All the truth in the details, or how to make the picture clear

All amateurs should be familiar anxious feeling, which covers the owner of a brand new digital laquo; mylnitsyraquo.; When first seeing a huge number of presets modern digital camera, a huge number of shooting modes, it seems that is just press the shutter button- and perfect picture will be recorded to the memory card device. But this is misleading passes quickly, and after the first photo shoot idea of ??digital photography changed dramatically.

In fact it turns out that the automatic portable laquo; mylnitsyraquo, often wrong and the pictures did not come out the way you imagined them. Even the best laquo; iksusyraquo, from Canon can not guarantee a perfect result. Willy-nilly, to learn the basics of professional photographer. Some people like it, some do not. But even after it can understand all the intricacies of the camera settings, the amateur may suffer an unexpected failure. One has only to falter camera when taking a picture, you need the object being photographed be set in motion at the wrong time, and all – a good picture, worthy of a glossy magazine cover expensive, is lost forever.

Main problem blurry images is that they contain much less useful information. This is very easy to see for himself. Try saving in a graphics program two shots – after applying the blur filter (eg, using the algorithm Gaussian blur) and before treatment. After the application of this filter on the original image will be removed several fragments and the size of the file will be smaller. This begs the question: How, then, are working tools for sharpening in different graphic file? After all, they really help to get a clearer picture! To understand this, let us consider their principle. When the image is slightly blurred, the variation of shades in all areas of the gradient looks, not abruptly, as it can be in the original picture.

When sharpening filter is applied to the photo, digital image processing algorithm changes the intensity of color, making the dark edges of objects in darker and lighter – lighter. Selective contrast enhancement and creates the illusion of a clear picture that does not really become such – just the human eye is easier to perceive information from such an image, it is easier to understand the images seen.

Adobe Photoshop – there is no limit

Hardly anyone would argue that the graphical editor from Adobe – it laquo; highest pilotazhraquo, in the processing of digital images. This program is so perfect that it is hard to imagine a more versatile and powerful tool for editing photos. Tools of this program is almost ideal, so the new features that have appeared in recent versions of Photoshop, went beyond the usual 2D. The program features have been added to create three-dimensional graphics and digital video.

Detailed list of what’s new in the next version of Photoshop – CS6, will be available only after the official release. However, now it is known that Adobe is developing laquo; instrumentaraquo revolutionary, for sharpening and anti-motion blur. Not so long ago, in early October, at the annual technology conference Adobe MAX 2011, a prototype of such a tool. The result of his work is really impressive, and there is no doubt that sooner or later he will appear in a future release of Photoshop.

As is usually the case with popular applications, even before the official release of the program in the network got a preliminary version of the graphical editor. But, alas, in this build new wonder-tool sharpening is not so likely to see it in CS6 at some amateurs. While we can be satisfied with laquo; klassicheskimiraquo, sharpening techniques. Let us recall some of the main approaches to the restoration of a blurred shot.

Method one

The simplest

Laquo; restavratsiiraquo, is to use the group filters Sharpen – Sharpen, Smart Sharpen, Sharpen More, Sharpen Edges. Unfortunately, this method is very rough and inaccurate, and its biggest drawback – the appearance of color artifacts on the contours of objects.

Second way

Laquo; Prodvinutyeraquo, digital photo enthusiasts often use the method of correcting the definition based on the use of color model LAB Color. The principle of treatment in this case is simple and convenient. The original image is converted to the color space Lab, and then, instead of the standard channels of red, green and blue, we get the two color channels and one channel containing the luminance image.

This image representation gives the chance to apply a filter to the image clarity without affecting colors. Enough to select the channel Lightness, activate Unsharp Mask, and you can fall back to a color model RGB.

Disadvantage of this method – the inevitable loss of color in every conversion from one color model to another. On the other hand, these losses are very low, and even after several changes, find the differences in color between the original and processed images laquo; glazraquo on, almost impossible.

Third way

To improve the clarity of the picture can be applied to filters with different primary purpose. Such a filter, for example, is Emboss. In order to focus on a picture, create a copy of the background layer, apply the filter to it, and then select the parameters Height and Amount so that as much as possible outlines of the image. As for the value of the parameter Angle, then it must be chosen so that the edges of objects in the picture are not parallel to the direction of the effect.

To get the laquo; barelefraquo, served as the sharpening, change the blending mode to Overlay. You can create multiple copies of this layer to enhance the effect.

Second filter, which can be laquo; naznacheniyuraquo not, used for high-definition – is High Pass. How to work with them is the same – make a copy of the layer to which the filter is applied, and then change the blending mode to Overlay, and if necessary to the effect of the layers overlap. Applying a filter to choose a setting Radius, where the edges of objects in the picture is only slightly be designated.

Way, thanks to the fact that the above method involves working with multiple layers, you can safely experiment, and adding layers of the filter Emboss, and layers of filter High Pass.

