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Sharpening Photos

For a better quality, non-blogger resized flickr version.

A couple friends and I went for a long walk through knee deep snow today to take some photos. I took this shot of Mike in front of a cabin after ages of walking, falling partway in an icy stream, and freezing my feet off (my fault for wearing jeans).

Processing Info:
Warmed the colors, darkened the shadows & lightened the lights (boosted constrast). Also added a very small amount of vignette to the corners.
Duplicated the background layer, and then sharpened it. Selected foreground layer and used the paint brush tool to erase away his face & hat to transparency to reveal sharper eyes and features of the background layer (using GIMP).
Total Processing Time: 20 mins

Something I just recently started using in my post-processing of people is sharpening. Sometimes just the eyes or hair, but often the entire face. It really helps bring out features. Any sharpening damages the image, but if done right it can enhance it in a good way! I usually try to do any sharpening AFTER any color correction etc.

The biggest thing is to have a focused image in the first place. I try to focus on the eyes when shooting people. To do this depress the shutter half-way, focusing on the eyes, then holding it down, re-frame your shot and press the shutter all the way.

You can see more from this set here.


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