Thanks for all of the comments the other day about my upcoming sharpening class. I have to say I love the way this community jumps in to help and I honestly appreciate all of your time. I know we don't have a lot of it, and I'm grateful you spend some of it here. While I always have some general ideas on what I want to teach, it's questions from you that make sure I cover the stuff people want to know.
First off, I have some thoughts I wanted to mention before moving on and then I'll let you know the winners.
A few common trends I noticed:
• A large number of you already know A LOT about sharpening. Even if you don't know it. I can tell in how your questions were formulated. When a question mentions capture sharpening, then creative sharpening, then the various output sharpening methods you can definitely consider yourself in the advanced group. What I took from this is that, while you know a lot about sharpening, there's confusion because there's almost too many conflicting reports. Lab sharpening, channel sharpening, Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen… you get the idea. So instead of adding to the confusion, I'm not going to talk about all the of the ways you “could” sharpen – I'll just stick with my sharpening techniques.
• Lot's of people wanting to know about Nik's Sharpener Pro. I wasn't going to talk about it, but I probably will spend a few minutes on it now.
• Multiple questions on how sharpening interacts with noise reduction. Great topic!
• Lot's of “How do I know when enough is enough” questions. I'll definitely make sure I show examples.
• Multiple questions on when to sharpen. Before retouching? After retouching? I'll make sure I cover that.
• I found a large number of questions on how do you know when you've added enough output sharpening for print. That's always a tough one and something that can't be solved with soft proofing. I can save you the suspense and tell you that my answer is going to be to do a test print. If you do enough of them you'll start to figure out what the sweet spot is and eventually you won't have to do a test print as much.
• There seemed to be an overall feeling of “I must be missing something”. Again, I saw a lot of questions from people that know how to sharpen but still felt like something was missing. I think it all goes back to the multiple sharpening techniques out there. Because there's so much information on sharpening techniques (and so many places to actually apply sharpening), connecting it all together was the main concern. My overall theme for this class will be to keep it simple. If you start with good photography techniques and capture a sharp photo, sharpening should be a piece of cake. My main goal will be to help you figure out where the best place is to do the sharpening and what the best tools are for the job.
OK, now for the winners. You'll be getting an email in the next couple of days about your choice for the prize.
• Bob Israel
• John Slaughterbeck
• Scott Prokop
• Dave Duzy
• Miguel Palaviccini
Thanks again for all of the help folks! You feedback truly does help.