Sharpening Photos in Lightroom 4 and Adobe Camera RAW

Sharpening in Adobe Lightroom and Camera RAW
Sharpening in Lightroom 4 and Adobe Camera Raw

It has been three years since I created the original articles and videos about sharpening for Light and Matter, and they were specific to output sharpening in Photoshop (CS4). These days, most photographers start their workflow with either Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, and while output sharpening is still important, the initial file sharpening that applies to our full-resolution RAW files is just as important, particularly if we’re going to print. I hope that the following  video gives you a solid introduction to sharpening in Lightroom 4 and ACR.

The sharpening procedure described here applies only to the full resolution RAW image, so if you resize the image for export to the web, you may still want to use “Output Sharpening” in Lightroom, or filters like “Smart Sharpen” or “Unsharp Mask” in Photoshop.

Please comment! If you have any questions, I’ll do what I can to answer them below.

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  • Great tutorial, thanks for taking the time to put it together.  If you could just knock two or three of these out per week on different features in LightRoom or Photoshop, it would really help out!  Thanks!  :P

    Seriously though, I had struggled with getting the eyes sharpened in the photo of Lana like you had done and this helped me get there.

    • Hey Bill,

      I should really be able to make about  a dozen of these over a weekend, but it takes me a lot longer to do these things than it should.  I can certainly do one a week, though :)

      Anyway, glad you found it helpful.

      – Matt

      • :-)  I was just kidding.  I figure they’re fairly time consuming actually.  I had the video up on one monitor, and LR up on the other, sharpening a photo.  I had to rewind several times because I’d get caught up doing something you’d just explained.

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