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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about sharpening a photo
Save for certain "special effects", sharpness, clarity and smooth tonal gradations are amongst the critical hallmarks of excellent photographs, and go to the heart of what distinguishes photography as an art form. If you never thought that anyone could fill over three hundred pages with technically essential information and instruction about sharpening photographs, think...
Published on 12 Sep 2009 by Mark D. Segal

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good theory, poor illustrations
As others have commented this book is a very through explanation of sharpening in Photoshop and Lightroom. There is sufficient theory to underpin the later examples and techniques.

But sharpening is all about slight nuances that one learns to identify. And the illustrations in this book fail to support the text. They are too small or the printing process...
Published on 4 Jan 2010 by D. Stoddart


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good theory, poor illustrations, 4 Jan 2010
As others have commented this book is a very through explanation of sharpening in Photoshop and Lightroom. There is sufficient theory to underpin the later examples and techniques.

But sharpening is all about slight nuances that one learns to identify. And the illustrations in this book fail to support the text. They are too small or the printing process ineffective for the requirement.

I would still recommend the book but you must put in a lot of time to get full benefit. And even then in many cases a little tweak of the radius and amount sliders will be enough for most images.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about sharpening a photo, 12 Sep 2009
By 
Mark D. Segal - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Save for certain "special effects", sharpness, clarity and smooth tonal gradations are amongst the critical hallmarks of excellent photographs, and go to the heart of what distinguishes photography as an art form. If you never thought that anyone could fill over three hundred pages with technically essential information and instruction about sharpening photographs, think again because here it is, and it's really important for anyone who strives for excellence in their digital imaging work.

Much more than a cookbook on how to sharpen a photo (though it does that too), this book, now in its second and expanded edition, describes in a way that's easy to understand the very fundamentals of digital imaging technology and image structure which give rise to the need for a multi-stage and multi-purposed sharpening workflow; from there the authors go on to present in considerable detail the optimal techniques for implementing it, so that those of us who read from cover to cover will understand the basis of the techniques they recommend. Years of experience and experimentation are bundled into these techniques, so one can have every confidence that they work well - as I do from having used a fair number of them myself. The book should cater to a broad audience because it covers sharpening, smoothing and noise reduction using a number of applications including Lightroom, Camera Raw, Photoshop and several 3rd party applications. Because some of these techniques have elements of repetitive operation image after image, certain parts of the sharpening process can be automated to improve our workflow efficiency. Photoshop has a functionality called "Actions" which permit one to do this. Hence I really appreciated the authors' inclusion of step-by-step instructions for creating several such Actions, along with Chapter 6 which contains one of the most approcahable introductions to the creation, editing and use of Actions that I've seen in the Photoshop literature.

I own a substantial collection of books, videos and other reference materials on digital imaging, and I must rate this particular volume as one of the most valuable in my library. It is the most technically comprehensive and innovative resource I've ever seen covering sharpening, smoothing and noise reduction, all of which are vital to achieving excellence in the production of fine photographs. It is also very readable and well illustrated.

Oh - and more thing: "Hamish" plays a central role in this book, so if you'd like to find out all you want to know about "Hamish", you'll just have to get it :-)

Five Stars Plus
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive guide to the why and how of sharpening, 25 Oct 2009
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I bought this book because I want to know the why as well as the how of sharpening. This book covers both very well. One warning: there may be a bit too much theory early on for some; the good news is that you can dive straight in to Chapters 3 to 6 to get the techniques. If you do skip the first two chapters, you'll probably want to come back to them later on. If nothing else, you'll want to find out why the authors are so convinced that 3-stage sharpening is (currently) the best approach.
The authors have gone to great lengths to try to illustrate how different sharpening tools affect the final printed images. This is extremely hard because of the limitations of the CMYK printing processes used in book production but they have succeeded admirably.
The book explains, in passing, exactly what the 'blend if' options for Photoshop layers do. This is a feature that baffles many.
Chapters 4 and 5 give you the information to make tailored sharpening tools for your work. You learn, in passing, the way that the highly-regarded PixelGenius output sharpening tools are constructed.
If you are concerned about getting the best prints from your work, this book is near essential and if you don't shoot raw now, you may well do after reading it.
Jeff Schewe has done a splendid job of the second edition of the late Bruce Fraser's original.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Long intro, 5 April 2010
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The Authors mean well but the intro is almost 100 pages too long: too much theory and repetitive arguing their case rather than instructing on how to really make a difference to your sharpening technique. However, once into the book it is a good guide for intermediate skilled sharpeners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone who cares about controlling the quality of their images, 2 Nov 2009
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Explains clearly why and how to prepare images for print and publication. Exploring the underlying science of how sharpening works, this book is essential reading for anyone who is looking to perfect the quality of their images. From the advanced amateur photographer, to the experienced repro professional, this book helps to explain the concepts and debunk myths surrounding image sharpening.

Like the excellent Real World Color Management, this is an in depth book, and has a place on the desk of anyone who seeks to produce images that sing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Buy!, 12 Oct 2009
I can't think of another purchase that will make a bigger improvement to your inkjet prints than this book, both the content and presentation are simply outstanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real World Sharpening, 18 Nov 2009
By 
G. Butler-madden (South Wakes, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Written in an American style ("We'll cover this in more detail later") but a very useful source of information on reducing noise and image sharpening. It covers not only digital camera capture / inkjet output but film scans capture and output to other printing processes, books for example. Keep it next to your computer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit confusing if you are newbi, 24 Nov 2009
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Obviously, it is a great book but I very much miss a more clear and accurate step by step explanation.
I'm confident the book deserves 5 stars as far as the content but, it is necessary to make oneself understood, especially if it is a technical book. These authors don't achieve that important part of a dedactic book, in my modest point of view.

Regards
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sharpenig made sense of, 3 May 2011
I had been recommended to this book by a professional image processor,so I was not expecting an easy read. I was very pleasntly surprised The writing is really clear,the sort of clarity that can only come from people who thoroughly understand thier subject and want to inform rather than impress. The first part is about theory,the why and the how. After reading this the description of tools and methods available in photoshop is easier to follow, as is their reasoned critisism of some of these tools ,The logical structure of the book allows fast understanding of the more complex subjects in the latter parts of it .The why and how gives cofidence in ones abilty to use the techniques from a position of understanding ,rather tha slavishly following the recipe book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book yet on thissubject, 19 Nov 2010
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This is the Karma Sutra of sharpening! If it can be done at all this shows the way to do it and is pretty exhaustive-not to say exhausting. Well written with plenty of illustrations for every stage- O.K. it is for the more advanced photographer but belongs on every keen photographer's shelf. Well worth the money for most and indispensable at any price for some!
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