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Saturday, April 1, 2006

Software For Sharper Photos

You can't make a sharp image out of a fuzzy one...can you?

Nik Sharpener Pro 2.0

Anyone who has printed a digital image knows that trying to optimize image sharpness for printing using Unsharp Mask and the on-screen preview window can be confusing and consume a lot of time (and printing paper). Nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 makes it easy to optimize image sharpness for specific printers, using better algorithms and choices familiar to photographers. Select the printer type, intended print-viewing distance, paper type and printer resolution, and the software does the rest.



Perhaps the best feature of Sharpener 2.0 is its Advanced Panel, where you can apply a desired amount of sharpening to specific areas of the image, selected by color. Just use the eyedropper tool to select the color of the area you want to sharpen, then use the adjacent slider to adjust the degree of sharpness in that area. You can do this for up to five colors in an image. Thus, you can easily apply lots of sharpening to, say, the boulders and trees in a landscape, but none to the sky (where too much sharpening yields noise). You can also "paint" a Sharpener filter onto desired areas of an image with the Selective tool. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.

So while you can't really make a sharp image out of a fuzzy one, you can make what comes out of the camera or printer better by using the right software.


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