Andy Bell Photography

Digital Photography Workflow – Part 3 – Sharpening

Sharpening – Final Step

Almost all photos need a degree of sharpening. A sophisticated approach is to sharpen your image in stages:

  1. During RAW development
  2. After post processing
  3. After resizing

RAW processors do so much that it’s hard to know if they are doing step 1, step 2, or both. In post 1 in this series, I let Luminar add some structure and detail to the image, but I didn’t perform any sharpening. I view this as applying step 1. For step 2 and step 3 I prefer to use Topaz Sharpen AI.

Watch the video below to see it in action.

Sharpening with Topaz Sharpen AI

YouTube Poster

If you don’t have time to view the video, I suggest you look at my previous post on Sharpen AI, which covers almost all of its functionality.

For the picture in question, here are the results that Sharpen AI produced.

Batch Processing using Sharpen AI

Given that Topaz Sharpen AI has excellent automatic sharpening, especially for images that are in focus and not blurred, it would make sense to use it to batch process sets of images. Today, Topaz released a free upgrade to it that adds batch processing to its functionality!

This is a bit of a game changer, I think. It already produced excellent results, but it was slow and cumbersome to use. The lack of speed is understandable – it does far more than basic sharpening tools like Unsharp Mask, and that comes at a price: time. But if I had a set of photos to process, it was a pain having to do each one individually.

With batch processing, that pain vanishes. I can just load it up with the imges to process, press Go! and do other things whilst it does the job.

Digital Photography Workflow – Conclusion

In this set of three posts, I have shown a workflow that uses cutting-edge tools to produce excellent results.

The tools under consideration were:

These tools combine to form a formidable suite for almost all your image processing needs. Trial versions are available for them and Luminar and Sharpen AI are on special offer at the moment.

In addition I have a 10% discount code for Luminar: ANDYBELL

Now is definitely a good timke to check these tools out.

What’s next

In future posts I will look at Digital Asset Management and backup strategies.

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