The vast majority of photographic images benefit from sharpening. Before you decide how and when to sharpen images, you need to decide why you’re sharpening them. The goal is to enhance detail rendition without producing distracting visual artifacts. You’ll find many conflicting philosophies and their accompanying strategies for sharpening images. The seemingly conflicting advice can be hard to reconcile.
Should you sharpen once or multiple times? Should you sharpen differently for different subjects? Should you sharpen differently for different sizes? Should you sharpen differently for different presentation materials or supplies? Should you view your files at 100% or 50% screen magnification?
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The people at Pixel Genius (Martin Evening, the late Bruce Fraser, Mac Holbert, Andrew Rodney, Seth Resnick and Jeff Schewe) produce terrific production tools for use within Photoshop – PhotoKit, Photo Kit Color, and Photo Kit Sharpener.
PhotoKit automates a variety of tasks including color correction, color to black and white conversion, toning, and basic sharpening. PhotoKit Sharpener automates some of the most sophisticated sharpening routines ever devised. They’re so sophisticated they were licensed and modified for Adobe’s Lightroom.