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Old Mar 29, 2005, 5:01 PM   #1
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:?I hate postprocessing, and I would rather take a beating than read instructions. I have PS CS and do make Levels, Curves, Saturation, and Contrast adjustments. I am just trying Sharpening and find it baffling. I can't seem to judge the right level of sharpening. I have not had good luck with the CS auto adjustments, and I find it very hard to judge my adjustments on-screen.

My photography is strictly a hobby, mostly landscapes. scenery, and family. I like to do 5x7, 8x10, and an occassional 11x14 enlargement for framing and home display.

I am debating whether to buy a Photo Editor that would have better automatic adjustments or to buy plugins for PS CS like Nik Sharpener and Neat Image, etc. I wouldn't mind spending up to $300 or $400 if it would greatly simplify my postprocessing.

Any knowledgeable advice will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Bob


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Old Mar 30, 2005, 12:55 AM   #2
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I rather like post processing and have lots of Photoshop plug-ins. But you would probably be better off with an inexpensive program that is more designed for simple and automatic image processing. Not sure this is the right place. Several people here are often coming up with more automatic programs for image enhancement: http://forums.techguy.org/f60-s.html

You would ultimately do better in Photoshop, but if you don't like it you aren't likely to get to the point where it is that much better than one of the more simple programs.

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Old Mar 30, 2005, 2:33 AM   #3
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Bob
Believe me - there is no such thing automatic in post processing!
The closest to it for sharpening is FocusMagic - http://www.focusmagic.com/download.htm .
If you are using unsharp mask for digital photos, leave the Threshold at 0, start with Radius at 0.3 and Amount at 500%.
The image will break up - reduce the Amount in steps of 50 until it doesn't, and that is usually right.

Brian
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 2:52 AM   #4
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If you decide to go down the route of plugins may I suggest Noise Ninja. It, like the majority of noise removal software, will do it for you but will allow you to fine tune it if you wish. I find I only occasionally need to reduce the strength of the changes made. You can download a trial, then purchase a license if you like it here, http://www.picturecode.com/

For sharpening I wouldn't be without PhotoKit Sharpener from Pixel Genius. Again it will do it all for you and then some, but still allows fine tuning if needed. Because different images require different levels of sharpening, this program has automatic settings for them all. Just check out the reviews, and try the demo here, http://www.pixelgenius.com/sharpener/

And to quote Michael Reichmann from The Luminous Landscape, "until something better comes along they'll have to pull PhotoKit Sharpener from my cold dead hand".

Those two would set you back no more that $180.00, depending on which versions you choose. Leaving you with some $'s for more when you find something else you would like to automate.

Hope this helps,

Stevekin.


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Old Mar 30, 2005, 12:20 PM   #5
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:-)Steve, thank you very much for the information. I wasn't aware of either of these programs.

I am curious why one would want two sharpener programs?

Thanks again,

Bob
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 12:24 PM   #6
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:-)Thank you for the infor, Brian. I am going to try your method with PS CS and see if it is any easier.

Regards,

Bob
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 12:36 PM   #7
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nochance wrote:
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I am curious why one would want two sharpener programs?


Bob, the first program,Noise Ninja isa noise removal program much like Neat Image that you mentioned. Only the second program is a sharpener.

Stevekin.
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 12:39 PM   #8
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:lol: Thank you. I realized that and, when I came back to correct my post, you had beat me to the punch. I really like to looks of these two programs, and I think I will buy them.

I am also interested in a filters program and am considering Nik Color Effects Pro. Do you have an opinion on that?

Thanks so much,

Bob
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 1:25 PM   #9
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Nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 is going to cost you from $79.95 for the very basic package up to $299.95 for the works. If you like to apply this type of filter to your images then it would seem worthy ofconsideration. Personally I have done the same as most of us and applied various filters for fun, to see what they look like, we can laugh at them and admire them on screen......but I really wouldn't want to print any of them.

I would suggest you look more closely at the Filter Gallery in PSCS. There are a lot of nice filters that you have already paid for. Have a play with those before you decide to splash out. Noise removal and sharpening are something that is done to most of our images, so a worthy addition to our tool box.

Stevekin.
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 2:05 PM   #10
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:-):-) Many thanks again, Steve.

Bob
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