Fourth method

As mentioned above, using standard techniques can improve the clarity of face the unpleasant artifacts. For example, if the original image is noisy, after the filter Unsharp Mask laquo; shumraquo, is even more pronounced. Method described below can only sharpen the contours of objects.

First thing to do – to see a palette Channels. You must choose the most contrasting image channel, create a copy of it, and then apply the Find Edges filter and invert the image in this channel.

Then using Median filter can ensure that small details are not as noticeable.

Pretreatment image completes the consistent application of filters Maximum (to increase the thickness of the light lines) and Gaussian Blur (to blur the image in the channel). Next, we need a selection by clicking on the link up while holding down CTRL. Finally, you want to select all channels, in addition, over which the work was carried out, and apply a filter Unsharp Mask.

Additions to Photoshop


Demonstrated at Adobe MAX 2011 tool sharpening is not built into Photoshop, to add-in graphics editor can not help worrying. We draw your attention to two of the most useful, in our view, the plug for high-definition images.

Nik Sharpener Pro 3.0

Is probably not an exaggeration to say that the additional modules of Nik Software – one of the most useful plug-ins for Photoshop. In the long list of tools that the company offers lovers of digital photos, there are also filters for color correction, and a plugin for correcting the illumination, and a module for processing HDR-images, and the addition of anti-noise in the picture. And of course, there is a tool Sharpener Pro – a very handy filter to combat blurry, fuzzy images.

What is the secret of the popularity of plugins Nik Software? The fact that the developers of the company managed to create a unique interface, analog to which we never met yet. It is used in all modules produced Nik Software, and, of course, is one of their main advantages. Sharpener Pro also offers this laquo; firmennyyraquo; interface.

As mentioned earlier, prompting definition – and it acts selectively on how exactly to apply a filter to the contours of the field, determines the final result. One of the advantages of the interface Sharpener Pro (as well as all the other extras from Nik Software) is precisely the ability to accurately indicate areas of the image, which will be applied treatment. Apply the effect settings can be clarity to the entire image at once, or selectively, using the so-called control points. These points you can add to the original image by adjusting the radius of effect around these points, as well as determine the hardness of the edge effect. For clarity in the plugin Sharpener Pro uses a special view of control points. When activated, indicating the area shown in black and white pieces of the original image.

Also devoting a editable regions with checkpoints in Sharpener Pro is a function of their designation brush. In practice this is incredibly convenient, especially in those cases where it is necessary to outline, for example, an elongated area.

While most Photoshop plug-ins to use the one-step image processing, in Sharpener Pro sharpening system is implemented in two phases.

To implement a two-stage process in Sharpener Pro there are two filters: RAW Presharpener and Output Sharpener. The first tool to be used during data conversion RAW, after eliminating noise from the original image. This should disable the option gain clarity in your RAW-converter. The second filter, Output Sharpener, should be applied to the image at a very late stage of processing photos.

FocalBlade 2.02

Additional module FocalBlade does not use a single algorithm for sharpening. The engine of this plugin is a combination of different approaches to obtaining accurate lines and contours. This plugin will appeal to those who like to experiment with the processing of the image with different parameters.

FocalBlade supports recovery of clarity in any color model – RGB, Grayscale, Lab or CMYK color depth with 8 or 16 bits per channel. This plug-in universal than Photoshop, it can be shared with a large number of applications, including Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop Elements, Photo-Paint, PhotoImpact, IrfanView, Adobe Illustrator, GIMP, Corel Draw, etc. In addition, FocalBlade available and how standalone application. The program supports batch processing of images.

This module can operate in automatic mode, or vice versa – to provide an incredible number of options to control the process. The program allows you to control precision and control every step of image processing. For example, with this module you can create and view a variety of masks to highlight the areas of the image control algorithm defined contours, correct halos around different areas in which induced sharpness.

According to the developers, the FocalBlade sold about 80 different profiles and sets of presets for various effects, but it seems that this number is actually much higher. FocalBlade provides the ability to instantly evaluate the result and comparing options for sharpening, say, aggressive noise reduction without it.

Should pay attention to the fact that in FocalBlade provides a set of tools to deal with the noise of digital photography, which will inevitably occur with increasing sharpness of the picture. In contrast to other means to obtain clear images, FocalBlade can laquo; blokirovatraquo; sharpening individual colors – in some cases, it significantly improves the quality of the final image. This plugin shows the high performance, thanks to which the result in the preview window without delay, even if you choose the best options.


Unfortunately, none of the above instruments and their combinations do not give a perfect result. Therefore, the best way to deal with fuzzy pictures – prevent their occurrence. To do this, consider all the factors that can reduce the chance of blur. Do not forget to include image stabilization in your camera, where possible, use a tripod or just at hand support. Oh, and do not forget about the main secret of any photographer: the more you do pictures in the series, the greater the likelihood that some will yes.

Discuss the material in the conference