Output Sharpening

In modern digital photo workflows, we usually use three types of sharpening: capture sharpening, creative sharpening and output sharpening. In Lightroom, the first two are applied in the Develop module (see Chapter 4).

At export time, Lightroom provides the capability to automatically apply output sharpening; see Figure 5-11. With this method, the new files are sharpened at the ideal point in the processing and at the proper amount for the image size and intended media.

T Output Sharpening

Sharpen For: 1 Glojsy Paper i I Amount: 1 High t I

Figure 5-11

To enable output sharpening, tick the "Sharpen For:" box, then choose the type of sharpening and the amount to apply.

• Screen: use this if you're exporting files for display on a computer or television monitor.

• Matte Paper: use this for printing on matte paper, such as cotton rag art papers like Hahnemuhle Photo Rag and Epson Somerset Velvet. Sharpening for Matte is stronger than for Glossy.

• Glossy Paper: use this for printing on glossy, luster and semi-gloss photo papers like Fuji Crystal Archive, Harman Glossy FB AL, Epson Premium Luster and Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk.

These paper types apply equally to inkjet prints and lab prints.

After choosing the type of sharpening, set the amount: Low, Standard or High.

Because sharpening routines are image-specific and dependent on file size, finding the ideal amount may require you to do some testing. Try the standard amount first, evaluate the results and adjust as needed. I usually use High for all media types.

When NOT to sharpen

If you're going to resize the image, apply noise reduction and/or sharpen it in another program (such as Photoshop), turn off all sharpening in the Lightroom export settings and do your final sharpening later in the workflow.

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