Sharpening digital images is something that people sometimes get wrong and confused about. All digital image files, whether from a digital camera or scanned film are ‘soft’ (not unsharp) and require sharpening to add contrast – normally on the subject edges – to make them appear sharper. Indeed, most software, even with sharpening set to zero will still apply a level of sharpening to help make your shots look better on first looking at them. There are many different ways and methods of doing this and some very good software packages and plug-ins to help you – and people with much bigger brains than me have written volumes about the technical details. Continue reading “Sharpening”

Exposure (to the right).


This seems to one thing in particular that polarises opinion and confuses people in equal measure. So what does it mean in practise?

When shooting in RAW (and in my opinion we should most of the time) the histogram is your best friend to help you determine how you are exposing your shot.

If you use this technique you must ignore the LCD display – this is where people can become confused. Remember the LCD displays a thumbnail of the jpeg from the RAW file. It can be used to check sharpness, composition, facial expressions and a few other things when necessary, but not to check exposure.

The histogram will give you all the information you’ll ever need and by exposing and pushing the histogram to the right – as far as possible without overexposing or clipping your highlights – you’ll have the best quality file with the least possible noise in the shadow areas when you process your image. The image may appear very bright on the LCD, but you’ll now the best digital negative and the first thing you do when processing in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom is to pull back the exposure slider before you continue to process as normal.


A little taste of my workflow

Tutorial 1 from ronnie baxter on Vimeo.