Although image sharpening can be done in the camera, RAW processing software, Photoshop, or other image-editing programs, it can be difficult to predict whether an image will appear oversharpened or not sharp enough. A lot depends on how the image will ultimately be viewed.
An image that will be displayed in a web gallery or projected on a screen will have different sharpening requirements than a 5 x7 in. print that will be displayed in a frame on a desktop. And an image that will be scaled up to 30 x 40 in. and inkjet-printed on canvas has different sharpening requirements than an image that will be printed by a lab on smoother, more reflective photo paper.
That’s why Nik Software regards Sharpener Pro 3.0 as an important final step in image preparation. The program was developed to remove some of the guesswork from sharpening by optimizing sharpening based on what is going to be done with the file.
Getting more predictable results from your sharpening can help save ink and materials when you’re printing images on the inkjet printer in your studio and avoid the time and expense of having jobs reprinted if you send images to a lab.
In Nik Sharpener Pro software, you can specify the size and resolution of the final image and whether you will be sending it to an RGB display such as a monitor or projection device, an inkjet printer, a continuous-tone printer (such as those used by most retail and pro labs), or a halftone press. After you’ve specified the output device, type of paper and print resolution that will be used, Sharpener Pro 3.0 applies the optimal amount of sharpening.
You can learn more about Sharpener Pro 3.0 in a 21-minute webinar that can be viewed online or downloaded from the webinar archives on the Nik Software website. The webinar instructor explains all of Sharpener Pro’s settings for output sharpening, as well as the program’s creative sharpening and selective sharpening capabilities. Examples of how and when these options might be used are included.
The instructor points out that in most cases, it’s not necessary to specify the distance from which the final image will be viewed because Sharpener Pro automatically uses international viewing distance standards for different sizes of photographs. However, the instructor notes that one scenario in which you might want to adjust the settings for viewing distance would be if you were creating large prints that would be displayed on the walls of narrow hallways.
The webinar on Sharpener Pro 3.0 is one of several webinars now available for viewing from the Nik Software archives. You can also view webinars that explain how to use Nik Software for Enhancing Portrait Images and Enhancing Landscape and Scenic Images. A session that demonstrates how to use Nik Dfine to remove noise at the start of any image-editing process is also included.
Additional webinars to be presented this fall include:
• Enhancing the Fine Art Image (Sept. 8)
• Enhancing the Wedding Image (Sept. 15)
• Capture NX 2 and Color Efex Pro 3.0 (Sept. 17)
Check it out! Viewing a webinar that demonstrates the key features of various software tools on real images can often be more enlightening and than simply reading press reports and product literature.