Rachel Henderson Photography Blog [Archived]

Water Daily for Optimum Growth ~ Turn Down the Sharpening Photography Tip

April 17, 2008   |   by Rachel

Yesterday was perfectly sunny and upper 60s.  Gorgeous!  Win helped me water our new arborvitaes.  He had a lot of fun with the hose. 080416_080416-0433-edit.jpg 080416_080416-0229-edit.jpg 080416_080416-0403-edit.jpg At times the hose would turn on him! 080416_080416-0493-edit.jpg After we finished watering the plants he began watering himself.  I guess that's why he's so tall! 080416_080416-0039-edit.jpg 080416_080416-0052-edit.jpg 080416_080416-0261-edit.jpg 080416_080416-0504-edit.jpg

Photography tip:

I can still remember the first time that I saw a photograph from a digital camera.  The print was being passed around as everyone was exclaiming, "Look at that!  You can't even tell that it's digital."  In order to be socially appropriate I agreed with something like, "Amazing!"  But inwardly I was thinking, "Something about that image looks really fake and flat.  I don't think that I'll ever buy a digital camera."  hmm...

As you know, I did buy a digital camera, a pretty expensive one too.  I love digital photos, as do most professionals.  Now that I know why that image looked so fake and how to avoid it I LOVE the upsides of digital photography.

If you are having a problem with your images looking too "digitally" it's ok, there is a solution.  And you probably won't need to buy a new camera.   Digitally looking pictures are the result of over-sharpening.  Sharpening is something that most cameras do to images to give them a sharp, focuses look.  The problem is that when images are over-sharpened they start to look really fake.   Sharpening is a good thing, but like seasoning in cooking, you only want just the right amount.

Here are some samples.

Over-sharpened image:

oversharpen.jpg Properly sharpened image: 080416_080416-0487-edit.jpg Do you see the difference?  It's subtle, but it's the difference between realistic and fake.  If you can't see the difference look at his eyelashes.  That's where I see it most. Most cameras allow you to adjust the level of sharpening that they do to your images.  If you are noticing this problem fuss around in the menu of your camera and look for anything that addresses sharpening.  Turn it down.  When in doubt less sharpening is better.  I have the sharpening turned all of the way off in my camera.



I love when you use Win for a lesson. Great pics.

Betsy King2008-04-18

Love it all. I can't wait for days like this with Miles! BTW, If my photos ever look over sharpened, please tell me! I'm serious!!! : )