When to Sharpen Your Photos

Brooklyn Pier Skyline New York-3197RS                                                                                                                                         © 2013 JoAnne Kalish

When I photograph something important I shoot in Raw as well as making a small jpeg.  This is what I do but not necessarily the only way to go.  If I come up with something, I consider special, I convert the Raw file and make a tiff and save it. If I plan on printing from it I make sure it’s 16 bit tiff. I tweak the raw file slightly giving it a little saturation and a drop of contrast most of the time. From here, I open the tiff in photoshop and possibly do another minor correction or two depending on what is needed, or if I want to play a little to improve on it I may do a little more. The only time I sharpen this photo is when I make it a specific size.  Then and only then, do I sharpen.  What I do to sharpen is I use unsharp mask leaving the amount on 150, the radius depends on what size my photo is and I almost never go over 1 pixel.  I always set the threshold on either 0 or 1.  Lastly, I try to never over sharpen and tend to go a little less rather than a little more.  I find that a lot of my students and other photo enthusiasts over sharpen and don’t realize the proper way to do this.

The photo above was taken in Brooklyn where my partner Joe DiMaggio will be doing an upcoming Adorama Workshop which will be posted shortly. After visiting a very special friend and photographer Ann Raine we checked out this location and with thoughts of Ann in our hearts we made a series of photos.  Check out our workshop website as we update regularly – http://www.dimaggio-kalishworkshops.com    By the way my next workshop is March 23 Taking Your Photography to the Next Level