I can hardly believe that it’s already the first day in February! Tomorrow, the Groundhog comes out and we’ll see just how much longer we’re going to have winter – at least according to folklore. I’m betting we’re going to have more winter, partially because a big storm is coming into the Carson Valley tonight! Speaking of folklore, many of you have spent the last month trying to sustain the new year’s resolutions you made. I didn’t make any, nor did I set any specific goals for my photography. As I’ve continued my photographic journey, I’ve found that my best goal is to look for and be ready to pursue knowledge as I find new things.
In my last post, I announced that I was taking a winter photography course. The snow was deep and our outdoor shooting time was shorter than expected. The instructor was excellent – we shifted the program indoors to study light and shadow and photo processing techniques, which brings me to the ‘new kind of whet stone.’ Us old Boy Scouts remember that a whet stone is used to sharpen knives and axes. In the digital photography world, we use software as a ‘whet stone’ to sharpen our images. During the workshop, we spent quite a bit of time on sharpening. The most important thing I learned was that I’ve been doing it all wrong, and badly to boot. I now have a specific goal – become proficient in using software to sharpen my images!
In the book Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom, authors Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe begin the discussion on sharpening with, “…one of the ways our brains try to make sense of the world as seen through our eyes is by breaking down the scene into edges (objects) and non-edges (surfaces). If the edges in an image appear too sharp or not sharp enough, our brains tell us that there’s something wrong, and in the case of a photograph, the image appears unconvincing.” Bruce and Jeff tell us that, “Sharpening works by increasing the contrast around edges.” (Contrast is the difference between light and dark tonal values.) And so begins my journey into the wide world of sharpening! Since I’m just beginning my venture into sharpening, I don’t have anything to show you. I will soon – I promise.
What have I been doing besides reading about sharpening? Let’s look at some pictures!
One of the fun things for me was having one subject in the same spot on different days and different lighting conditions, then playing with the processing for a different interpretation of each image. I hope you’ve enjoyed my images, and I promise to be sharper in the future!
Enjoy – PHOTOROGR