Lightroom Tip - Visual Sharpening Mask


Lightroom has a host of new sharpening functionality which means that a round trip to Photoshop is now not often required.

The all new sharpening tools can be found under the Detail section of the Develop Module. They apply sharpening and noise reduction to the image file post capture and are not intended for final print sharpening, which is performed from within the Print Module.

sharpening_dialog_drop

The new Detail section now has a number significant changes.
The old dialog box just had a sharpening Amount slider plus the Luminance and Color noise sliders.
The new one has:


  • a warning triangle which appears if you are working with a zoom less than 1:1. Sharpening is
    best done at 1:1 or greater zoom and clicking on the warning triangle will auto zoom the image for you

  • Amount as before

  • Radius control - similar to the pixel Radius setting in Photoshops Unsharp Mask

  • A Detail slider which is great for improving the sharpening of high frequency details such as foliage. Reduce the amount of Detail sharpening to avoid over-sharpening grass for example.

  • a Masking slider similar to the Threshold Photoshop slider


This new sharpening tool is very powerful but what I find very useful is the visual feedback you get when you hold down the Alt key whilst using the Masking Slider.

Lightroom masking slider

You get a grey view of the image - a portion is shown as an example above - which shows exactly where the sharpening will be applied. The white edge areas will be sharpened in the example above.

I was not aware of this visual feedback until I stumbled over it by chance. Try and see.

Let me know if this tip helps you.

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