Proper Expectations for Image Sharpening

Proper Expectations for Image Sharpening

Proper expectations for post-production are important because photographers need to know which issues can and cannot be fixed after the shoot.

A popular misconception we encounter at PWD is the idea of using sharpening to fix out-of-focus images. As any of our editors will tell you, sharpening is useful for making correctly focused images a little bit sharper; however, an image that is not in focus simply cannot be brought into focus with the sharpening tool. One might be able to “fake it” using sharpening if the image is almost in focus, but don’t rely on the sharpen tool to fix these images.

Another thing to keep in mind is that performing both sharpening and noise reduction on the same image may not result in a sharp, noiseless image like you’d expect. The two services don’t necesarily cancel each other out, but they do work in opposite directions. Noise reduction gives a softer appearance to the image, while sharpening, obviously, strives for the opposite effect.


Quick-Tip: PWD editors use sharpening sparingly, as a little goes a long way. For special situations where you need more sharpening, let us know in the order notes. Quick-Tip: PWD is announcing a new service next week that helps you improve your photography skills and become a better photographer. We’re very excited to offer this opportunity for photographers during the slow season. Stay tuned!

Check out more Post-Production Tips from the pros at PWD.
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