software. Not every image needs to have the same level of focus as a printed image, which is why it’s better to fine tune the focus for the specific use needed (serigraphy, offset, etc.) rather than apply a heavy “cover-all” filter. It’s important to be very careful with filters, because once they have been applied and saved, there is no going back. In extreme cases, they can damage the definition or texture of an image.

Here is an example of excessive sharpening:

Example. The image below illustrates an incorrect use of the sharpen mask. The filter applied has only served to create forced “jumps” in the transitions between highlight and shadow areas. The result is an edgy, jagged texture, especially visible in the animal’s hair.
If you have any doubts, or need further information, please contact
Eva Cascales.

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