Of all the shots I’ve taken recently, this is one of the ones I’m most pleased with; not because I think it has a considerable amount of artistic merit, but because – for once – I actually managed to sharpen it in a way that I’m reasonably happy with. I don’t know about anyone else, but one of the exasperating problems I have with many of my shots is sharpening them after reducing them in size – what looks great at 2592x1944px often doesn’t translate all that well to 700x525.
Clearly it’s possible to produce extremely sharp images (see this absolutely stunning example from Emese Gaal’s site), but I’m not normally all that pleased with my efforts. This one though, I quite like; and while it isn’t perfect I do think it comes close to being pretty reasonable. And for anyone who’s interested: this one was sharpened in four stages – an unsharp mask (of 300%, 0.3px, 0 threshold) for the whole image, some selective blurring of the borders between the dark background and the top of some of the drops (the sharpening made these look unnatural), then some selective sharpening on the detail in the drops (using the sharpening tool (set to a strength of 50%), and then a final overall unsharp mask of 300%, 0.2px, 0 threshold. All of which is probably overkill – but it seemed to work ok for this image.
So, if anyone has any killer sharpening tips, I’d be really interested to hear them.
Oh, and the other thing I like about this shot is the detail in the raindrops, particularly the large one near the middle/bottom of the image. And if you can’t work it out; it’s shot through my car windscreen, the two dark, blurred vertical areas are chimney stacks, and the roofline of the houses (including the chimneys) is reflected upside down in many of the raindrops ;-)
12.13pm on 10/3/04
B+W UV 010